tugboat yarning

The Great Debate

The Great Debate

I am writing this post looking for your feedback.  I’m curious, very curious.  And I’m not just looking for feedback from mothers-to-be, or just women for that matter.  Instead, I’d like everyone’s input on this one, because I believe this topic can be discussed through generations, as well as across genders.  Now, I’m not referring to the actual Great Debate, but this can be a universal topic to discuss – sorry, couldn’t resist the pun.  What I’m instead bringing to the discussion board is staying home with your children, going back to work, or finding something in between…

Naptime

I resigned from my job a short time ago.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED my job.  I worked for Language Services Associates (LSA), which is a language service provider – connecting you with translators or interpreters for a variety of projects and needs.  I specifically found independently contracted interpreters to match them with different clients’ needs like hospitals, courts, insurance companies, government agencies,… services that English speakers use every day and the use of interpreters helps Limited English Speakers access as well.  It was awesome.  I should also clarify that I do not interpret.  When I’ve explained what I do in the past, some people have made the assumption that I am an actual interpreter, but this is not the case.  I speak Spanish fluently (though I’ll admit I’ve lost a bit over the years), but am not an interpreter.  I’ll leave that difficult task to the professionals!  In my four years working for LSA, I had so many opportunities to grow and experience new things.

2008 Holiday Party
(Me – yes, I am a brunette!, Sarahlyn, Stephanie & Lynn)

2009 DVTA Conference – Philadelphia, PA
(Patricia, Patty, Latifa, Irma, Stephanie & Me)

2009 New York City ATA Conference
(Vickie, Patty & Me)


2010 Holiday Party
(Me, Patty; Lynn, Stephanie & Noël)

2010 London Trip/Conference
(Stephanie & Dan)
2010 London Trip/Conference
(Stephanie & Me)

2010 Denver, CO ATA Conference
(Armando & Me)

2011 Holiday Party
(Noël, Nicole & Me)

I also worked with some very great people (as you can see in some of the photos above).  People that went on ski trip weekends, stayed out late dancing, laughed at my Castilian Spanish accent, gave me advice, guided me, and some who became my very close friends and confidants.  I learned so much about different cultures, countries, and each new project made me realize how big the world is, and how language and communication are so important.  

That being said, my priorities have shifted a bit these days.  Had I told myself five years ago that I would be staying home full-time to raise my son, I would have been shocked.  I was a career woman with goals and dreams and ambition.  Staying home would mean I had given up.

And yet, now that I hold my little guy in my arms, that is not what staying home means.  For me, staying home is seeing my son grow and learn and being a pivotal part of his development; pouring into him everything I can so that he can learn from my mistakes and experiences; speaking Spanish with him so he might breeze through Spanish class like a native speaker; meeting up with other moms and their children so that he can learn from the wisdom of other mothers and make friends… What does the future hold for me?  Once he (and maybe a sibling or two) get going to school, I might go back to the business world.  Or maybe I won’t.  Having children is a brand new experience for me, so only time will tell.  All I know is that in this moment, staying home feels right.

Tummy Time with Mommy

This is not to say that parents that go back to work aren’t doing great things for their children.  Every parent determines how they balance work, children, and life in general.  In our situation, Brad and I decided that he would work full-time, I would stay home full-time, and that’s what works for us.

Here is where I want to know your feedback.  Are you a stay-at-home mom/dad?  Did you go back to work after having a child?  Are you single or married without children?  Have your children grown and moved out of the house?  Whatever your experience may be, tell me what your opinions are on the debate between staying home or going back to work (or maybe working part-time).  If you are of a different generation, what was it like when you were having children?  What was the expectation of men and women?

This was a great debate for me.  There is still a part of me that worries that I’m not cut out to be the Super Mom that I expect of myself.  And yet, another part of me knows I have other friends that stay at home, and there is an entire community of parents who stay home that I can lean on for support.  This is a new adventure that has been both challenging and exciting.  I see other moms (and dads) that stay home and it is very inspirational.  God has greatly blessed us for it to be possible for me to stay home full-time, and I am enjoying this new chapter in my life.  Not to say it doesn’t get frustrating and I think about calling out sick some days, but that happened with my working life, too.

So what are your thoughts?  Please leave comments below!

~M

4 thoughts on “The Great Debate

  1. Kristina

    I think being a SAHM/D is so varied. Some woman can’t stay home, they have to work with or with out children. Its their nature. Other women crave being able to stay at home with their children and being able to raise them with out the help of others (child care providers). I had to go back to work after having Eli. And I didn’t like it at all. I wanted to be the one taking care of my baby, not missing out on major milestones that (IMO) some working moms do. I was lucky enough to have family watching E so that I didn’t have to worry to much about him getting the love and care that I wanted but it still sucked having to bring him to the sitters and leave him for the day. After Having Zeke it was mine and Davids mission to get me to stay home. even if it meant having only money for bills and groceries, nothing else which was what it was looking like would happen when I quit my job. However 2 hours later he was offered a way better job with way better pay at a different place. Having to opportunity to stay at home with the boys and raise them in our home, our way, with our love is the best thing we can give them. For others, that is not the case. I look at my sister who would go nuts if she didn’t have an out every couple of days so working part time is what works for her and her family. Long term wise what does this mean for us? Everything! I want to be able to help in my childrens class’s, go on field trips, catch up on sleep 🙂 and more. If I were to go back to work I would miss out on those chances. I want to be a pivotal part of my boys (and maybe eventually girls) upbringing and staying home with them is how that is happening for us.

  2. MG

    Not sure I have anything to share on that matter but will totally miss working with you. However, I’m SO glad LSA brought you into my life!

  3. Lindsy

    I was like you before having kids. I was on the career-track and couldn’t imagine myself staying home. However, when Jude was born, pretty much over-night how I valued my family and my priorities completely changed. So when Jude was 6 months old I quit working completely. I miss the people (I loved my job), but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    God really placed on my heart what a tremendous privilege and responsibility it is to raise my children, and I wouldn’t feel right not spending every day with them. I seek to be very intentional with my time with him (and soon to be G2) – filling his world with things that are uplifting, good, encouraging, wholesome, etc. And I’m even entertaining the idea of homeschool in the early years (i know – crazy… and that’s a whole new topic). All that to say – being a mother is a real JOB and THE MOST IMPORTANT job in my opinion and I take it very seriously! 🙂

    P.S. YOU ARE super-mom. But nobody ever feels like it. 🙂 I do think it is really important to still create a community for yourself and make sure that you yourself are getting filled. By other moms and people who are going through the same point in life. I don’t know what I’d do without my friends (you included!!)

  4. Heidi

    I’ve put some thought into this topic myself, although I’m married but have no children. My mom always worked and I always wished that she could have been more present in our lives (field trips, school parties, etc). On the other hand I’ve also seen moms who have gone a bit “stir-crazy” at home with their kids. My sister-in-law lives in the same building we do, and I’ve learned from her example as well. After her first child was born she cut down to part-time, however when the second child came around she quickly learned that it would be REALLY difficult to work at all have take care of the 2 little ones. So now she stays home. I think that’s a good compromise. Plus, I think if I were to work a little bit with the first child that we could perhaps be more financially prepared for me to stay home with the second. Plus, I was a INSANELY-shy child and I’m nervous that my children may have my temperment. So I would like to introduce them to alot of opportunities to be with other kids when they are very young. So you can think of a babysitter as a means to grow and develop social skills!

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