There are plenty of think pieces and lengthy articles that outline just how difficult it is being a working mother. Whether they have jobs out of preference or out of necessity, working mothers are bombarded with questions and judgements, consistently at the mercy of other people's fictitious assumptions or different parenting choices. Honestly, moms get heaped with judgment and unfair assumptions no matter what they do: If you're a stay-at-home mom, you're lazy; If you are a working mom, you're a cold, neglectful, and selfish beast-woman who will raise terrible children. There's no winning when it comes to stereotypes cast upon mothers, which is — unfortunately — something we're used to dealing with. But when it comes to our professional choices, things can get especially heated.
And for working mothers, like myself, it is easy to get defensive. It's easy to completely shut down and turn the volume knob off and be so steadfast in our decision to work and parent simultaneously that we overlook opportunities to be completely honest with ourselves and our situations. (No? Just me? Well, OK then.) I spend way too much of my time defending my choice or fending off the guilt associated with it, that I completely overlook the actual pros and cons of being a working mother. And like anything else in life, it is important to take a step back every once in a while and evaluate not only the choices we make, but the consequences of those choices.
Because when it comes to being a working mother, I lose as much as I gain, and I gain as much as I lose.