North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Opinion

October 16, 2013

Danielle Cater: The benefits of stay-at-home and working moms

COMMENTARY — If you are a mom, then you probably get looked down on by some people whether you chose to be a stay-at-home mom or a working mom. Either way, there are pros and cons and either way, there are people who want to argue for the other side.

I was raised by a working mom. I think she may have been some sort of morphed alien super mom because she was able to perfectly balance her home life, church life and work life; because on top of being a mom and an employee at a credit union, she was also a pastor’s wife. Yes, she was wonder woman, and not many women could pull off such a task.

I’ve never gotten the privilege to be a stay-at-home mom. Many of my friends were able to stay at home with their babies after they were born, but I wasn’t afforded this opportunity. I’ve had a job since I was 15, so I probably wouldn’t know how to react to not having a paying job. I enjoy being able to know that I put some of that money in the bank, and I don’t feel at all guilty when I go to spend that money. But many stay-at-home moms feel as though they haven’t contributed to the banking account, so they aren’t entitled to the money. One only needs to look at the cost of sending a child to school or daycare to know that the stay-at-home mom does, indeed, contribute to the financial needs of the household.

Let’s give credit where credit is due right here. I have never felt as though staying at home would be something I would be interested in doing. When I am at home I work twice as hard as I do at any other time. When at home, there is always clothes to be done, dishes to be washed, floors to be scrubbed and toilets to be cleaned... the jobs pile up just from our existence in the home. Of course these jobs stay on the mind of a working mother, but when people are in the home all the time, it is a more constant job to keep it clean. When I leave for work in the mornings and take the kids to school, I know that when I set foot back in the door, the house will be just as I left it. But when a family spends all day in a home, it takes all day to mess it up and all day to clean it up.

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