Monday, March 8, 2010

Working Mommies or Stay at Home Mommies?

OK- I love Facebook, especially when it sparks a debate. Controversy is fun to me. Last week I posted a comment, "I cant believe how much work it is to be a stay at home mom!" BOY! You all had a lot to say. So I decided to post a blog about it. Yep, today I'm going to forgo the bon-bons and Oprah, so I can let you all in on MY opinion about this touchy subject.

I am a stay at home mom. I decided to stay home when my third child was 1. I love being a home based mommy. I wouldn't change it for anything at the end of the day, BUUUUTTTTTT.... I do find myself longing for my old professional life as a Registered Nurse every once in a while. Like when everyone on our street calls for Fireman to help with a medical problem, or get advice for their sick loved one. I still know now what I knew then people! But for some reason, because I am now the "stay at home" parent without a "real job" I am no longer the go to gal! Ahhh... trade off's. As in everyones life, somedays are rewarding, and some...not so much.

I took particular notice to some of the mommies responses. A lot of you compared your situation to others, or maybe mine. Maybe you just wanted to get a good old fashion pat on the back. Maybe you feel as if you are the only one doing what you do, and no one else except for a select few could possibly understand. Bottom line is, YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS WHAT YOUR LIFE IS live it. Aren't all of us mommies in the same boat really? Don't we all just want our children to have better lives than we had? Don't we all try to teach them to the best of our ability? Don't we all try to be there for every amazing moment in their lives, good or bad?

I am the only one who wakes up reluctantly, only to hurry and get the coffee and three kiddos going. I am the only one who walks around my house with a magic erasure in my back pocket for emergencies. I am the only one who battles the internal guilt over almost every single word to my children throughout the day. Did what I just say be the ONE thing they remember for the rest of their lives? Will they be in therapy one day because of what I just said? Or will they be forever ruined because of what I didn't do? No one else has lived my childhood experiences and turned into ME. But does that internal dialogue sound a little familiar? Your a liar if it doesn't, working mommy or not!

Just to indulge myself I will tell you. My mommy was the absolute best mommy. She was always there for me, she brought in cupcakes and meatballs to my classroom. When my dad and her separated, she went to work full time and though that should have been a really hard time, she made it seem less. My mommy died when I was 23 and my first born was 18 months. I was married a year- and I had just realized how much I was going to need her. The past almost 12 years without my mommy made me realize a way of life not everyone shares. This is neither good or just is.

Ask my sister in law...a very loving, involved mother of two beautiful girls. She works full time, has a very corporate job. We discuss child rearing ALL THE TIME. Why? Because we both realize we do it different and it is interesting. She is the only mother I personally know who routinely stocks and re-stocks freshly cut and diced to perfection veggies for her girls. I have never (well, not never, but you know what I mean) done that. The girls have a better balanced diet than anyone I know, including all my stay at home mommies! Her girls are the loves of her life. Is she less of a mother because she is also in the corporate world? So many heated opinions ensue over this. To me the answer is simple...she chooses what works best for her and her family. She has her own daily minute by minute struggles. Her family runs differently than mine, that is it.

I am kinda getting this vibe that us mommies feel we are better than the other mommies because they are single mommies, or have no family support, have no money, or work, or don't work, you fill in the blank. Quite frankly I have been guilty of this type of judgement before...before my second child was born, before I was a stay at home mom, before I started gaining weight with every bite of ice cream... I've learned that while I have my opinions, I am in no ones shoes but my own.

So when I didn't volunteer to be the classroom mom the second year my third child was born, I am sure there were whispers. At least the voices in my head told me there were. It went something like this; "Well she certainly CANT do it all now can she?" or "Now her son will really suffer the middle child syndrome!". All the mental mistake movies my mind plays over and over is enough to drive me to drink, and I do. Often. And maybe I wont be a size 6 forever. And maybe my kids can live a long life eating Tater Tot Casserole... Yeah, I realized, I am no where near perfection. But then again, neither is anyone else I know.

So I compromise, now I take pre-baked cupcakes instead of homemade. I use emailing the teachers instead of walking to the classroom everyday to touch what? At the end of the day, I only truly care what my kids think. I ask them all the time...Do they think I am a good mom? What would they change? We have quiet intimate moments together individually that lead me to where I need to go with my babies.

If your a supermom in your kids minds...welcome to MY club! Its the only one that matters! If your not- change your life for them. Not because of what society says is politically correct. Celebrate you and friends raising diverse children from all types of dysfunctional families! After all...we made it didn't we?

Oh- and please throw your comments and opinions my way. I love em!

1 comment:

  1. I think you're so sweet to write this. No matter who works or who doesn't being the best parent (especially MOMs) should be a #1 priority for each of us! :-)