04/23/2014 02:08 pm ET Updated Jun 23, 2014

What Makes a Good Mother?

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The role of women has gone through many changes throughout the years.

In the 1920s, women stayed home and took care of their children -- while fighting for the right to vote.

In the 1940s, women were forced into the workplace, leaving their children in the care of grandmothers, aunts and female neighbors.

In the 1950s, women came back into the home with a new sense of pride and accomplishment and with their main focus on raising their children. It was in this decade that I was introduced to the world. I loved the fact that when I got home from school, my mom was there to help me with my homework, take me shopping and listen to my worries about, well, just about everything.

It didn't dawn on me for one second that her "stay-at-home" behavior was a bad influence on who I was going to become, that she was showing me how to be dependent on a man rather than a take-charge woman.

Because every minute of every day, I saw her taking charge of our family life. She was the CEO, the nutritionist, the event planner, the therapist, the traffic controller, all in one.

What I did think was absurd was that she merely put a Mrs. in front of my father's name -- that I didn't understand at all.

But then, that too, changed.

In the '60s, women burned their bras, showed their dissatisfaction with being "housewives" and became Ms. Jones during the day. But still, once they stepped out of their heels and over the threshold into their homes, they were "mommy" for the rest of the night.

And so it went through the decades. Work doesn't replace motherhood -- nor should it.

No matter how many jobs women hold, how much money we make, how far up the corporate ladder we climb, there is one thing that doesn't change and that is this: Only the female sex can give birth.

And with giving birth comes that maternal instinct (or so it should) to take care of one's child.

I wanted desperately to be a SAHM, but I also wanted my daughter and stepson to eat, have shoes on their feet and have nice teeth.

My husband was starting a business and thus, we needed two incomes to survive (as is the case with most families today).

I wasn't going to work to show my children that I was this feminist woman who wanted to have it all. In fact, I was quite tired every night after working eight hours, using my lunch hour to run errands, cooking dinner, doing the dishes, getting the baths ready, doing laundry, reading books and writing books.

In fact, right now I'm asking myself: How did I survive?

To this day, I still envy my friends who didn't have to work. But we do what we have to do. Because in the end, it's not working moms versus those who stay at home. It's all about being a mom who cares.