January 25, 2007

Opinion-Nation


So, I caught Oprah the other day about the battle between working moms and stay at home moms...


First of all, why does it have to be us against them? Ah, can't all moms just band together?

If you are a stay at home mom, did you always plan to? Do you enjoy it? Do you plan to go back to work someday? If you are a working outside of the home mom, did you always plan to do so? Do you enjoy it?

I have never worked full-time outside the home while being a mother, so I have no idea what it would be like. We always planned that when we had babies I would stay at home with them- both hubby and I desired that.

I personally love staying at home and get shaky and light headed if I think about if I ever had to go back to work and not be with my kids... but that's just me! I know some moms are pulling their hair and practically clawing their eyes out by the time hubby gets home somedays. Don't think I don't have those days either...

I have a friend that tried the staying at home thing and it did not work for her. She just wasn't "cut out" for it. She's a great working mom and devoted and involved in every area of her kids' lives. She does more with them than I do, I think sometimes! They are really great kids, too.

And another topic of opinion I was thinking about the other day, kinda goes along with Ashlee's recent post about parenting and mothering instincts... I just want to emphasize the importance of sticking with your inner instincts when seeking opinions, whether they are minor or medical or so forth.

Personally I feel like God speaks to me through my mothering instincts. My own examples have proven me right on so far- like last year when Gray was having "chronic sinus infections" or "allergies" according to the doctor, but deep inside I kept thinking it could be something in my diet that he was getting in my breastmilk. I just
knew it had to be milk. I don't know why, but I just knew.

The doctor wanted to put him on an allergy medication. I asked if it could be a food allergy and he said I could just give him the medication and see if it cleared up. In my mind I thought it made more sense to get to the root of the problem and eliminate it. So, I left the doctor without the prescription (no thank you!) and made an appointment for allergy testing on my own.

Did you know that it is OK to disagree with your doctor, or NOT fill a prescription, or get a second opinion, or NOT take their advice? Have you ever been afraid of "offending" your doctor? I would much rather risk offending a doctor if it was in the best interest of me or my child... I'm just sayin'...

Back to the allergy test- sure enough- Gray is very allergic to milk, and also eggs and peanuts! I just wish I would have paid attention to my instincts immediately and stopped my intake of milk earlier on!

I have clearly never been to medical school, but in this instance I am SO glad I went with my instincts and not with the professional's opinion. I cringe every time I hear people say "I just trust my doctor!" as if that's the final word. As much as you'd like and hope to believe it, they are not always right and don't always know best. We learned the hard way early on with Noah, too.

It's ok to trust your doctor. That's important to be able to have that trust. But it's also very important to trust your instincts, too. I still seek the opinion of an allopathic pediatrician and also a naturopathic doctor. I usually will talk to both before making a decision regarding the kids' and my health. Ultimately, we bring everything to the Lord in prayer before making any decision! There are several decisions we are currently waiting to make- we haven't gotten our answer yet!

Oh, and another great thing about opinions... I am always changing my mind & opinions about everything. That's one great thing about knowledge and continuing to learn. I really try to not be close-minded and try to see both sides. Walk in the other person's shoes type of thing. So, my opinion is ever changing as I grow.

At the bottom of my birth plan- a long list of wishes and desires for my labor & birth of Gray- I had highlighted: I also reserve the right to change my mind about any of these things if needed!



29 comments:

  1. My applause to you. Great post.

    I love being at home. I was a working mom with SlowMo, because I was a single mom. Things are totally diff now and I have a hub that wants me to be at home with theBeast and future kids. I have thought about going to work, since we would have more money then...and it brings me to tears just to think about not being with theBeast all day. I will not go back to work...so long as theFM has a job. I rather struggle finacially and cut corners than work, and leave her.

    I agree with you on the dr thing. I usually nod politely and take their advice home to think about, but do my own thing in the end. Luckily we have a great doc now who doesn't hand out antibiotics like candy. I love that. If we don't really need it, I don't want it.

    And I loved Ashlee's post the other day!! So sad that parents are into detachment parenting. And containing their babies.

