Here is my knee jerk reaction to the whole working mom vs. stay at home mom heap of garbage debate that seems to have taken on a life of its own the last few days in the blogosphere: I think we’re a little jealous of each other.
Here are some facts as I see them.
- Being a stay at home mom is not a waste of an education, waste of talent nor is one a waste of space. Staying home with your kids fulfills needs: emotional, physiological, practical and yes, even financial (ie daycare can cost a fortune). The talent and education will always be there when the time comes to go “back” to work. (This is directed at Catherine Connors’ Facebook “friend” who was snarky enough (and misguided enough) to take on @herbadmother, who can open up the most eloquent can of whoop ass I’ve seen.) Catherine compiled many of the Mommy War blog posts here.
- Being a stay at home mom is really awesome, except when it’s not. It totally rocks in the summer and during school holidays but can be exhausting and boring a lot of the rest of the time. The downside is people think because you don’t work outside the home you have nothing but time.
- Working outside the home can be wonderfully fulfilling except when its not. It can be just as exhausting and boring as stay at home motherhood and you have to commute.
Do we need a reminder of what it’s like to stay at home and “do nothing”? No? Well here it is anyway.
I get up with my husband at 6 am. I make breakfast for 4 people, pack lunches then threaten and cajole unwilling, unhelpful and downright lazy little people into eating, dressing and hygienic maintenance. I take time to eat and read the paper because otherwise I feel totally disconnected from the world. Odd that someone involved in digital media needs a piece of paper but that’s something I’ll leave to others to debate. I try to squeeze in a shower and put on makeup so I don’t scare people.
In the morning I drive my daughter to school, come home, clean all that breakfast shit up, then I do some or all of: laundry, make sure the house doesn’t look like a flophouse, pay bills, make phone calls regarding insurance, registration, kids activities, doctors appointments, chase down workmen who don’t answer phones or return calls. It’s eff-ing tedious.
In the afternoons my son either has preschool or lessons so after making lunch for him, we’re off again. After that I run errands, including but not limited to going to the bank, the hardware store, the grocery store etc. I may or may not work out. 3 pm is time to get my daughter, take her to after-school lessons, come home and get snacks for my kids plus any multitude of neighborhood kids that straggle in, clean up yet again, and start making dinner.
Then, wait for it! I clean up some more! Although truthfully, sometimes my husband does this but most of the time he plays with his children. Feminists feeling uppity about that last statement can just stuff it; Hubby gets to not do the housework so he can play with his kids when he comes home. He deserves the break and they need the daddy time.
Scattered in throughout the day, I also read stories, give baths, kiss boo boos, bake, sometimes find time to do crafts and indulge in my hobbies, explain how the moon revolves around the earth, why boys don’t have vaginas and hug children to death.
By 8 pm, when the kids go to bed, I am done. D-O-N-E. DONE!
That is the life of a Stay at Home Mom. But I fall into a third category, the Work At Home Mom (WAHM). So in the mix of all that running around, cooking cleaning and calling? Guess what else I do?
I source content, update websites, do database maintenance, confer with web developers and decipher business accounting.
I write blogs. I answer emails. I catch up on social media. I chase writers.
I have brain storming and planning sessions with my partner about what we are doing today, how we are going to handle clients, we have conference calls with web designers and harass our ad agency.
In short, I work a REAL job! Albeit one that I can do from home, but one that takes 4-10 hours a day, depending on how much time I can squeeze in.
I am A WAHM and I am tired of this debate!
It is hard for ALL of us. There is no badge, no award, no trophy for hardest working mom on earth. Because it’s NOT A CONTEST!
I do not work outside the home because that would add a whole other level of stress and complication to our family. I applaud those that do it and do it with grace; because it sucks to do everything I do but still commute and sit in an office for at least 8 hours of the day!
So women, for the love of all that is holy, stop passing loud and self satisfying judgments on other people’s decisions and lifestyles. Do we think the grass is greener on the other side? Well just remember what Erma Bombek said about the septic tank; she had it right!
But I will judge the stay at home mom that has a nanny. That’s just lazy. And yes I am jealous.