The comparison of working mothers to non-working mothers is just one of many nonsensical parenting comparisons plaguing our society. These unfounded judgements on either side, are making a tough job even tougher, by inviting doubt into the hearts and minds of good parents.
Working mothers are often cast as being un-invested in motherhood. They are accused of “letting other people raise their kids”, and some even question the love they have for their children. On the flip side, stay-at-home moms are assumed to be lazy, because they don’t have “real jobs”. Quite frankly, it’s all insulting, because motherhood is hard enough without all this nonsense—and for the record, motherhood is the realest job there is.
If you actually compared a stay-at-home mom and a working mom, side-by-side, you would see that we’re a lot alike. For example:
1. We read to our kids. I often read book after book, after book, until I start skipping pages and beg to do a different activity.
2. We make playdough from scratch (or some other crafty-craft). I have destroyed my kitchen on more than one occasion with Pinterest-worthy activities. It’s a love/hate relationship, the kids love it, and I hate it, but I do it because, nothing makes kids happier than homemade sticky, goop. Stay-at-home moms do that crap too.
3. We snuggle our kids every chance we get. My kids would probably tell you how annoying I am, because I hug them, and tell them I love them, multiple times a day.
4. We learn together—letters, shapes, numbers, obscure facts about sea otters, you name it, we talk about it. Long, long, long conversations.
5. We take spur-of-the-moment trips to the zoo. If the weather is beautiful, and my babies want to see some tigers, I have no problem taking a spontaneous vacation day to have some fun. Having a career outside of motherhood doesn’t mean I’m missing “all the precious moments”.
6. We play outside. Whether it’s riding bikes in the drive way or going on a family four-wheeler ride, we love to be outdoors—well, until someone gets chased by a bug and everything is ruined.
7. We make our kids home-cooked meals. My daughter and I share a mutual love of tacos. When we make them together, she uses her Dragons Love Tacos book, as a guide, to make sure we don’t forget any ingredients.
8. We give our kids baths, and yell about keeping the water in the bathtub. All moms do this, it’s in our DNA.
9. We clean the house ad nauseam, so our kids have a clean, comfortable home. Well, it’s clean in five minute increments, until they destroy it again.
10. We get up with our kids in the middle of the night, when their tummies hurt, or they’ve had a bad dream. I’ve been puked on just as much as a stay-at-home mom, I promise. If my kids are sick, we stay home and snuggle together until they are well enough to go back to daycare.
11. We do allthelaundry. So much laundry. The most laundry you have ever seen.
12. We tuck our kids in bed every night, then we do it another twenty-eight times, because they keep getting up.
See? We, really, are the same.
My daycare providers do most of these things, too. They are part of our village. Stay-at-home moms have villages, too—other moms, grandparents, friends, and family. Maybe our villages look a little different, but that’s where the differences end.
I’m not a monster because I have a career, and stay-at-home moms aren’t lazy because they don’t.
We miss our kids when we aren’t with them. We celebrate every milestone, soaking in the moment, and wishing we could bottle time. We listen to rambling stories about YouTube videos, have snot on most of our clothes, and regularly eat cold meals, because we love our kids, and because, we’re good moms.
All of us.
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