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  2. You would have loved the LLL meeting today! I never imagined being anything other that a SAHM and wouldn't have it any other way - my JOB IS raising my son.. as you know I've sort of accidentally become a WAHM and am still having mixed feelings - at this point I'm solely working after X is asleep, but know at some point I will need to get things done during his waking hours and don't want to miss out on a moment with him! I agree though there are many moms that are better mothers BECAUSE they work.

    Noah and Gray are blessed to have a Mama not afraid to trust herself. You are their best and only advocate and know them like no one else can. So many people just don't realize that their doctor works FOR them, you have the right to disagree, get a second opinion and fire them at any time.

    I didn't make a birth plan with X because we were certain to have a home birth (yeah, Xavier - that WAS the plan!) and our midwife knew exactly what we wanted. Next time I will, just in case - and am definitely stealing your line about changing your mind!

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  3. I have always been a stay at home mom...and alwayas intended for it to be that way. Once my last baby starts school, I will probably get some sort of job just to stay busy..but will always be there when they get home! I agree...why can't all moms just band together? Why does it have to be US against THEM? I respect a working mom JUST as much as a stay at home mom. You are what you are...and you do what you can do. And that's that!

    Great post!

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  4. I'm a surprised SAHM. I didn't know that The Biscuit was going to have Down syndrome or need heart surgeries so I had planned on staying home one semester (I work at a local community college) and then starting to work a couple days each week. But with his health and developmental issues, there really isn't anywhere to leave him. And now, with being pregnant again, I'm thinking that I'm going to be home for awhile!

    My husband and I were talking about this the other night. We are so glad that I got my training and certification done before The Biscuit was born. I'm a Sign Language Interpreter when I'm not Mom and luckily the field allows tons of flexibility. I may not be able to go back to work for quite some time, but at least I have a career where I can say "I'm not available this week" and it's no problem! Not at all like the 9-5 job I had before. We feel very lucky that I chose something that can work around motherhood instead of the other way around.

    And I totally agree with you about moms sticking together. I don't know mom's that judge each other for their choices about working or not. Is it just media hype or am I just lucky?

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  5. As soon as my first daughter was born, I knew I would stay home with her. My husband felt the same. Great post, I agree on everything. I think people tend to forget that their doctors are just humans like them. What do you call a medical student who graduated last in his or her class with barely passing grades? A doctor.

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  6. Well, you know me. I stay at home and love it. I don't ever again want to have a job where I have to clock in at one time and I can't leave until quitting time. My family is my job and when the kids are grown and gone it will be time for me to get much more involved in Scott's ministry. I just don't want anything else!

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  7. I also saw that Oprah, and I totally agree with you. The SAHM's were against the working moms and vice versa and I don't think it needs to be that way. But when that one lady said "anyone can read my kid a book", I cringed!

    You know me, know that I've stayed home for over 9 years now, and I don't plan on going back. At least not any time soon. I had a wise woman tell me one time. "It's important to be home for your kids when they are little, but they need you home even more when they are teenagers".

    I agree on the doctor thing. There have been times I've left with prescriptions and a thank you, then went home and threw them in the garbage.

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  8. I know I had to take the "bull by the horns" when Matt was symptomatic for Celiac. I wouldn't quit until I got answers!

    About working moms -- I guess it's the mom's intention that matters. Some moms have to work because of finances. Some want their cake and eat it too (kids and career). I can't judge anyone's decision, but all I know is what my heart told me: to stay home

    Like you said, can't we just all learn to get along????

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  9. I have a hard time taking sides on this issue so I liked your post. I've done it all ways. Full-time work outside the home, part-time, and SAHM. There are lots of positives and negatives to all of the above. Not just for me, either. There were a lot of positives for the kids when I worked outside the home and there are lots of positives to having me at home full-time.

    I second your comments about trusting your instincts and seeking a second opinion (or just plain following your guy on your own). Having seen the other side of the fence, I know doctors are very much human beings who don't know it all (and some of them don't even know much).

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  10. I always knew that I would be at home with my kids. It would break my heart to leave my kids to spend most of their waking hours with someone else. I would be very jealous! I have worked part-time when God provided the income and it worked out that hubby could be with the kids. But, even then it was sooo hard!

