But let's be real for a second. I don't judge you for going to work, whether you go to work because your career is important to you or whether you can't afford not to. But there are some working moms out there that like to hate on stay-at-home moms like me. Some do it quietly to themselves or to a friend. And some post things like this openly on their blog or their Facebook wall:
Hmmm... And what do you think your daycare provider does while you're working? Do you think they're sitting on their behind relaxing with a refreshment and a good book or leisurely surfing the internet? Do you think they're cleaning their house and doing their own laundry and dishes? Or do you pay them to teach, nurture and watch over your child? How is what I'm doing different than that in the basics?
The tone of this ecard bothers me. Raising kids and running a house keeps you busy, too, hey? Well I'm, technically speaking, raising my kid 8-12 hours a day longer than you. While you are working outside of your home, I'm not sitting around doing nothing because I'm at home. I'm doing the same thing someone else is doing for your child while you're at work. So does that not count as me having a full time job? And running my house? You say you do that all before you go to work in the morning or after your kids go to sleep at night. I have news for you...so do I! The majority of my chores get done while my child is sleeping, not during the day while you're at your full time job.
Yes, I can throw a load of laundry in and fold it while she's playing. But you at least get 30 minutes to an hour to yourself for lunch. When or if Audrey naps, I'm lucky to get a quick shower and something to eat, but I'm usually picking up or setting up an afternoon project at the same time.
We're all moms. And we're all doing the best we can, the best way we know how. We need to give each other a break. I don't think what you do is easy. Do you think what I do is easy? My husband and I make huge sacrifices financially and personally so that I am able to stay at home. It is not easy for us financially at all. You say you can't afford to not work, but really what some of you mean is that you can't afford to not work and maintain the lifestyle you currently have. And that's fine if that lifestyle is important to you. But some of you probably could afford it, it just takes a great deal of sacrifice. Easy? I love my daughter unconditionally and I am grateful for the time I get to spend with her, but spending that much time with anyone, let alone a 2 year, is certainly not easy emotionally.
The moment when a woman becomes a mother is a beautiful catastrophe. We are forever changed. It is wonderful and amazing. But we all, in some way, mourn the loss of the person we were before our child joined us. We can never be exactly that person again. And that can be sad and frustrating, as well as fantastic and overwhelming and joyous. It is easy to take that frustration out on someone who is a mother in a different way than we are. But even though we are all mothers in different ways, and we all mourn the person we were to different degrees, this beautiful catastrophe connects us. And instead of criticizing each other for not doing what we would do, or for doing what we really want to do, but can't, we should support each other. We should remember that being a mother isn't easy for any of us. My struggles simply aren't the same struggles as yours.
*2/26/13 - A few of the sentences in this post have been very slightly edited only to help make my original intent more clear. This post was in response to the tone of the ecard above, implying that working moms are busier because they work outside of the home. I know that not all working moms feel this way. I don't in any way think that working moms or stay-at-home moms have it harder or easier than the other. I was simply saying that I'm not sitting around doing nothing because I'm at home and not in the workplace. The intent of this post was to express that ecards like this are not okay whether they are aimed at stay-at-home moms or aimed at working moms. Being a mom is hard no matter what, and we need to support each other despite our differences, not tear each other down.