The other day Rachel from Tao of Poop had a wonderful post about how she wonders why she says she is JUST a stay-at-home mom. See, Rachel brings up a great point. What happened that made us think poorly of ourselves, and others, for being a stay-at-home mom.
Quite frankly I blame ourselves. We women are to blame for the mommy wars. And I am not talking about the war between the stay-at-home and working mom. But the war we have with ourselves.
The feminist revolution happened when I was too young for it to impact. When I had Abby you fell into one of two categories: the stay at home or the working. One of us definitely looked down on the other. But for different reasons, I think, at least for my generation.
There is this theory that the SAHM (crappy acronym by the way) is the lucky ones. We working moms think their houses are spotless, their kids are well behaved (and probably don’t watch TV) and they have real family meals every day. We also think you could drop by and use their bathroom and they won’t be running in to give it a quick scrub down first. Working moms, at least this one, views the SAHM as their superior, falling just behind those
fools saints moms who home school. We feel they have the patience we could never attain.
In truth, the stay at home and the working moms are equals. We are all fighting the same battles. We are trying to manage our house in this 24-hour world. All of us at some point have hidden in the closet eating the last M&M. We are the CEO of the house, the Keeper of the House, the Chief Financial Officer of the House, the Cruise Director for every day off/vacation/snow day, the Executive Chef, Homework Tutor and Head Stylist/Fashion editor.
Where a SAHM feels she has to apologize for being “just” a mom, I feel I have to apologize for working and not being there. I am not at the girls school parties. I am not chaperoning field trips. I am not doing a project for science. My house is never company clean and some days (gasp) my kids wear their pants from the day before. I drop Boo off and feel that I am “just” working when I should be with my child. I rarely meet Abby’s bus in the afternoon and feel guilty that I only see her for two hours before bed. That those two hours are usually filled with screaming and crying over math homework doesn’t help the guilt.
The Mommy Wars suck. But the war we create in our own heads? The guilt we feel by whatever choice we made, that sucks more.
We are not just moms. Not anyone of us. I am declaring a truce in the Mommy War. We are no longer thinking poorly of ourselves. We promise to end the judgement of how we are doing by the mom next door. We will embrace who we are, dust bunnies and all. I declare a new mantra:
Who’s with me?
I wish it were that simple, I really do! I'm like you, I feel awful that I'm at work all day and not home to meet Lena after school. And she sure laid a guilt trip on me this morning about wishing I didn't work because she feels alone all the time. Hard to battle with that one even though I know my working is what's really best for her life as a whole.
I'm with you. Completely and totally. For me, who gave up the Big Job while on maternity leave, to now working part time, I feel like I get the best, and the worst, of both. I get the guilt AND the expectations of being at every school field trip and party. I love the new mantra. I'm a mom. And that's enough. And, I love you, too.
Yes, moms! With all the similar and varying ups and downs. We can all connect, commiserate and learn from each other, because of and despite our differences. Also, we are women with kids. We are women first, and that gets lost. Thank you for the shout out! I couldn't agree with you more!
I'm with you! We are all just doing the very best we can given our own individual situations.
I want to be with you, but after my latest blog post, you can tell I am not there. I am a SAHM. I do not judge the working moms for working. I do judge the people who look at me and say “so do you work?” Wait, you mean outside of the house? No, no I don't.
For what it's worth, our house is rarely company ready, I quickly touch up the bathroom (and throw on a bra) when I hear someone is just stopping by, some nights we have a full meal, some nights we don't (although we always do eat, together, at the table), my kids watch too much television, and my kids' behavior isn't always perfect. After all, I am not super mom! 😉