Disclosure: I recently had the opportunity to partner with The Motherhood and Northwood Realty Services to discuss some of the dynamics of balancing work and motherhood. Although I was compensated for attending the event and writing this post, all opinions are strictly my own. #NorthwoodForMoms

As any mother knows, raising kids takes a lot of time and a lot of energy. This inevitably leads to a lot of “mommy guilt.” We feel bad that we can’t be everywhere, do everything, and be the best at, well, all things. 

11110997_10153034539059006_7616879106739913873_oWe as moms feel that we have to be super-human. There is no one who puts more pressure on us than ourselves. Many women feel that when it comes to raising kids, that in order to be the kind of mom that can be there for their children’s school activities, sporting events, or anything else that may arise that they need to be a stay at home mom. However, being a stay at home mom comes with its own set of challenges.

When I left my corporate job, I went through a phase where I felt lost. Of course, I was happy to be able to be home raising my son, but at times I also felt as if I was losing my own sense of identity. I had gone to college and graduate school, yet here I was spending the day changing diapers, doing laundry, and taking care of the house. I often found myself asking “Is this is?”

On the other hand, I knew working moms who were facing another kind of dilemma. After finishing their maternity leave, they were having to go back to work and leave their child in daycare or with a sitter. Many of them felt as if they were somehow failing their children by not being around, especially when they missed major milestones such as first words or first steps. 

Whatever parenting route you choose, it always seems as if it isn’t good enough. Not good enough for ourselves at least.

NorthwoodMomsEventRecently, I had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by Northwood Realty Services. It was sort of a meeting of the minds, if you will. Not only were Northwood Moms in attendance, but also Pittsburgh-area bloggers and The Motherhood. 

Having it all was a common theme that was discussed at the event. We talked about how often women are made to feel that they have to choose.

Want to be successful? Then you need to give up seeing your son’s ballgame or daughter’s dance recital. Want to stay at home with your kids? Then lose your sense of identity until your kids are older and you can hope to break back into the workforce.

The truth is, it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing.

moms21Many of the Northwood Moms discussed how they were able to find a middle ground between working and motherhood. This allowed them to not only be there for their children, but to also have a successful career. Of course, there are still sacrifices, but sacrifice is inevitable no matter which path you choose. It all depends on how large of a sacrifice you are willing to make.

Whether it be choosing a career in realty and taking your kids with you to open houses and showings; staying at home and finding an outlet which helps you to retain your sense of identity (as I did with this blog); or working full-time and making the most of the quality time with your children — there is no right or wrong answer. Your success is what you make of it.

The most important part of this success, though, is a support system. This is why we as moms need to stop criticizing what other moms do (or do not do) and instead ask what we can be doing to help out. This road of motherhood is hard and we can’t do it alone. We all need a hand every now and again, and lets look no further than our fellow moms! 

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