Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Working Vs. Staying At Home

There seems to be an ongoing war between working moms and stay-at-home moms.  There are pros and cons to each side and I'm not bashing either choice--mostly because we moms are defensive creatures and I'd like to spare myself the wrath of hundreds of women weilding soccer schedules and brief cases.  But I digress...

When you look past the turned-up noses and passive-aggressive comments, I'd say that a great deal of this dispute can be chalked up to envy.  Because we all want what's best for our kids.  We want more time with them.  We want to be there for every milestone, every fever, every boo boo.  And when we can't be, we end up feeling like less of a parent.

When the stay-at-home mom down the street tells me about all the time she spends with little Tommy each day and how her structured lessons and playtime have really payed off because he is only two but already knows his ABC's, can count to 100, is fully potty-trained and even drives her to the grocery store on Tuesdays... well, I feel just a little inadequate.  Between working full time and taking care of three toddlers, there are days when we all eat T.V. dinners and go to bed without baths.
On the other side of the fence, whether or not we want to spoil our children, we still want material things for them.  You know, the whole "roof and food" thing.  And whether you have chosen to pursue a career or you are working for minimum wage to barely make rent, you have to admit that getting out of a house full of kids is what is keeping you out of the nuthouse at the moment.  We all know that the more career-driven women in this world can make a stay-at-home mom feel like she is barely contributing to the world.  Like she has no excuse to be exhausted and her house should be spic-and-span because she is home "all day with nothing to do."

I have mad respect for the stay-at-home moms. (Unless you're a stay-at-home-mom with two kids who are both in school for six hours a day and you still send laundry home with your mom because you "just can't find the time!" while you were spending two hours on Facebook this morning--you suck.)  Moms who stay home with their small children all day, every day, for years at a time must have a patience level far superior to my own.  On my day off, I feel like all I do is make meals, clean up after meals, change diapers and pick up the same toys over and over and over.  And while I'm doing these things non-stop all day long, I get to enjoy the constant soundtrack of temper tantrums, expensive things being broken, and the Dora The Explorer theme song.  All day. 

Back to my point--there is no need for the snide comments, the snooty-patooty attitude, or this "war" in general.  Whether you're at home pulling your hair out, or at work wishing you were home, you will never be 100% satisfied with your situation.  We are all going to screw our kids up one way or another, and they'll all hate us when they're teenagers anyway.  So let's just agree to smile at each other as we drop our children off for therapy, and concentrate on bashing the real crazy bitches out there: the work-at-home moms.

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