    I agree with what Robin said: about teeangers needing you more. I always think that once I get all of the kids in school that I'll go back to work at least part-time. But, I've heard that kids get into most mischief during the hours of 3-5pm when they are out of shcool and parents are not home from work. I want to be there when my kids get out of school. I want to know where they are and what they are doing. Aside from that, it's just dang hard to coordinate childcare for when kids are out of school. And, they are out of school for Teacher workdays and holidays a lot more than you think!!

    Working...it's just not for me. We really couldn't afford for me to stay home, but if it's what you really want ask God and He will grant you the desire of your heart.

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  11. Great post Steph.

    I worked part-time off and on when I had my first 2 boys. But my heart was always at home. Now I get sick to my stomach at the thought of sending the older 2 to school, and the younger 2 to full time daycare. I am so thankful that Jeremy and I have arranged our lives so that I can stay home with them. The budget is definitely tight...but I would never trade my circumstances for a second paycheck.
    I do aspire to become a home birth midwife. I am taking the steps toward that goal. But I do not forsee myself doing that as a full time thing until my children are grown. I have taken the matter to the Lord in prayer..and he says "wait".
    I know my place is at home, being a wife and a mother.

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  12. All of my birth plans went right out the door, sadly, thanks to my scary, high-risk pregnancies.
    I love being a stay-at-home mom. Love it. But it's not a huge deal to me what choices other women make, so long as they love their children and their kids are in good childcare settings. I think that so much of the work vs. home "debate" is media created.

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  13. "to everything there is a season..." I know that this season with our little ones is so short. I wouldn't trade my time at home with them for the world. They are my joy! Even yesterday I had an obligation that required me leaving them for three hours and I about had heart failure (okay, it wasn't that bad, but still...). My place is with them. And I wouldn't want it any other way. On a side note, I work here at home...teaching voice and piano lessons. But I schedule it so that they are taken care of by my husband, during nap times, or just for thirty minute intervals at a time. It has worked for our family. But there is always that internal struggle within me...to work or not to work. Is it REALLY worth it?? We're still praying about that...

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  14. Great post Stephanie!! You are so very right - Moms need to quit trying to "up" one another and just learn to respect each other. Women though are like that in general sadly.

    For me - I would love nothing more than to be a SAHM, but unfortunately our finances at this point in our lives just do not allow it. I am lucky though as living in Canada, it allows me to have that first year at home after the birth on a maternity leave so to a certain extent, I do get to experience being a SAHM if only for a brief period. Thankfully, I am only 3 weeks away from getting to stay at home with my children for a year and I am so looking forward to it.

    As moms, I firmly believe that we also need to trust in our instincts when it comes to our children's health. We know our babies best and for me anyways, a doctor's advice will only confirm my suspicions. Sometimes it is a long road to find that doctor who will recognize that there truly is something wrong, but that is our jobs as mommies to find the ones that will support us.

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  15. I am a SAHM and I love it. I am a student right now and that does take away from my parenting, which to me, is VERY frustrating. It has taken a long time to find the babysitters that I even remotely like to watch my children...When my children are all in school, I plan on going back to work...as a teacher in the elementary level. If that doesn't work out (for feeling like not a good parent) I won't stay. That doesn't mean everyone would feel that way. I agree with you, it is not an option for us to be THEM against US. I have that problem and I am struggling to get through it. I get frustrated when I find out people put their children into the "preschool" system at really young ages...I am not sure why that bothers me, it is ABSOLUTELY none of my business...and I don't really think I ever have had a right to judge people, I mean, I have never really believed I have a right...sometimes my crazy personality gets ahead of my heart and my brain...UGH...but I try really hard to change the way I am feeling...that all being said, I am not sure how I will feel about working full time with the kids in school, I do know I don't want to do it until they are in school. There is no way I want to miss this time with them. I do have completely and totally crazy days. I get insane...four kids, two of which are 2 1/2...sometimes I want to pull my hair out...but I am thoroughly enjoying being their mom...at home.

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  16. WOO HOO!!! Clapping and hooting and hollaring! I TOTALLY agree.

    I watched that Oprah too - which is odd cause I never watch Oprah. I am never home and without kids at that time or if I am I am working.

