Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I stay at home, and I won't apologize for it!

The whole age-old debate: Who has it harder? Working moms or Stay-at-home-moms? WMs work all day and still have to pick up kids from daycare, make dinner, do all of the things an at-home mom does.  SAHMs have a 24/7 job of house keeping, taking care of others before themselves, no sick days, no vacation days. Both have their perks as well. WM's have a career, hopefully a fulfilling one that provides extra income and makes the family comfortable.  She has life outside of her home and family.  A SAHM doesn't miss out on any of the big milestones of her children, because she's right there with them most of the time. I'm a SAHM and my sister is a WM.  We each have things we envy about each others lifestyles. We each have things that we know we wouldn't be able to stand. Both of us work hard and have healthy, happy families to show for it.

Recently I saw this floating around on Facebook: 

"Yes, my house can be a little messy at times, but I work a full time job, commute 4 hours round trip, and only have two days off a week. My husband works, too. If you work, and support your family, you understand. If you don't work, maybe you should get a job and see how the rest of us live, instead of making statements. Repost if you support the "real" working mothers out there!"

The first thing I thought when I read this was "Wow... I'm a measly husband-moocher-offer, and my house is STILL messy..." But the more I read it, the more it kind of offended me. "If you don't work, maybe you should get a job and see how the rest of us live.." 

I don't know that it is possible for me to have more respect for working moms and single moms. I cannot imagine doing what I do plus going to a 9 to 5, or doing it by myself.  But ALL MOMS WORK! My kids ARE my job, and I take them seriously. I work hard for them. That means that my house isn't always perfectly clean.  That means that there are days where I am ready to drop by the time my husband walks in the door. I don't keep a crazy schedule.  I don't try to line out my day.  I have a 3 year old and a 6 month old.  They are the schedule setters.  Some days they give me an easy schedule - they nap, they entertain themselves, and they are happy.  Other days they are sick, teething, don't sleep at night, are grouchy, and I spend my whole day hopping from one to the next trying to take care of what they need.  When I'm sick, I suck it up, unless I happen to get lucky enough to get sick on a weekend (ha!) in which case I have help.

I kind of miss the 9 to 5, but I don't envy WMs.  I know many of them get stuck with everything I just described, and more, on top of their careers.  But I won't apologize for being a SAHM, and I will absolutely defend my "job." SAHMs may not get a comment on their messy house (ha, I would), but I have heard all of the following:

"You're JUST a SAHM??" (incredulous look of shock) Yup. I am, and I love it.

"How do you find your life fulfilling when you have no career to show for it?" Well I guess happy healthy kids just can't top a successful career or anything...

"Are you going to go back to work when they start school?" Funny, I didn't realize I had ever LEFT work....

"You're a SAHM and your child goes to preschool?! Don't you feel lazy?"Yup... giving my kids social interaction for a few hours a day, a few days a week.... running errands without hauling them both in and out of strollers and carts.. Yup, you can call me lazy, works for me!

I am happy for you if you are a working mother who is happy.  I'm sad for you if you're a working mother that wants to stay home, because I know it sucks to be stuck doing something you don't want to do.  If  you have a career outside of the home, I applaud you. If you're a single mom, you rock!  Just please remember - I don't provide "financial" support to my family, but I provide all kinds of other support.  You support your family the best way you can, I will do the same.