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Here's the Right Answer To the Working Mom Vs. Stay-At-Home-Mom Debate

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Photograph by Twenty20

Ever since I became a mom, I've been bombarded with messages about what kind of mom I should be. Apparently people—especially strangers—have strong opinions about moms and how they should spend their time. It seems like everyone gets a little judge-y about whether moms work or not... but why?!

Why couldn’t people just mind their own business? Does this topic really warrant a Facebook comments debate? Can’t we just trust women to make their own decisions about their own families?

My mom worked outside of the home as an architect. She's always loved working and trusted my sister and I to the care of a nanny until we began school. When I started school, I was the kid who had to stay until 5 or 6 in the evening when one of my parents could pick me up on their way home from work. And despite what all the working mom haters might be thinking, this honestly didn’t bother me. At all.

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Even though my mom worked full-time she took advantage of the time we had together. She made sure I kept up with my homework and came to my band and drama performances throughout the years. And you know what? I’m glad my mom chose to be a working mom over a stay-at-home mom. I believe she would've been unhappy if she had done otherwise. I saw her thrive in the workplace and this made her a better and more attentive mom when she was with us.

We're all so different but there's one thing that all of these women have in common: They are amazing mothers who love their children.

Unlike my mom, when my son was born I decided to become a stay-at-home mom. My husband and I decided this would be the best thing for our family. Emphasis on the word "our."

We worked on our budget and adjusted our spending to make it possible. I now work from home as a freelance writer and, in many ways, I have the best of both worlds. (But don't be fooled, being a parent who works from home is not for the faint of heart.)

Looking around at my own community, I see the wide spectrum of working and non-working parents. I have mom friends who work full-time with busy schedules. I have mom friends who work from home part-time. I have mom friends who are business owners. I have mom friends who homeschool their children. I have mom friends who work night schedules and stay home with their children during the day.

We're all so different but there's one thing that all of these women have in common: They are amazing mothers who love their children.

RELATED: Is Being "Just a Mom" Enough?

So I don’t care what any study says. I don’t care what your almighty opinion is. It doesn’t matter if you're a working mom or a stay-at-home mom or something in between. The only thing that matters is the effort you put into being a parent.

Only you know what’s best for you and your child. End of story.

So let’s all agree that everyone should just mind their own business. This isn’t a debate worth having because, ultimately, there's no right or wrong answer. This isn't a one-size-fits-all situation. Everyone's just doing their best to be loving mothers and everyone else needs to let this argument go and support mothers—and their choices—instead.

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