Sunday, March 10, 2013

Working Moms

Lately I've been seeing these posts about how hard stay-at-home moms have it. How exhausted they are, how they need a break ...

I'm so beyond irritated that I am ready to lose my gasket on them.

They are right though, being a stay at home mom is a lot of never ending work! It's tiring, exhausting emotionally and mentally, it doesn't end at 5 o'clock, it goes on and on and it's maybe even monotonous. Laundry never ends, dishes keep going, floors, walls ... but -

It's work that most of us working moms would give our left leg to do during the day. Work that most of us moms still have to accomplish at the end of the day when we get home from our outside jobs. Work that doesn't go away because we don't work from home or just stay-at-home.

Stay-at-home moms have to deal with their kids 24/7. They need a break right? They don't get to 'escape' their kids ...

What about working moms? Their kid was sick all night? They STILL have to get up, go to work and come back and do all that other house work that just sits there all day. They have to leave their child with someone else - if the daycare or sitter is okay with it - and they are worried all day. If they don't have enough sick days, they lose wages. Sometimes if they call in sick it will affect a lot of other people too! They are exhausted at work, which might affect their work, run them down and they might even be spreading whatever the illness was. What if that working mom is a teacher ... where is HER escape?! She leaves her little ones only to go to work and deal with 15-30 OTHER kids.

Working moms don't always work close to home either and have to travel quite a ways to get to their jobs. Sometimes, on those days, where stay-at-home moms are complaining there's no school because buses aren't running, working moms STILL have to go to work. They still have to bundle their babies and take them out into the cold because they have a job to do. Maybe they even do a job that makes a difference in all our homes ....

maybe they run Netflix! ;) Bahahahaha. Well I don't know maybe .... and I would be so devastated if I missed out on my Netflix.

Working moms with babies have to be up at all hours of the night and DON'T GET pyjama days until the weekends. On those weekends, they have to choose between getting their outside housework done or spending time with kids. Guilt sets in because if you don't do your outside upkeep then things start falling apart but spending time with the kids is something super important too. If their kid didn't sleep well during the night and it was an up/down kind of night they still have to get up, go to work, finish the day, come home and do all the stuff that still needs to be done. They don't get to take a nap while the kids are in school, or while the baby naps, or put off housework until later. They sometimes only get minutes to wake up, get ready, get kids ready and go to work - sometimes they are lucky if they get a shower because sleep is more important.

Working moms who put their kids in activities have to make all sorts of arrangements as it is to make sure their child is at the right place at the right time and sometimes they are working just SO their kids can do these activities. Working moms have specific times they have to be picking up their kids, dropping them off. They sometimes can't make it to certain activities and have to arrange for someone else to take their kids, so they miss out on those special times.

Working moms often miss those first words, sometimes first steps, first time on the potty, fun filled days in the snow, putting laundry on the line (bahahahahaha), making bread, splashing in puddles ....

By the end of the week, a working mom literally doesn't stop working to take a break. I have no yet met a working mom who does not appreciate any time with her kids. In fact, the working moms I know will put aside their me time to do something with their kids. I've heard stay-at-home moms gripe that they don't get to go to the bathroom by themselves - really??? Who cares?? I barely get to go to the bathroom at WORK without a little hand banging on the door LOL.

Both kinds of moms have tons of work, tons of stress, tons of worries and decisions to make, tons of responsibility, but one of them gets to spend all their time with their kids. Their kids who will only be little ... one. time. You can't pause them being 3 until you can spend the time with them. You can't put them on pause while at daycare or the sitter. Life keeps going. They keep growing.

When those kids go to school, there are stay-at-home moms who get that brilliant opportunity to do whatever job they want, volunteer, be on boards, have flexible schedules, help with school activities etc ... those working moms get sneered at, frowned at and tsk'ed about because they CAN'T help out. They can't make 24 cupcakes for the class, or come help with a hot lunch. They can't leave work to drive their kids to volleyball, basketball, swimming ... or their kids can't participate because there is no way for them to get home if they live out of town. Some working moms STILL do ALL of that other stuff.

So if you are a stay-at-home mom ... and your kids were sick all night, or they are driving you absolutely mad during some school or summer holidays ... just grab them and hug them. Remind yourself that you get to spend that holiday with them. You get to send them outside and play and distract and enjoy whatever is happening. It's a beautiful sunny day?  You get to make that spontaneous trip to the lake. It's raining on the weekend? Oh well, you get to snuggle and watch movies. You had outside work to do? Oh well, do it on Monday while the kids are in school.

I am totally uber jealous of all those stay-at-home moms, but I have the utmost respect for working moms. We don't all have the 'choice' to stay-at-home. I am even a very lucky working mom. My kids are with a great sitter, they are happy, I work from 8:30-3:30 and although I have to commute, if the weather is questionable I can call in and say I can't make it. My boss was very understanding this year with my pregnancy and I had enough days to cover being sick and when my kids were sick. My husband works shift work and he can be home with the kids here and there. I get holidays and summers off. Soon I will be on maternity leave and although the idea of being home alone with three kids is a little daunting, I'm confident that even on those days where all I want to do is hide with a big bowl of chocolate ice cream, turn on the shower and be oblivious to the world around me, I'm going to appreciate every single second I get.

.... unless they puke because I can't deal with puke. For real. I can deal with any diaper but puke ... oh. em. gee.

In the States, they get 6 weeks .... that's. it. I get a full year, a little over actually.

This blog probably offended every stay-at-home mom out there but I'm a little overwhelmed by how brilliantly offending those stay-at-home moms can be. All you have to do is look into a working mom's eyes to see her wishing she could be dropping off her own kid at school, or picking them up, or even snuggling her sick kid on the couch watching a movie. Don't ever assume that she is not as good of a mom as you because she is working instead of being at home. Ever.

Some moms choose to work because they just plain want to. They still work just as hard. I know so many awesome stay-at-home moms who are all 'braggy' on facebook lol and I'm like ... sooooo jealous but that's what made me write this blog. They are taking full advantage of their time with their kids. Their kid is cranky? Whiny? Sick again? They definitely will post a little something but you can just 'tell' they are SO happy to be able to take care of their sick little baby or toddler or school-aged child. Because I work, I'm relieved that the person that takes care of my kids is just like that. She takes pictures too so sometimes you can see what your silly child is doing during the day. When my kids are cranky - I don't get to 'escape it' at work. There are 26 other kids 3-5 years old waiting for me and the chances of them all being in a good mood ... well you guess what those odds are.

As a working mom, I don't get that 'bonding' that other stay-at-home moms are getting. I don't get playdates in the morning, or afternoon coffee ... I know other moms too that only get evenings to do anything and then all their stay-at-home moms are tired, want to stay home. Sigh ...

I'm am blessed with my job/sitter/life but not all the working moms are so lucky. They don't need to hear that they aren't as good and there are just too many that cry because they have to leave their little ones with someone else.

We can't all work from home, let's face it ... men can not be left to 'rule the planet' by themselves ...