Parenting

Dear Stay At Home Mum, Dear Working Mum

Working-Vs.-Staying-HomeThis week would have been my first week back to work had I chose not to be a stay-at-home mum and I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the way my life has now changed.  Of course I feel blessed and extremely lucky to be able to have more precious time with Dylan in these formative years, but it doesn’t stop me from having pangs of mammy guilt for various reasons.  I’m kind of cheating in this post today as I’m quoting from another blog but I read it and it really resonated with me.  There’s so much backlash from both sides about how much harder life is for stay-at-home mums vs. working mums but this goes to show that every mum has to make sacrifices in whatever she chooses and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Dear Stay-at-Home Mom,
Can I be honest? Sometimes, I get jealous of you.
Like, when I picture your mornings minus the chaos of hustling kids out the door to day care. I picture breakfasts eaten without staring at the clock, maybe a morning kids’ show, everyone still in PJs. I see you taking the kids to the zoo or the park or the lake mid-morning, snapping selfies with them and texting your husband the funny thing your oldest said. I see you throwing a load of laundry in the dryer when you get home (or whenever you WANT!), playing goofy games with the kids over lunch, eating food you didn’t have to pack at 11 p.m. the night before.
When the youngest goes down for a nap, I see you getting things done around the house or working on your in-home business or bonding with your oldest over a craft project.
I see you witnessing every milestone and every funny moment, amassing memories that will make you smile years from now.
I see you, glowing and healthy from days spent outside, chatting up the other moms at the park or the library or the gym, wearing whatever the heck you want, never going to boring department meetings, never realizing mid-day that you forgot to put deodorant on and can’t do a thing about it.
It all seems so nice as I sit in my cramped, sunless office, stressing about the project I’m way over my head in and wondering what my kids are doing right now (that I’m missing).
But don’t worry. I know there’s more to it than that.
I know you also deal with meltdowns and picky eaters and fighting over toys (over everything) and long, lonely days where you’re way over-touched and you don’t talk to a single person over the age of 4. I know there are rainy days, snowy days, teething days, and inexplicably-crazy-kids days. I know you go to the same park a bazillion times a week, repeat the same phrases to your kids all day, play the same games over and over, and prepare and clean up SO MUCH food.
I know you’re desperate for alone time and adult time, and I know you feel guilty when you take that out on the kids.
I know you think about your education and your pre-kids career, and you wonder if you’re doing the right thing. I know you wish you could contribute more financially. I know you worry that you’re pouring so much of yourself into your kids that you might lose sight of who you are.
The truth is, neither of our lives is perfect or easy, but they’re both pretty dang awesome — just in slightly different ways.
I see you, and I support you. Keep it up, girl!
Love, Working Mom

Dear Working Mom,
Can I be honest? Sometimes, I get jealous of you.
Like, when I picture your mornings, sipping a still-hot latte alone at your quiet desk. I see you going to important meetings, talking to important people about important things (or at least, talking to adults about adult things). I see you grabbing lunch with your coworkers, gossiping about the office, maybe on an outdoor patio, maybe over some giant salads and still-cold iced teas. I see you giving presentations in that cute tailored blazer you have, speaking eloquently and confidently to a room of people who respect your ideas.
I see you planning out your days (and having that actually be a useful endeavor), working on projects that interest and challenge you, getting recognized for your hard work from your peers and superiors.
I see you traveling for work — sitting on a plane (ALONE!), staying in a nice hotel room, eating dinner on someone else’s dime. I see how proud you are of your career, how good it makes you feel. I see how extra special the time you spend with your kids is — the way you’re eager to pour into them in the evenings and on weekends, the way you treasure every minute.
It all seems so nice as I sit here eating leftover cold chicken nugget bits off my son’s plate, half-heartedly yelling at the kids to stop tackling each other and preemptively beating myself up for all the TV I know I’m going to let them watch later.
But don’t worry. I know there’s more to it than that.
I know that you still feel guilty sometimes after dropping off your kids, especially when they cling to you and cry. I know you envy the person who gets to spend their days with your children, seeing the funny things they do and hearing the funny things they say. I know you hate being stuck in your office on a beautiful day, wondering what your kids are up to and wishing you could be part of it.
I know it’s hard at the end of the day, when everyone’s tired and hungry and cranky, and you’re desperately cobbling dinner together before the frantic rush of baths and bedtime, and you SO wish it could be different because those are the only precious hours you get together as a family. I know it sucks to have to cram all the housework and errands into the weekends. I know you get lonely when you travel, and all the nice dinners and hotel rooms in the world can’t compete with those little faces at home that you can’t kiss goodnight. I know you miss your kids, and you wonder if you’re doing the right thing.
I guess I just wanted to let you know that I see you, and I recognize the sacrifices you’re making for your family.
The truth is, neither of our lives is perfect or easy, but they’re both pretty dang awesome — just in slightly different ways.
I see you, and I support you. Keep it up, girl!
Love, Stay-at-home mum

Originally written and published by Kim on Madison Mom Blogs.

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