Eight months ago, a job offer materialized for me that I had never planned or imagined. If I chose to take the position, I’d be leaving behind my life as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of three boys and joining the segment of mothers who work outside the home full time. I agonized over the decision, but in the end my family and I decided this was a calling and opportunity from God that I could not ignore.
So within a few short weeks of the job offer, my life took a 180-degree turn as my kids walked into their respective public schools for the first time, and I started each weekday morning taking showers, putting on makeup, and actually caring about my clothing—things I’d never done on a daily basis in my 12-plus previous years of motherhood.
What Drives Mommy Wars?
Along with these shifts came a number of unexpected and surprising consequences. I was overwhelmed by a newfound and deeper appreciation both for my previous life as a stay-at-home mom and for my fellow work-outside-the-home moms. I’ve come to realize and recognize that whichever path you and your family choose, your life as a mother is complex and fraught with tension, challenges, and sacrifices, just as much as it reflects moments of joy, beauty, and fulfillment. Whether you work outside the home, stay home with your children, or some combination of both, your path is both difficult and worth affirming and celebrating. None of us mothers are leading an easy, un-conflicted life.1