I am in the middle of this stigma that has been around for many generations. My mother faced it, your mother faced it and so on… My generation is the one that can make it into a catty, tit for tat comparison fest that has the potential to break up friendships. Being more mature and wise, instead of arguing with my friend, I stated my opinions rose to the occasion with my laptop. I write about many pressing issues that moms face from how we mother’s can save a dollar, to dealing with agitating preteens , to what to wear on a date night. This is one topic that I live with everyday , sparked by a text from a girlfriend this morning that rose my temperature a tad bit. I am a part time stay at home mom. I explained in our text that I was “pooped” and was going to go back to bed . She replied, “You’d be even more drained if you worked 5 days a week.” Really? All I could do is sigh and text her back in my fashion, letting her know half the laundry list of things that I do that get me “drained” (on a daily) . Mind you this is a person I’ve known for 20 years , however when mom’s have ideals or comments on another mom’s “tired scale”, they go in blindly and just say things based on their own personal interpretations at the moment. Maybe she is feeling “drained” because she’s working a nine to five and needed an extra day off after Easter to relax? Maybe , it was just a damn reply… I am a different person now so I don’t get as defensive and try to look at the other person’s side before lashing out or feeling attacked. The debate of stay at home mother’s versus working ones is one that can and will go on and on forever. The typical perception that stay at home moms are lazy, just lay on the sofa watching television eating Bonbons or that they just shop, go to Starbucks and do household chores will yapping on the phone. (not true for all) , and on the flip side there’s the impression that working mother’s are overly absorbed in their careers that they have no time for housework, doing homework with the kids, or no time to attend that recital,doctor’s appointment or important PTA meeting. These are misconceptions, but can also apply to “some” moms.
I have been working since the age of 14 when you had to get a job permit to be employed. I have worked so many jobs , including for a major news network, that I’ve lost count. When I had my daughter, now 5 years old, I decided to cut my hours down to part time. I am still a working mom! It doesn’t matter if its 20 hours, 2 days or one shift a month, I work hard in my position. My biggest insult is when people undermine the fact that I work only a couple of days a week, and highlight that they work 5 days , SO! What difference does it make? We are both employed outside of the home and are mothers 24 hours a day! We all have duties to perform and laundry lists of things to do that are endless! What happened to support and kudos for the time you spend at your workplace, and high fives for what we do at home? You can not put a pendulum of how much I do in comparison to what you do because it all varies . There is no rest for the weary, I am a multi tasker that takes no prisoners! I am a housecleaner, a taxi driver, a chef, student,gym go-er, freelance writer,school mom volunteer, girlfriend, sister and the list goes on . I can’t name the countless other titles consider myself as. You don’t have to work in a corporate environment, 40 hours a week to become exhausted. I understand that commute and working under those conditions make some moms even more stressed out. Statistics show that mother’s are far more stressed out at work than father’s because we carry our worries with us. There is not a moment that I don’t think about what my kids are doing and how they are after I clock in, and it affects some of us deeply, while some women can just keep it moving. This is an example to show that everyone’s life as a mom is dramatically different. Our paths are wound by different circumstances consisting of different hardships, different challenges, different triumphs, different priorities!
My priorities shifted when I had my second child. That does not make me any less career driven, or work focused than my sister, girlfriend, anyone else for that matter. According to a survey by the “Working Mother Research Institute ; “At home moms are more likely to be frowned on by society than working ones , while working moms are more likely to say they feel guilty about the cleanliness of their homes and the time spent with their children.” Many full time mother’s do the domestic thing and carve quality time with there kids better than some full time stay at home moms. It’s all subjective and a matter of how you chose to navigate your life. I’ve been there and done that ! It’s a hard pill to swallow for both sides, there is give and take on both ends of the spectrum. You make less when you stay at home, however working moms want to spend more time with their kids and spouses and may miss out on certain events. Part time mother’s such as my self have a more comfortable place in it all and I’m speaking from experience. We are able to be here more with the kids, doing important things around the house and at the kids school, as well as carve in “me” time more. We also have the ability to make some money and be around adults at work.(which is critical for me!) We get some of the pressure of just strictly staying at home day in and day out “OFF.” I love it. Of course, I have those days when I just want to go back to work full time (more money) . I also crave escapes from having the kids all the time (the whining, and back talk) and the dreaded domestic housework , but hey “this is my life”! I wouldn’t trade it in for money! Being at home the majority of the time is vital to my personal wellbeing!
I am blessed to be fortunate enough to live comfortably on a one and a half family income! My man is the bread winner! Most people would kill for that scenario! My wish today is for all mother’s including myself with this upcoming “Mother’s Day, is to embrace your life as it is! Take a time out to smell the roses, to de-stress in whatever ways you need, if that means going to a spa, taking a dip in the pool, having wine with your girls, or shopping at your favorite shoe store! Do “YOU”. I know our mother’s and grandmother’s did it as well, but let’s all stop comparing how tired we are and how much you have going on on your plate to one another! From state to state and coast to coast, millions of plates are full honey!! We are all zapped out! And the next time my friend or anyone else infers that I’d be more “drained”, if I worked full time, I’m just going to smile diplomatically and send them a copy of (my) to-do list!
Smooches…on to my laundry, meeting, grocery shopping, taxi-pick ups, dinner preparation…ect ~