Babies, Board Rooms and Ball Games
Before I became a mom, I didn't realize how often both working moms and stay at home moms are compared and equally criticized. I didn't even know 'Mommy Wars' existed...but I'm here to tell you that it's a real thing, especially on social media--and it needs to stop.
If you don't know what the 'Mommy Wars' epidemic is...let me explain. It's when a mom criticizes another mom's personal decision that is different from her own. The type of 'Mommy Wars' I'm referring to is when a mom passes judgement on another mom for her decision to stay home with her child or to work full-time. Deciding to stay at home or go to work is one of the biggest and most challenging decisions a mom will make and it shouldn't be criticized. Every mom makes that decision based on what she feels is best for her family and that decision should be accepted and respected.
I blog about my life as a working mom because that's all I know. I went back to work when my son was 2 months-old. I don't write about being a working mom because I think my decision to work is better than another mom's decision to stay home.
I love my job but I also know that I need to work to contribute to my household financially. Do I have moments where I wish I could stay home all day with my son? Of course I do...but I also recognize the hard work it takes to be a stay at home mom. I can't say I know from experience what it's like to stay at home everyday with my child, but I know it can't be easy and I have a lot of respect for stay at home moms.
When my son was 2 months-old my husband was out of town coaching a football game. The only commitment I had that weekend was to take my son to another coach's wife's house to watch the game on TV. It literally took me the entire day to take a shower and get us both ready. Every time I started to make progress he needed a bottle, a diaper change or just wanted to be held. I spent the whole weekend wondering how stay at home moms get anything done! Why do people expect stay at home moms to have clean houses and cook every night? When do they actually have time? If you're a stay at home mom and your house is clean and you find time to make dinner every night without losing your sanity, please tell me what your secret is because I'm dying to know!
I have close friends and family who are working moms and stay at home moms. On numerous occasions we discuss the different challenges that we both face and even admit that there are certain days we would love to trade places. My stay at home mom friends are sick of the stereotypes placed on them and sometimes wish they had an excuse to go to work so that they can have five minutes to go to the bathroom alone and engage in adult conversation. There are days I wonder if I'm doing a good enough job balancing my full time job and my family. I wish I had the option to stay at home with my son when he is sick and not worry about what I'm missing at work. There are times I have to remind myself to not feel guilty for missing out on certain moments with him during the day while I'm working.
It doesn't matter whether you work or stay at home--you are a mom and you have one of the most important jobs in the world. So can we please stop the 'Mommy Wars' and agree that we are all moms and we are all just trying to do the best we can?
By Jessica Wilkins
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