March is Women’s History Month, and March 8 is International Women’s Day. In honor of that, if you are a stay-at-home mom and you are going through a divorce, I want you to know this: You are adding incredible value to your family members’ lives. Without knowing that there was a caregiver at home nurturing their children, your spouse would never have been able to go out there and work, hunt, and build in the way they did. While your spouse was working, you were at home, taking care of the most important things in their life. All too often, women make the mistake of undervaluing that contribution.
Growing up, my mom was not my caretaker. My dad was. And while my mom never played with Barbies or dolls with me, I saw what she was doing. I attribute 100% of my work ethic to my mom. And I’ve seen that working moms also question their value.
Stay-at-home and working moms tend to question themselves. While stay-at-home moms might question the value of their contributions, working moms deal with the pressures of work and ask themselves, Am I doing too much or too little at home? Am I being too masculine or too feminine? Am I balancing the emotional needs at home and the professional demands at work? Working women have to constantly find that line.
Whether you work or stay at home, chances are high that if you’re a woman, you’re going to look back and ask yourself if you made the right choice. It is especially easy to undermine your contribution to your family if you’re going through a divorce.
For Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, I hope we can all find a way to slow down and recognize the many different ways to be a woman, and a mother, and to do it well. It’s easy to forget that regardless of whether you work or stay home, you’re adding value, and you’re doing it in the way that works for you.