Let's call a truce and agree either choice is damn hard.
Stay at home or work at home, it's a personal choice, Image Source: www.freedigitalphotos.net "Woman With Headphones" by Pong.
Yet again, the debate of stay at home parent vs. working parent has reared its ugly head.
First, let's stop and recognise that everyone is in a different situation.
Some parents choose to go to work for adult conversation and mental stimulation
Others simply have to go to work to make ends meat.
Some parents choose to stay at home.
Others are forced to stay at home, because the cost of childcare would far outweigh the income they would produce by returning to work.
Some parents have to stay at home due to the particular needs of their children.
I have friends that fit into all of the above situations. I believe, that regardless of your choice or situation, we as a society need to take a step back and recognise that we are all doing the best job we can.
Being a parent is hard. It's the hardest role I have ever had. Before children, I worked in a high pressure, very time critical communications role. Compared to this, I thought being at home with my baby would be a breeze, but let me tell you - it's not.
There are so many words you can use to describe being a parent - rewarding, lovely, challenging, frustrating and tiring just to name a few.
However, when you see your child politely ask for a drink in public, show compassion for another child that is upset/hurt or when they run into your arms whispering the words 'I love you mummy', it makes it all worth it.
Whilst being a parent is hard, the rewards far outweigh the challenging times. Image source: www.freedigitalphotos.net "Mother With Children" by Ambro.
If you are a stay at home parent, you would know all to well that it is a 24/7 on-call role. We all know there are no breaks, no holidays, no pay, no sick leave and certainly no clock off time.
In fact, prior to the birth of my 2nd child, I went back to work part-time and even though I was at work, it felt like a break and I that I was finally getting some 'me' time. I know it sounds strange, that I went to work to have some time out. Again, this was my experience and certainly not the way all parents view their work commitments.
Having said that, it is no less a 24/7 role for parents who need or choose to work. I really admire parents who work full-time and back-up a sleepless night with a full day in the office. I take my hat off to you, I don't know how you do it.
We are all trying to find the perfect work/life balance for our individual families. So, please, I beg of you, stop judging others for their choices or circumstances and just give them a pat on the back for a job well done.
We are all trying to find the perfect work/life balance for our individual families. Image source: www.freedigitalphotos.net "Work Life Balance Signpost" by Stuart Miles.