Today while Hudson was napping, I was getting some things done around the house and turned on the TV. The Dr. Phil show was on and he was talking about Stay-At- Home vs. Working Moms. (We don’t need to get into whether or not anyone likes or approves of Dr. Phil. That’s not the point of this post.)
I’m a a SAHM and most days I am very happy with my job. I love spending the day with my boy and there are lots of moments that I get to experience and I can’t imagine if someone else got to experience those things with him instead of me.
There are also the not-so-good days. I don’t think it makes me a bad mother or an ungrateful mother because I admit that there are some bad days. Some days he is just fussy and can’t figure out how to get happy. I can’t figure out how to make him happy. By the time my husband gets home I am exhausted and just need to go to a room by myself and relax. I’m not complaining about my child and I know it’s not his fault if he has a bad day. I still wouldn’t go back to work just because he had a bad day.
There are some days when I would like to have a real lunch instead of a lunch where I make something as quickly as possible and eat it while doing something else. This is just the reality of the life I have chosen. Again, I think I’m allowed to say all of this. It’s okay that I’d like to get dressed up for a fancy lunch one day and have adult conversation.
In the episode today, there was a very extreme SAHM who said that all women should stay at home and that all children are better off if his or her mom stays at home. I can’t understand why one woman would make such bold statements about another woman’s choices and another woman’s children. Why can’t women just support each other for how they’ve chosen to live their lives. Unless their kids are in serious trouble, they should just butt out.
It’s a personal choice. I know that some women would never like staying at home and that doesn’t say anything about their parenting skills or about their children’s happiness. I don’t have any opinions about how anyone else chooses to parent. And I hope that no one judges me for my choices to stay at home.
I am educated. I worked for 5 years and used that education. Maybe someday I’ll go back and use it some more. I also use my education in a volunteer capacity. But those are my choices.
The women that choose to go to work every day aren’t working just so someone else can raise their children. One of the extreme SAHMs on the show today said, “I don’t pay someone else to love my husband. Why would I pay someone else to love my children?” How awful is that statement?!
My mother worked and my brother and I learned so much from her experiences. There were definitely times when I wished that she was home with us and I’m sure there were times when she wished she was home with us, but that’s not how the cards played out. The experiences that we got from her job as Director of Admissions at a University were wonderful. We got to know so many people, learned a lot about the working world, and learned to appreciate the time that we had with our mom. (My dad worked, too, and we learned a lot from him, but I’m talking about moms here.)
Here’s my point: All stay at home moms are not out to get the working moms. And I’m pretty sure the working moms aren’t out to get the SAHMs. I think if you have to make bold statements about the women in the other category then you’re probably not confident enough in your own decision for your own family, and feel like you should attack the other group to make yourself feel better.
I have only been criticized once for my decision to stay home. On the other hand, I admire and look up to the other women that I know who stay home with their kids. I also really admire the women who go to work every day and still manage to do so much for their children.
I’m very fortunate to have Hudson on a waiting list for an amazing day care that I’ve found. He’ll start going there 2 days per week as soon as we can get in. I’m also very fortunate to have a mother in law that lives five minutes away and will stay with Hudson so I can go have a fancy lunch if I need one. My own mother is not close enough to run over for lunch, but any time I’ve needed help (hello, post-baby surgery), she has been on a plane to come stay with me while I recover and need help taking care of Hudson. The other thing I’m incredibly grateful for is this blog and all of the support, points of view, and people that it has exposed me to. Blue-Eyed Bride keeps me constantly connected with the “outside” and I think this job could get pretty lonely during the day without it.
The mom job is much harder if no one is around to support you. I think it’s really important that moms support each other. It’s a hard job no matter how you choose to do it. But it’s always rewarding and I know that women in both of these categories experience all of those rewards!
ETA: This also goes for the choices women make regarding childbirth. But don’t get me started there. Just support each other instead of tearing each other down.