My sister is critical of my decision to work instead of stay home with my two young children. My husband doesn’t make as much money as hers, so if we want any extras I have to work, plus I enjoy my job and don’t think I have the patience to be at home all day with little ones. Why do we have to always fight over this?
This can be a hot topic among women, with both factions from both sides of the issue digging their stilettos in and holding fast. The beauty of this dilemma is that women today have choices. I have talked with older women who wanted to work when their children were young but felt that the social mores of the day frowned upon married women with children working out of the home. They stayed home with their children but felt unfulfilled. Today, both women and men can choose to parent from home fulltime. As more professional women enter the workforce men have become the primary caretakers. I have a number of women friends who are Doctors and none of us think any less of their husbands who manage the children and household full time. My one Doctor friend just had a baby and her full-time stay-at-home husband brings the baby to mom’s lunch hour to breastfeed. How cool is that?!
We can’t talk about this subject without thinking of all the single moms and dads who are raising kids without a partner to help. They don’t have a choice. They have to work. It’s tough. When you do have a choice of what to do, there are pros and cons to both working and staying at home. See if you can get your sister to call a truce on this topic. See if she won’t agree to disagree on this matter. If her criticism is hurtful to you, talk to her about how it makes you feel. My bet is that this isn’t the only subject she is critical about. If she’s just a sort of judgmental person, the other thing you can do is learn how to not let her comments affect you. Find a way to agree with something from her viewpoint. That will throw her off guard because maybe all she’s really looking for is a way to justify her own decision to stay at home. Keep your focus on being a good mom to your kids, whether you work outside the home or not. Hold your head high with your personal decision.
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How can you get totally comfortable with your own decision to work, or not, outside the home?
What can you do to diffuse the tension created by your sister’s criticism of your decision to work?
What strategy can you devise to walk away or put a stop to this “fight”?