Lately I've had the animosity between SAHM's (Stay-At-Home-Moms) and WM's (Working Moms) on my mind. So many articles, blogs, and forums are out there, talking about the "Battle" between WM's and SAHM's. Both sides get defensive, and talk about how much harder they have it. WM's talk about how difficult is is to fit all of the housework and activities in AND still work - and SAHM's talk about how hard it is to go days without having meaningful conversations with adults, or drive somewhere without listening to the dulcet tones of KidsBop. Neither side wins in these battles. All it does is continue to create a rift between the two groups.
As a Working Mom, I'll tell you - it isn't easy. I wake up at the crack of dawn, and for the next 16 hours I am constantly busy doing something for someone - and usually not for myself. I get tired. I get cranky about the division of household labor, and sensitive about any criticisms of my skills as a mother.
-But almost any SAHM will tell you - the description I just typed? It's exactly how they would describe their day, too.
The real truth as I've experienced it in recent years, is that sometimes, life just isn't a case of who's right and who's wrong. And the argument of whether SAHM's or WM's are "right" or "wrong" in their choices is one of those cases.
-There is no such thing as a part-time Mom. All Moms are Moms full time. I've worked full time hours since my twins were 8 weeks old. They have never called the daycare lady "Mommy." They have never been confused about who I am, or what I do for them. And there's never been a day, even an extremely busy and crazy day at the office, where I haven't thought about them almost constantly. I'm their Mom. All day, every day. And I do what I do for them, and because of them. It's the same reasons most SAHM's will tell you they do what they do.
-There is no such thing as a non-working Mom. Carpooling? Work. Vacuuming? Definitely work. Cooking healthy meals, planning playdates, folding laundry, doing schoolwork.... All work. So tell me this - how can a SAHM not be considered a Working Mom? Whatever work you're doing, whether it's in your own house, or in an office, or on a construction site, is still work, and is valuable.
-Being a Mom is the best common ground you can have with another human being. Here's what I don't understand about the feud going on between WM's and SAHM's - we have so much in common, why would we be at war? I mean, we've all changed diapers. We've all felt that twinge of fear when trimming our baby's fingernails for the first time, and the excitement of their first words. We've all worried about the future for our kids, and what that may hold for them.
I'm going to make a confession now. I wasn't always so understanding of the "other" side of motherhood. My attitude about this particular subject is a change of heart. Going to the gym during my lunch break (the only time I have to go) and seeing the SAHM's there taking tennis lessons - or going to a restaurant for lunch with my coworkers and seeing the line-up of strollers outside the door - I used to mutter things under my breath about how they didn't know how good they have it.
As I've gotten more experienced (I prefer that to older!), and I've met more fellow Moms, both SAHM's and WM's, I've realized some things. Maybe they are there taking tennis lessons at lunch for the same reason I'm working out at lunch - because that's the only time they have during the day to themselves! Or maybe I should be grateful that I'm out to lunch with coworkers, and I don't have to lug a stroller to the restaurant, and keep a wiggly baby occupied while I try to talk to another adult for the first time in 2 days.
There's so much joy - and many challenges - in being a Mom. You get to see your child grow, and face the world. You get to laugh at all of the funny things babies do and kids say. And you get to be friends with other Moms, who understand you from a place that only another Mom can know.