    But for some reason I had the TV on that day - and it broke my heart to see these women tearing each other down. We are all different. God calls us to different roles and different choices. Why on earth would people think that what is right for one mom is right for every other one!?!?

    Plus so many women don't have a choice.

    But you know what - in Canada it is sooooo much easier. We get govt. PAID mat leave for ONE YEAR!!!!!! It is our legal right! Now if we work for ourselves and don't pay in to employment insurance with the govt, than we don't get that paid leave, but if we are with an employer than we do.

    So I got mat leave with my son. I then went back to work part time for a year and a half. I decided that it was not right for my family at that time and I decided to come home. But I do not judge anyone for their decision to work or stay at home. That is between them and their family.

    Now, I won't have any mat leave - boo hoo no money for me! ;) - but I haven't been working for an employer so I don't qualify. But I ams sooo grateful for all my fellow Canadian sisters who do have the legal right to stay home with their babies for one year.

    As for the doctor thing - you said it girl!!!

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  17. Have you written about the peanut allergy (or could you if you haven't)? My son was recently diagnosed and we're trying to figure things out, like how to live life with an Epi pen and such.

    Thanks!

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  18. I haven't written much about food allergies here, but will work on a post soon!

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  19. I saw that one too (well I taped it and watched it last night). I really don't know why it has to be us against them either. Every Mom and Dad have to make the best decision for their family and then they have to live with that decision - and being open to change doesn't hurt either!

    I love staying home, we always thought I would and I wouldn't give it up for anything - not even on those really overwhelming days!! When that one lady on Oprah said "I'd sell my house so I could continue staying home" I was like - that's what we are essentially doing!!!

    I agree with Robin that I wanted to cry when that one lady said "anyone can read your child a book" comment too. It is infact a true statement since anyone can indeed do that but does every one else take the time to let him point out the little things - no ones reads like Mommy (or Daddy).

    I feel the most important thing is to make your decision and then not feel any guilt about it because if it's the right decision for you it will be a comfortable one!!!

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  20. I always wanted to be a SAHM. I love it! I never wanted to pay someone else to raise my children. Financially it hasn't always been easy. We are REALLY tight on money, so a second income would be really beneficial, but I would rather live tight and be with my kids than have more money.

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  21. I've always planned on being a stay at home mom, but I find it a little lonely, so in a few months I'll be looking for part-time work. I think whatever works for moms everywhere, no need for there to be a huge division between stay at home and working moms!

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  22. I am a working mom, not by choice. I am a single mom. I was married, and realized that it was not a healthy place to be, and got out. My ex has no contact with my little one, which is GOOD (trust me), so I don't have to worry about sharing my time with him. Anyway, I would LOVE to be a SAHM, and sometimes I get to be. I am a teacher, and although we don't get paid well, I wouldn't change it. I teach at a year round school, I have 3 week breaks in Sept, Dec, and a 2 wk. break in Mar, a 1 week break in April, and a 4 week break in June. So, for a mommy who would like to stay home and can't, I've not got it so bad. I say we all stick together!

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  23. PS- I SO want to move my butt to Canada if I ever have another baby! That is great!!!!

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  24. I worked with Madison from 6 months until she turned 8. When I got pregnant with Miller we decided we would stay home...(ME) that is. I was home with her while I was pregnant preparing her and spending every minute with her....She had us all to herself for 9 years.....and then boom...Miller came..so I wanted that bond with her and that attention. Now I wouldnt change a thing. I will probably never go back. Maybe when they leave the house maybe do something I have always wanted to do...open a B&B which they can come to anytime and chill with ole mom....Stephanie...we are doing what God wants us too.

    By the way....I only have 1-2 friends who stay home the rest work full time and none o them understand...this is hard....but I do have other intrests with them.

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  25. Kuddos on the great post. I agree with everything you said. I have always stayed home and have loved every minute of it. I wanted to stay home since I was little. MY mom is a teacher and she never got to come to school or bring me stuff (Not that that is all a SAHM does) but I just knew that I wanted more for my kids. I cherish this time with my kids. I however do not for one minute fault ANY mom for choosing or having to work. Sometimes it isn't a choice. Sometimes it is a necessary thing. We all need to support each other and celebrate out differences. God made us ALL.

