Perhaps you are familiar with the term, "Quality vs Quantity".
Often it is associated with parenting in terms of which is more important, the time you are with your child (quantity) or the attention given during the time you are with your child (quality).
In therapy I struggled with guilt over being a working mother. I was worried I wasn't there enough for my children. My therapist reminded me that quality was more important, that I should concentrate on being intentional with my kids when we were together. I was told it was necessary to cut out distractions and other outside influences that might interrupt us because our time was precious. In the long run my kids would remember and cherish those memories over the day to day routine.
It makes sense and I'm sure it's true. Unfortunately for me, every time I tried to do that, I failed. Miserably. I was always exhausted after work and it was easier to chill out with Muppets episodes than have conversations. Now granted, that time was important too because my kids and I have fond memories of popcorn and The Muppets. In terms of undivided attention however, I was still reeling from my boss yelling at me for the third time that day.
Two years ago I returned to my SAHM status. The guilt pendulum then swung back. At times, I would mumble my 'title' with embarrassment because my kids were in school full time. By today's standards I probably should be back at work like the good Feminist I try to be. Sure, I write articles, defend women's rights, blog for some different parenting publications, take classes to complete a personal goal and do a little urban homesteading but it still nags me when questioned what it is I actually do with all my free time. My free time generally falls between midnight and 4:30 am so I guess my answer would be sleep.
Last week the kids and I were on a secret mission for slurpees at 7-11 because that's how we roll. Anyway, I posed the question of quality vs quantity. Surprisingly, both of them decided they preferred quantity. My kids told me they like the fact that I 'work from home' because they feel
spoiled supported knowing a parent is at their beck and call home and available.
For now, this will work. What works for some isn't the right decision for others. What's important however, is that we support each other. We are all striving for the same thing here, equal wages for women. Oh, and healthy kids of course.
In the meantime I'm getting ready to pop some corn while the kids cue up some Muppets episodes.