When it comes to working moms, there is a continuous banter between work at home moms and work outside the home moms. Sometimes, it’s just hateful, as if we are on opposite sides parenting. Even when we don’t mean to take sides, we often find ourselves on the defensive, warding off insults from them. It’s the divide of motherhood. When it’s not ugly and offensive, it’s passive aggressive, but almost always there. No doubt, there are some major differences between working at home and working outside the home. Haven’t we discussed them to death, already? Let’s shake things up a little. Let’s forget about our differences. Let’s take a look at some things we have in common!
I was discussing the differences and things-in-common with a friend today. During the conversation, she told me about the decision she made this week to decline an offer for full-time employment, outside of the home. She was so excited and hopeful earlier this week when she planned to take the position. Although she feels confident about changing her mind and declining, the decision was not an easy one for her to make. Within hours of making the best decision she could, according to her circumstances and the needs of her family, she got a phone call from another mom. She was immediately quizzed, criticized, and shamed. Keep in mind that this mom already works part time around her family’s schedule. She was told that she’ll never be anything or have anything, if she doesn’t do something, with her life. This broke my heart a little, because all of this came from someone who should have been one of the first people to support her decision.
We have a lot more in common than we might realize.
1. Feeling Guilty
Let’s get real. We all feel guilty sometimes. You might be a WOHM who wishes you could have your kids with you on-the-job, work less, or just be there more. You might be a WAHM who has to tell your kids, “hold on, mommy is working” eighteen times per day. You might feel guilty for making them always wait for your attention. If I could only work at home. If I only had a real job. Enough with the guilt, ladies! Give yourselves a hand for doing the best you can for your family and your circumstances.
2. Everything You Don’t Want To Admit, About Dinner
So, you don’t know what you’re doing for dinner? I know this is a secret. (you wish!) It’s really not. You bought it, burned it, forgot it, dropped it, skipped it, or cooked it in the the microwave. You are not alone! How about all those times you completely skipped the buying and just went with old-faithful; cereal in a bowl. WOHM, do you get mad at yourself for not managing to put a home cooked meal on the table, as often or as early as you’d like? Well, so does a WAHM, with the added self-loathing of, “but I’m home!” This is not Leave It To Beaver, ladies. No one eats dinner at 4:00 p.m. So what if you burned the roast! Who cares if you had a cupcake breakdown and decided you should start baking at 10 p.m., wake your kids up in the middle of the night looking for kudos, completely forgetting that a midnight sugar-high for kids means 6:00 a.m. bags under the eyes, for mom. And? It’s okay! You are not alone!
3. It Wasn’t A Laugh, It Was A Yawn
I get it. You’re tired. I know how we try to hide that yawn into a forced laugh or ear-to-ear smile, when our body begins to show signs of done for-the-day, 8 hours before we actually hit the bed. None of us really get enough sleep.
4. There Aren’t Enough Hours In The Day
It feels like no matter how many to-do lists we make or how efficiently we schedule our day, there just isn’t enough time to get it all done. We’re always adding yesterday’s tasks to the top of today’s list.
5. Our Kids Grow Up Too Fast
We really can’t believe it. We’re a mess of emotions when we see our child taking steps, using the potty alone, making a sandwich, talking on the phone, reading, writing, drawing, trying to figure out a safe way to store their tooth for the tooth-fairy, or arguing with a sibling because they are now convinced Santa Claus is not real. We all miss the moments that we consider to be milestones in our children’s lives. We wonder where the time went. We’re sad and scared, but happy and excited to see our little babies become themselves.
6. What If Syndrome
So maybe if you worked at home your house would be cleaner? Maybe if you worked outside the home you’d be more productive? We all daydream about the what ifs.
“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” Anne Frank
7. We’re Bullies
We are so mean to ourselves. Having unreasonable expectations is one thing, but name-calling ourselves is crossing the line. We still do it. We still make ourselves feel like failures, are unjustly critical of our mistakes, and find ways to punish ourselves even when we are doing “okay,” because we still believe it’s not “enough.” We’re all missing the point. When we finally stop being our own worst enemies, we try to find a way to forgive ourselves. Ladies, we don’t need to be forgiven. We’re human. We’re doing just fine. We need to spend that time figuring out how to accept ourselves, just the way we are.
8. Wardrobe Fails
Whether you went to work with two different shoes or dropped off your kids at school in your pajamas, we’ve all been there. You know, those days when we look like we should have just stayed in bed? Maybe we wore our shirt backwards or inside-out all day. Maybe the UPS guy thinks you’re into him because you always answer the door in your bathrobe. Little does he know, you don’t get dressed until 5 p.m. Maybe you’re at work by 7 a.m. but you’re stripping down to nothing and into those pajamas the second you walk in the door. But hey ladies, when we look good, we look great! **Fist Pumps**
9. We Eat Too Much Pie (Chart)
We do it all. We eat the whole pie (chart). Sure, some of you have those husbands that do extraordinary amounts of work, help with the kids, the house, the cooking, and even the laundry. But come on now, you do more, right? (Don’t be scared. He can’t hear that secret “Hell Yea!” you’re shouting in your head.)
10. We’re Moms
This is much more than just something in common. It’s our unbreakable bond. We are all moms. We love our children. Whether we work in the home or out of the home, we do what we believe is best for our kids. We celebrate and cry together. We have wins and losses. We do the best we can, and it’s MORE than enough! This is motherhood. The best job in the world.
By: Alicia Gonzalez