valerie garrison

Oh the Sacrifices!

This is the first of a blog series on the sacrifices women make to balance life and careers.

Because as women we are constantly making sacrifices—whether we are seeking success in our careers or staying home and putting our professional ambitions on hold, sacrifice is inevitable.

If we pursue a career then we sacrifice time in three ways; time with our children, time developing nurturing friendships, and time to ourselves.

If we decide to stay at home then we sacrifice our career ambitions, a sense of worth beyond the cooking and cleaning and changing diapers, and time to ourselves.

My mentor, John C. Maxwell, has taught me about The Law of Sacrifices; there is no success without sacrifice. In fact, the more responsibility we have, the more rights we lose. In his best-selling book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John states that life is a series of trades, even going so far as to quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else. And for everything you gain, you lose something else.”

Today’s topic: Children.

This may sound strange but both stay-at-home moms and career moms struggle with getting enough quality time with their children.

If we’re working we feel guilty about not being home. If we are home we’re juggling the responsibilities of running our home and meeting the ideals of what society expects of a stay at home mom: a perfectly manicured and clean home, cooking meals that exceed the standards of elite culinary schools. And, of course, the idea that we have so much time to workout and look perfect—since we don’t work.

Underneath it all, we worry that working women judge us for not being ambitious.

First- and most importantly- LET GO OF THE GUILT. We are feeling way too much guilt on this topic.

Make the decision to work or to stay at home, and don’t look back. Find your jam and enjoy it. This will eliminate a ton of heartache and guilt.

I’ve figured out a way to do a little bit of both; be a stay-at-home mom and launch a business. It works for me.

There are still sacrifices that come with it.

The toughest sacrifice I make is quality time with my daughter. As I begin to focus more time on growing my new business, I start to feel selfish and worry if I am working too much or too soon before she goes to school.

So I carve out some one-on-one time during the day. Because I’m with her all day it’s easy to take that for granted. Not to mention being engaged all day is exhausting.

While the stay-at-home moms believe the working moms judge them for not being ambitious, the working moms believe the stay-at-home moms judge them for being selfish.

When I went back to work full time after maternity leave, I experienced a lot of hurt. I was fighting my feelings and thoughts about mommy hood because I wouldn’t give it a chance. My job was familiar, it was what I knew. I was working because I loved it and it gave me joy to serve and help others. But I couldn’t bear not being with my daughter. After taking some time to figure it out, I decided staying at home was best.

Everyone’s circumstances are different. And I’m blessed to have a husband who can support us while I stay at home.

But career women sacrifice just as much as stay-at-home moms. The main struggle is creating a balance of work and life. Are you making quality time with your family and special time with the kids? The benefit is you don’t see them all day so when you do, it’s special. You really miss them.

While it is in our DNA as women to nurture and put others needs before our own, I believe it’s okay to have personal ambitions outside of raising children. So if you want to stay-at-home and raise your children, you’ll figure out a way to make it work. If you want to work on your career and balance that with your home life, you’ll find a way to make it work.

Every woman has to determine what is best for them. We shouldn’t shame each other about what they do with their life. Women shaming other women for making choices to work or stay home is never right. I have this belief that the women doing the shaming have deeper issues on the topic than they’re admitting, and shaming others makes them feel better. But that’s a whole other topic.

Instead, let’s start supporting each other instead of judging each other.

I have happy to say that I am finally at peace with putting mommy hood in front of my career. Right now I work my career dreams into the nooks and crannies of my life as a mom and I LOVE IT! I do believe you can have it all and I am living it right now.

Thankfully I have a husband who supports that dream too. What most people don’t know is that my husband, a surgeon, is eighteen years older than me. Right now he’s providing for our family so I can stay home with Averie. I could have still gone back to my old job, but we’re fine on my husband’s salary alone. I don’t need to work out of financial necessity. In ten years, however, Jim will be retiring. At that point I’ll only be forty-eight and still want to work. I am laying the foundation now for my family’s future. Right now I will sacrifice my career to be a stay at home mom, and as time goes by, I know that will change.

So to sum it up…

Choose which path you will take, enjoy it, and let go of the guilt.

At the end of the day, we are all just trying to be the best mom we can be to our children.

More importantly, let’s all be compassionate towards each other on this topic. Whether we are staying home, or full-time working moms—WE ARE ALL MAKING SACRIFICES.

I hope this has been helpful for you. Please comment any great takeaways or questions you may have. Do you want receive this weekly blog in your inbox? Head over to my website and sign up at:

Are you ready to personally and professionally grow, achieve financial freedom, and live your dream life? It would be my pleasure to serve you through a complimentary coaching consultation. Send me an email at or sign up on my website:

My name is Valerie Garrison and I’m a Sales and Leadership Coach and Trainer. I help clients improve their mindset in sales, business, and leadership through one on one coaching and training, so that they can achieve financial freedom, and receive their dream life.

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