Socially, we are conflicted on how we feel about working moms vs. stay–at-home moms. In an online blog survey, when asked who has it harder, 39% polled believed that the answer is working mothers while 26% reported that all parenting is difficult, and 18% said it depends on the circumstance. “We live in a society that sends us mixed messages-extolling the virtues of the stay at home mom, yet denigrating her lack of career achievement,” says Reiter. This leads mothers to doubt their choices-whether that choice is to stay at home or work. This is why Reiter believes that being part-time working mothers allows them to have the best of both worlds-investment in a career, yet still affording them the flexibility to spend meaningful time with their children. Whether a woman chooses to stay at home or work it is imperative, as Reiter claims, that, “she feel supported in those decisions and comfortable that it can still yield a happy and positive outcome for their families”.
Personally, as someone who has delved into both options, I can honestly say that I didn’t find one to be easier or more rewarding than the other. I think we all are just trying to be good “Yiddishe Mamas” in a modern, fast-paced world. Those who work feel the financial pressure to contribute and often feel conflicted when at home and at the office, while those who are at home all day can feel overwhelmed and isolated. The main take away point from this study is that we mothers have to take care of ourselves if we want to take care of our families. If it takes a village to raise a child, then shouldn’t it take at least for us, as women, to be plugged into our own mental health in order to take care of ourselves?