As we say goodbye to 2015, I’m saying goodbye to the mommy wars. I never participated anyway because I truly don’t give a crap what you think about my decisions. I’ve been the mother who works in an office away from home and I’ve been the mother who stayed home with small children in a haze of filth and depression.
Having done both, with varying degrees of efficiency, I believe that both have challenges and that different people are better suited to one or the other depending on their temperament, personality, and financial situation. I think this because I am an adult who (usually) makes logical conclusions. I would never be obtuse enough to assume that one size fits all or that I know jack shit about what another mother should or should not be doing with her career or family life.
That being said, I’m fully aware of the best (and worst) parts of both situations. I’ve been in the office wondering why I’m spending my day with people who I get in big doses, but really only like in small doses, instead of my children. Then I’m like, “Oh yeah, bills and stuff.”
I’ve been the mom sitting in my pajamas at 8:00 P.M. (teeth not brushed) wondering if anyone will ever hire me again and why I f*ing bothered going to graduate school if I was going to spend my time settling arguments between two small humans who don’t think they have to wear shoes or pants to the grocery store.
I have felt trapped, sad, and wrong in my decisions within both of these realms on numerous occasions. As I’ve gotten older I have finally realized that there are lots of right ways to be a good parent.
Best Things About Being A Working Mom
- You get to leave cranky children with someone else. “He’s teething, see you at 6!” I’ve been straight up ecstatic to get grouchy children out of the car.
- You get to wear real clothes. I know that everyone praises yoga pants, but I’ll be honest and admit I hate them. I miss dressing up, sometimes. And wearing heels. And jewelry.
- None of the assholes you work with crawl in bed with you at 3:00 A.M. or keep you up all night kicking you in the ribs.
- You miss your kids, which means you are happy to be with them at 7:30 P.M. instead of being on the brink of tears, alcoholism, and rage.
For me, working away from home left me with moments of missing my children in a gut-wrenching way and wondering if they were okay.
Best Things About Being A SAHM
- The dress code is lax. Pants and bathing optional.
- You gave birth to all the assholes in your office, which means your reign is supreme and “because I said so” is a perfectly acceptable mission statement.
- Tenure. No one can fire you no matter what you do and you get tenure from day one on the job.
- You can drink, swear, and check Facebook at the office and no one can do a damn thing about it.
For me, the hard thing about staying at home was never having a moment to walk away or gather my thoughts until bedtime. It seems that many of the “best” things about either situation can be interchangeable as the “worst” parts depending on the day.
Dear Mom Reading This: You are doing a wonderful job. Yes, YOU. If you get up and go to work, it’s for your kids. If you stay home, it’s for your kids. I commend all of you and I respect the decision you’ve made.
No matter which mom you are right now, don’t you dare let anyone make you feel guilty for the choice you’ve made. Why? Because you made the best choice for you and your family. Screw everyone else and especially screw their opinions. Start 2016 knowing that you’ve got this and no matter what, those little rug rats love you to the moon. Trust your instincts and allow life to happen within the GOOD decisions you’ve made.
And to those of you who feel superior because you are one or the other? Just stop. You aren’t superior. You are judgmental. You need to relax and understand that you don’t know everything. SAHMs are not lazy. Working Moms are not disconnected. We are all just moms doing the best we can.
Mom power, bitches. Stand united.