Mamas on Bedrest: Welcome To My World-Working Moms vs. Stay At Home Moms

March 7th, 2012

Welcome To My World is a compilation of blogs by mama bloggers. The complete title is Welcome to My World: Working Moms vs. Stay At Home Moms. 13 of your favorite bloggers debate who has it easier.

I received this short e-book in my e-mail. I wasn’t sure what to expect but sat down one afternoon and read the bulk of the entries while my son had his martial arts lesson and my daughter was at tap dance class. (Yeah mamas, you know how we do!!)

After having read all 13 entries I have to admit that I am a bit baffled. The title of the compilation indicated, at least to me, that the entries would debate the point who has it easier-Working moms or Stay at home moms. I am a work from home mama so I was quite interested to see how other mamas navigated the work/kid path successfully. I didn’t really see this debate. I read 13 blogs that for the most part complained about how hard it is to be a mom and to do any sort of work.

Several entries kavetched about not having the time to work as diligently as one would have liked, the difficulty at balancing home and child care responsibilities with trying to work-in or outside the home-guilt for not being the mom that they had hoped they’d be, lack of time to oneself, loss of one’s identity and feeling unappreciated. I could relate to all of these emotions. But I still felt that somehow, in the recounts of days when showering was a luxury and squeezing out a modicum of time to work in between home and child responsibilities, the blogs should have answered-or at least weighed in with their opinion, who has it easier, working moms or stay at home moms.

What I found to be the “gems” that I took away from these blogs is that if you are a woman who had a career prior to having children, you very likely will have to rethink how you will proceed with that career after you have children. For some women, being a working mom (working outside the home) is the answer. For other moms, staying at home or working from home will meet their needs. Others will go in a completely different direction. I felt that this was the real meat message of the book and one that could really benefit other moms struggling with the work/stay home decision.

I found 3 of the bloggers really gave sage advice as to how to navigate the work/stay at home conundrum. Blogger Joanne Bamberger, founder of Punditmom said at the end of her entry,

“If I was to offer one piece of advice to any mom who has found herself in the same place I was just a few years ago (trying to figure out what she would do when her law job was not available after her pregnancy), or who questions whether it’s worth her time to investigate the third way (starting a work from home business), I’d say this: don’t be afraid to follow your heart and your passion. You can create what will be waiting for you. “

Joanna created a work at home situation as an author, political and media analyst using her legal skills and background. She showed that when neither situation-working or staying at home solely as a mom-was working for her, it became necessary for her to create something entirely new that would suit the needs of her family and her own self fulfillment.

Tracey Frost Rensky had a similar situation arise when she was having her girls. To be able to be with her girls and to have a community of moms, she started Citibabes

“a home away from home for downtown New York families. It currently hosts a family club with two play spaces, a cafe, 5 classrooms,  a preschool program, an adult gym, parenting workshops and more.”

Rensky has just recently stepped away from the day to day operations of Citibabes to spend more time with her family. As she makes the transition, she says,

“I feel extremely blessed to have been a part of the team that has built Citibabes to what it is today. I am frequently reminded by friends and strangers in the hallways how we have changed their lives and they could not imagine raising their children without us. I know that those blurry work lines I once had made it possible for me to be part of my girls’ lives almost every day whilst also building a successful business.”

Ali Wing, CEO of Giggle is a working mom (works outside the home). Her blog post chronicles a day when she took off from work to attend a field trip with her son’s class. It is a humorous account of how her son, concerned about his mama fitting in, offers her pointers on how to dress and interact with the other mamas. Ali talks candidly about the choice she made to work outside the home and why it suits the needs of her family.  Is it perfect? By no means. But it is what works best for her and her family. In her words,

“The secret is realizing that there isn’t a “right” way to do it. As long as everyone is secure and happy, it’s okay if you make different choices. “

Overall, Welcome to My World has some well written blog posts by mamas in the thick of the work/life balance conundrum. I personally think that a better title for the book would have been “Welcome To My World” How Mamas Can Find a Balance Between Family and Work/Career Self Fulfillment”. Because that’s really what it’s all about. There is no right way for a mama to have a family and to continue to use her skills and expertise so that she feels intellectually fulfilled. Its a game of trial and error and what works for one mama and her family will most assuredly not work for the next. Offering mamas successful examples of how it can be done is what is important, and that being the case, Welcome to My World is a success.

You can purchase your own copy of Welcome To My World for your e-reader via our store in the Work/Life Balance Section. We respectfully ask that you support working mamas by purchasing a copy of the book. Also, because the information on Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond’s website is free, we ask that you help us to continue to bring you this great free content by purchasing this e-book via our amazon store.

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