It is so sad that many moms who work outside the home feel guilty for not being around their kids, whereas stay-at-home moms often feel inadequate for not getting a paycheck. Both groups often can’t relate so well to each other and sometimes actually worsen the problem by intentionally or unintentionally putting the other down. They should all feel awesome and empowered for what they do.
I know I do not tell Karen often enough how important her job as a stay-at-home mom is. I have told her a number of times in the past but need to convey it more. When the kids were little, it was quite easy to see that the “income” she earned was the amount we did not spend on day-care. Of course, now that the kids are older are can be left alone at home if need be, it may be harder for her to see how important she continues to be. It’s not like she has tons of free time. At any rate, she contributes so much to the health and well-being of our family.
The mental aspect of “justifying” what we do — for women and for men — can be very difficult. All we can do is try to be there for each other but also surround ourselves with supportive friends. I think this is another extremely important aspect of the whole theme of the high value I place on friendships.