Amy Umble writes about family issues and kid-friendly events.
Motherhood really isn’t for wimps
I really wanted to share this post called “What Not to Ask a Working Mom” from Huffington Post’s parenting blog. I mainly wanted to share it because I loved this passage, which so accurately describes life as a mom with a full-time job:
Going to work every morning and waving to my kid from the upstairs bathroom window isn’t a spa day. It’s sort of like doing a triathalon. You start each day with a morning plunge into icy water, getting everyone to school/work then do an an eight-hour bike ride, all topped off with a half-marathon of dinner, homework, baths and bedtime. During your bike ride not only will you be expected to pedal hard, you’ll also have to take phone calls from the school, the babysitter, and the doctor, respond to birthday party invitations, take a quick side trip to grab supplies for an art project, order groceries and a new pair of jeans and remember to return library books because it all needs to get done RIGHT NOW.
Then I read the comments and realized that most people viewed the post as yet another part of the so-called Mommy Wars, the fights of stay-at-home moms and moms with jobs. And I very much wanted to avoid that fight.
But then I decided to weigh in. I’ve been both a stay-at-home mom and a mom with a job. Both are very, very hard. Parenting is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I remember when I was a child, my mom had a magnet on the fridge that read, “Motherhood isn’t for wimps.” It is so true.
And that’s why I don’t understand why these fights even exist. Why can’t we respect each other’s choices? And respect that most parents really are doing the best they can? Yes, there are times I question someone else’s parenting choices. But there are times when I question my own–times where there is no ideal answer, just a good-enough-for-now solution. And times when you know the right thing to do but you’re so exhausted you just can’t do it. As moms, I think we’ve all been there.
Being at home all day with my sons was hard. There were years when I couldn’t go to the bathroom without someone banging on the door and screaming the entire time. There were days I didn’t get a shower until my husband got home from work. There were times when I would have sacrificed everything just for five minutes to myself–or a trip to the grocery store without two toddlers in tow. But overall, I loved getting to be with my sons.
Being a working mom is also hard. I hate leaving my daughter each morning. It drives me crazy that someone else is getting to enjoy her while I’m at work. And it’s really, really hard to fit in a job and all of the things that go along with parenting–doctor appointments, school meetings, homework and projects, dinner, laundry, scrubbing toilets and spending quality time with each child. But I also think that the work I do is important.
I do know this: I’m not any less invested in my daughter than I was in my sons. In fact, I’m probably more involved with her, because having teenagers has taught me that this time is so fleeting. This time around, I’m so much better at shrugging off the inconveniences–the sleepless nights, lack of free time–and concentrating on the good stuff–sweet baby giggles, cuddling and the sound of a baby squealing in delight just because you walk in the door.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: I wasn’t less of a person because I was a stay-at-home mom. And I’m not less of a mom because I work outside the home. In both scenarios I was exactly the same: A woman who loves her children intensely and is just trying to do the very best job I can in raising them.