Hi! So I generally try to stay away from controversial topics on the blog, because in reality, it is, for me at least, a place where I can freely express my opinions, be
dumb funny and wax nonsense. But, this is a topic that has been on my mind a LOT lately and so I wanted to do a little post about my thoughts surrounding it. If you feel this post may trigger a lot of hatred towards me emotion or will just irritate you, then I encourage you to stop reading and come back later for a pizza dough recipe 😉 Really though. I feel like there is an unspoken, although often spoken, “divide” between Stay at Home Moms (SAHMs) and WM (working moms). I think there are many reasons for this, including mom guilt on both sides, insecurities and simply not understanding the hardships and conflict the other experiences on a day-to-day basis. I, myself, am so blessed to be able to stay at home with Zachary. And I absolutely tip my hat to any parent who works full-time because I cannot imagine doing so at this point in my life. I hear from a lot of WMs that it is just SO hard to balance work and home life; that they never feel as if they are giving 100% to either, and that seems like a perfect way to describe it. I can’t speak from experience, but I can imagine how challenging it would be to go to work, whether full or part time, then come home and be a Mom, manage the house, tend to a husband, etc. It seems SO difficult. I work one day a week teaching a graduate class and am gone for about four hours. It is a nightmare both logistically and emotionally, so multiplying that by ten (to create a full-time job) seems so daunting. But, as a stay at home mom, I feel that l am doing an important “job” as well. I often need to remind myself of this, which might be my own insecurities speaking, or my feelings of Inadequacy. I don’t know if it comes from an external source, an internal place, or partially both. Some SAHMs develop a complex where they feel as if they need to prove their worth; that they are not, in fact, staying home all day lounging on the couch eating bon bons. Sounds cliche, but I, myself have fallen into the trap of feeling this way and in turn have tried to “overdo” it or spend a lot of time validating myself.
So I thought I would do a little verbal vomit detailing both the things I miss about working, and the things I am grateful for in being a SAHM.
I miss the beginnings that my job entailed: the new year, new students, a new unit, a new program. The idea that each day brought something different, as that is the nature of my job as a teacher. I miss adult interaction; telling jokes in the teacher’s room, talking about “adult things,” parent-teacher conferences, even complaining about nonsense. I miss saying hello to the janitor long after the studnets had left for the day, the slippery look of the floors when they had been cleaned, morning banter with the ladies in the office, slipping in just as the clock read 8:20 (and sometimes after lol-never one for being punctual). I miss listening to KYW in the car, zoning out as the 22 minute report repeated itself approximately three times on my commute, putting makeup on at stop lights (I know, ever the safe driver) and dressing cute without the fear of being spit up on, or wearing sweet potatoes (even though my fancy pants included black yoga bottoms; why not?!). I miss using my brain in the creative way my job demanded (and not to simply figure out how to methodically get all of the dishes in the dishwasher), assemblies, back to school night, school dances and even faculty meetings. I miss the community of workers that I was a part of, pow-wowing in coworker’s rooms before the bell rang (and sometimes after whoops), conspiring about how we might be able to get our report card grades done while showing a movie (don’t tell). I miss the collegiality of a common goal; student success, the language of being a teacher, taking it home at night, the tears, the laughs, the life.
But, being a SAHM mom, there are things that I greatly value about my “new life” (for now). I love that my alarm is the sound of my son in the morning, and that I am home to watch the Ellen Show during his nap. I love that I can make doctor’s appointments during “normal business hours” assuming it matches Zach’s nap schedule. I love that I do not feel the “Sunday evening pit in my stomach” and that I forget which day is which during the week. I love that I am able to participate in music classes, mommy groups and the like with my son. I love that I am able to breastfeed this long and that it is ok that he never took a bottle. I love not having to drive an hour to my job and can wear pajamas (the same one days in a row) and not shower if I can’t fit it in (happens A LOT) because my stench won’t offend anyone. I love that I am able to make dinner every night, have time to clean my house (albeit while wearing my baby in the Bjorn at times). But above all, I love that I will be there for every one of Zachary’s milestones and that I will never miss a smile.
So, these are just my opinions, my perspective, but it shows just that: there are positives and negatives (to any situation really) and maybe if we can try to see each others’ viewpoints, challenges and triumphs we can close the “divide” between the SAHM and the WM and appreciate each other for our true worth. Because no matter which you are (SAHM or WM) the commonality is the M- MOM, and it is something that will forever bind us.