After reading this post over at the Heir to Blair my heart went out to her. You see, I’ve been there—a work-outside-of-the-home mom. And it’s though. Really tough. I totally get the guilt and frustration it can cause. I also get how exhausted you are at the end of the day. But I also think I have a unique perspective because while I was a work-outside-of-the-home for 3 years, I am now a stay-at-home-mom. (Do I sub one day a week, but that’s just for my sanity and because my MIL wanted to watch the boys one day a week still—perfection!) I am lucky to have such a great gig. Incredibly L.U.C.K.Y. As a mom who has been in both positions, I will just say each has their pros and cons and leave it at that for now.
Here’s what killed me, absolutely KILLED me about Blair’s post. It was the comments. The judgmental ones. I kills me that we moms judge each other so much. Now granted some of the comments could have been from people who do not have children, and let’s be honest, they have no clue what they are talking about and I can dismiss those. But some of the commenters where very specific about having children, so we know they are moms (or maybe dads). And some of the things those moms or dads said…Oh my. The GALL of some people.
Here’s an example:
I’m just curious about something here. Why isn’t you not working an option (I know, kinda personal, maybe you make more money than your hubby). But the work seems to be at the base of every problem you complain about. So quit. You don’t NEED the double income, no one NEEDS two incomes in a family. You just want one so you can keep buying pretty shoes and trendy hair bands, keeping your kid in the coolest clothes, and your hubby with the newest golf clubs. Life is about finding balance, and learning what is most important to you. You say it’s time with your kid, so than spend time with the kid.
Two things that got my feathers ruffled here.
1) Really? You don’t NEED two incomes? WHAT? You don’t know the financial situation of other families. A lot of families out there can’t survive on one income, especially in this economy. And they DO NEED two incomes to make ends meet. And they should be made to feel guilty about that. Yes, we are now a one income family. BUT we are doing A LOT of scrimping , pinching pennies, and rearranging of expenses. We are sacrificing quite a bit to make it happen. And? Here’s the other thing. I am a teacher, so once the boys both get into school, I will go back to work full-time. It’ll be a perfect situation again—on the same schedule as the boys. But some, no most, moms don’t have that luxury. Their careers aren’t so mom-friendly. And you know what? At that point my family will NEED the two incomes because you know what we aren’t able to do right now on one income? Save for college.
2) Apparently this whole comment isn’t even true, but even if it was, who cares? It’s none of your business why moms work. If they choose to work or if they have to work—not your concern folks. Priorities are different for everyone. Some people might work because they want to be able to take their families on nice vacations. Well, I can’t fault them for that. Think of the value of the cultural experiences, think of what you learn by visiting national parks. Honestly, I have big plans for vacations I want to take the boys on. That’s another reason I’ll be going back to work when they get in school. And some moms might work to give their kids nice things. And if that’s what they want, then more power to them. And? I’ll just say it. Some moms are not cut out to stay at home and, likewise, some are not cut out to work outside of the home. Love, love, love my boys, but I couldn’t get out of the house to sub fast enough today. They were driving me batty. I need this one day away to keep my sanity. Some moms may not need to work for the money, but they might need to for the sanity. I get that, and, even if I didn’t get it, not my place to judge.
Another example of a comment that made my blood pressure boil:
Blair has blogged about at least two weekends away without Harrison since he was born. I (and most moms I know) have had exactly zero weekends away from my baby at almost a year old; I already have very limited time with my daughter and I cherish what I do have. I would miss her if I went away.
Then again, I didn’t have the severe PPD/PPA issues, which I imagine would make you want to escape in a bad way so that’s a different situation that I don’t claim to understand.
Wait a minute. Hold the phone. Did this person really just insinuate that you have post partum issues to need time away from your kids? I can imagine that MAYBE, just MAYBE that might exacerbate the situation (and I am totally speculating here) but what mom out there can’t say she needs some time to herself? If you raised your hand, you are LYING. I’m just going to go ahead and call you on it. We all not only WANT some me time, but we NEED it as well. In fact I’ll just go out on a limb and say that I’m a better mom & wife when I get my me time. And how dare we judge moms who leave their kids for an evening to go out for some girl time. Or on a date with their husbands. Or whatever they need to do to have some time for themselves. And if a mom takes a weekend away to go to a conference, or a scrapbooking retreat, or a shopping trip once in a while, well, that’s her prerogative. More power to her. Heck, my husband & I have been known to take vacations without the boys. GASP! Judge if you want, but it has, dare I say, saved our marriage. We all love our kids, but sometimes we moms and dads need a break, yes?
My bottom line? This motherhood gig is hard enough no matter which side of the working fence you are on. We mommas need to be supporting each other, not tearing each other down. So the next time a mom is doing something you wouldn’t dream of, try to remember, you are doing something with your family & kids that another mom wouldn’t dream of. We are all different. Need different things. Want different things. Have different priorities. And just like with a society, shouldn’t we embrace our differences?