My best friend and I talk daily, usually multiple times a day. Our baby girls (my second child, her first) are only six weeks apart so we have a lot to compare and relate to. But there’s one major difference between the two of us: I stay at home with my kids and she chose to go back to work.
When I first heard that she was going back to work out of choice and not necessity, I thought to myself, “What did I do wrong, as a best friend, to show her that she doesn’t want the life of a stay-at-home mom?” And I’ll be honest; it took me a bit to figure it out.
Seeing as we’re best friends, and have been for years, we obviously have a lot of things in common. But the answer to my puzzlement comes down to one simple thing. We are different; different moms, different wives, different homemakers, and different women.
I am 100% satisfied with being a SAHM, I dreamt of this lifestyle my entire life and I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. To put it simply, I find fulfillment in being at home with my kids. My friend loves working. She feels that all areas of her life are improved because of the fulfillment she receives from her job. And while her ideal job would be fewer hours, she does a remarkable job of balancing every aspect of her life.
Ever since I came to this realization, I’ve been reminded how important it is to refrain from comparing myself to others! Neither of us are better moms because of our work status, neither of us love our kids more or less than the other, and neither of us should be compared to other moms. Period.
How we each compensate:
- I enjoy writing –putting words together to share, inspire, and record, which in return allows me to use a different part of my brain.
- I love reading –whether for pleasure or to expand my knowledge on subjects or people.
- Putting myself out into the world by expanding my interactions through my children has been a fantastic way to come out of my comfort zone. I’ve met several friends and gained a lot of confidence through play dates and picnics.
- She comes home for lunch every day to eat and spend a good chunk of time in the middle of the day with her babe.
- Her hours are such (6:30-3:30) that she has ample time with her kiddo, and in no way feels like she is missing out on her daughter's childhood.
- She is able to share the love she has for her baby with other people. By hiring a nanny, and involving others into her daughter’s daily schedule, she not only expands her baby’s experiences, but hers as well.
How our daily conversations go:
- Me: I haven’t talked to another adult all day long. Her: She deals with coworkers all day (good and bad).
- Me: I changed 4 poopy diapers before noon. Her: She had a big breakthrough at work.
- Me: I watched baby learn new tricks during the day. Her: She heard about baby's new tricks after work.
- Me: I had an exhausting day. Her: She had a stressful day.
- Me: I want a nanny… Her: She worries about the nanny.
- Me: I've been wearing the same clothes since yesterday morning. Her: She thinks her outfit looks weird today.
- Me: I need a break from my kids. Her: She misses her baby.
- Me: Friday can’t come fast enough! Her: Friday can’t come fast enough!
- Me: There’s not a single good thing to watch on TV while the kids sleep. Her: She can’t remember the last thing she watched.