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  26. Your post was lovely. I was fine until I started reading all the comments here. Made me emotional all over again that I work away from home. I've always wanted to be a homemaker... we waited a long time to have kids mainly because we wanted to be able to afford for me to raise them, not someone else! But it got to the point where I couldn't wait until I was like 40 to start my family! So we took the plunge and I have zero choice about working outside of the home. There are many big and convenient things that I am willing to give up so I could quit my job, but the hubby is not on board. It saddens me daily.

    I love your blog because you are a seasoned mother. (Not to say you are old by any means.) You've learned some stuff the hard way and I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts with all of us on the whole trusting-western-medicine thing. Your perspective helps me very much!

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  27. YES - I heard your screams of delight loud and clear - THANKS! :)

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  28. I've been lurking for quite awhile, but this post is finally bringing me out...

    I have a ~17mo old little girl and I work 3 days a week away from the home. She goes to a day care center on those days, as we live 1000 miles from our families.

    I had a 6 month maternity leave and, initally, wasn't planning on going back to work. But after A LOT of prayer, discussion and thought, chose to return to work on a part-time schedule.

    It has been the best decision for our little family, at least for now. I whole-heartedly believe that a happy mom makes for a happy home (although you have to balance that out with the well-being of the entire family).

    It's also been reassuring that my sweet girl seems to really like her day care. When I pick her up she runs to me with a big smile, gives me a hug, and then runs back to playing. I have to bribe her with a promise for a drink at the water fountain in order to get her out of the classroom. If I ever had any concerns about her happiness at the center, I'd re-evaluate the situation.

    I hate hearing about the "Mommy Wars" and seeing all the bickering. The majority of us moms are just trying to do the right thing for our families. It is hard enought without having to constantly justify your choices. I think all moms are working moms and that all moms are full-time moms. You don't quit being a mom when you walk into the office anymore than you quit being a wife when you are away from your husband.

    Anyway - I thoroughly enjoy your blog and check in daily. I promise to comment again!

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  29. Love this post! The "I trust my doctor" gets me too! Well I usually here "my doctor said..." not even so much "I really trust my doctors opinion." If you do, great, but I feel most often it's just people not thinking they could/should question their opinions. Or "well he had an ear infection so he HAD to go on anti-biotics" or "he had a fever so he HAD to have Tylenol." Now I'm not saying there is never a good reason, it just isn't questioned enough I feel.

    Having Cricket really made me question Dr.s thanks to my instinct.
    "Hey doc, his poop doesn't look right"
    "Oh it's fine"
    "Hey doc, his poop looks pretty green"
    "It's fine"
    "Hey doc, there is blood in his poop"
    "oh, hmmm, maybe it's not fine." Yeah, ya think?
    It never felt right to me and I kept getting blown off and if I questioned them more as soon as something seemed off, it probably wouldn't have gotten to that point. Grrrr. But I'm over it, can't you tell :) Now I hardly share any info w/my doctors and don't even worry about calling or taking him in like I probably would have in a previous life. If he seems sick, then he's sick and we deal. What's the doctor gonna tell me? Load him up on crap he doesn't really need? With all that said my doctor isn't pushy about things, when he had his 1 ear infection he did give me an Rx but I called him when I got home and said "does he really need this?" and he said we could wait it out. Of course I thought, then why the heck did you prescribe it! I was still a newbie then :)

    And about SAHM'ing - I always wanted to stay home, the thought of going back to work used to make my stomach turn when I was pregnant, but that was the plan. I was hoping to get something PT or work from home PT but in my field it most likely wouldn't happen. Then I was literally sick w/the thought of having to leave Cricket after he was born and my husband really felt then that I should be home and we moved some $ around, made sacrafices, lifestyle changes, etc to make it happen. I didn't plan on having UBR but had the desire when Cricket was about 9 or 10 months old so the extra $ is a bonus. Well it all goes back into the store/debt still but eventually I think it'll help! ;) And w/homeschooling in our future, I don't see working out of the house happening any time soon! Phew!

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