Can’t we all just get along?

“I hear you. Raising kids and running a house keeps me busy, too. I also have this little gig on the side called a full-time job.”

The woman posting this on FB today thought it was hilarious, and another comment snickered at how the “’play’ at home moms’ cracked her up. Another commented: “so why all the hate … [do] what you do and respect others too.” To this wise lady, all I could think was, “Amen, hallelujah!”

Why all the hate, indeed? Nothing is a cake walk, my friends! It is all simultaneously beautifully fulfilling AND frustratingly difficult. Let’s cut each other some slack, shall we? I think we all want the same things: to nurture our children and enjoy/appreciate our lives as much as possible.

I can only guess these types of remarks come from that deeper place of insecurity, where all parents sink to doubt themselves into a tizzy and despair over their choices. (Please, oh please, tell me it’s not just me that goes there!)

When I had my first child, I had wild ambitions of working from home about 20 hours a week, without using any form of paid childcare. Just me and my hubby – we could do it, right?? It’s only half-time!

Not so much.

I ended up freelancing naps, nights and weekends and it almost ended my sanity. I didn’t have enough time for my responsibilities and ZERO time to myself. I increasingly felt the quality of my work and the quality of my parenting was suffering. A lot. Something had to give.

After looking into the cost of many different childcare options, we decided it would be better financially for me to stay home while our kids were young. Now, over the past 5 years I certainly have not sat on my ass eating bonbons and watching soap operas. In a lot of ways, I simply traded one job for another. I wasn’t editing copy, managing authors and brainstorming features so much as changing countless diapers, reading chewed-on board books and repeatedly singing The Itsy Bitsy Spider. (And, yes, even Playing. But every job has its perks.)

A career woman in my mind, I never ever thought I’d stay at home with my kids full time. I cringe to remember the judgmental, superior thoughts I had about a fellow college classmate who said it was her dream to raise a family and keep a home. (A homemaker?? Hellooo, 1952 called, they want you to come back now. [Humungous eye roll].) It took me years of living it to fully realize it is just as important and as much a value to our society as any other profession.

I also have the most tremendous amount of respect for the working moms and dads, whether by choice or necessity. It is an awesome thing to be able to show your children such creativity, dedication and responsibility, not to mention (hopefully) how to love what you do for a living, while still being amazing parents. Heck, I’m married to a wonderful man who is the World’s #4 Dad (he has the coffee mug to prove it) and he works full time, even going on sales trips occasionally.

My point is that there is no “right” way to be a good parent and have a great family. Let’s all live and let live. (Unless you are a SAHM who does not have a profession to speak of yet also has a full-time nanny, personal trainer, chef and cleaning service … I mean, come on.)

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4 thoughts on “Can’t we all just get along?

  1. Kate January 19, 2013 / 1:59 am

    Awesome post Amy! So right on. The “mommy wars” are so unproductive and ridiculous…we all do what we do for different reasons/needs and we all have strengths and weaknesses…I think you hit the nail on the head…hurtful comments come from people’s insecurities…which we all have…I know I’ve found myself in that boat before… It’s just wether we choose to seek and give support and learn from one another or perpetuate more difficulty in what is already the toughest job in the world, being a mom (wether u stay at home, work full time or something in between). I am so grateful for our “village” 🙂

    • amyheather74 January 19, 2013 / 6:54 am

      Thanks, Kate! I’m so grateful for our village, too! 🙂 And I totally love what you said about supporting and learning from one another – so true.

  2. Annie March 7, 2013 / 7:20 pm

    Because I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard, “there’s nothing harder than being a stay at home mom! It’s the hardest job in the world!” and meanwhile, I manage to work 40 hours a week plus do the same things a stay at home mom does. BOTH sides make comments and feel the need to put the other side down and prove what they do is harder. Not just working moms. I have felt WAY more judgement as a working mom than I ever did when I stayed at home.

    • amyheather74 March 7, 2013 / 8:35 pm

      I agree, the comments come from all angles. Every parent plays a valuable role not only in the lives of their children but also in creating a healthy, whole society, and every contribution deserves respect.

      Here’s a great blog on the subject: http://momastery.com/blog/2013/02/04/friendly-fire-3/

      Thanks for commenting!

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