Hi there. I’m a working mom. And, from where I sit, we are more alike than we are different. But that’s not what I see when I look online — it’s all turning into a competition of who is working harder or who has a tougher time.
Want to know what I think? I think Motherhood is a team sport. I think we need each other. But in order to be able to really lean on one another and become the Village that we are all longing for, we need to understand each other.
So, SAHM, here are 5 things I want you to know about me, the working mom:
1. I am not under the impression that you do nothing all day. I know you work. I know you work hard. I know this because I am home with my child on Saturdays and Sundays. It is tiring, and my husband is there to help. I want you to know that I admire you for handling every. single. thing. for your small children all by yourself and bearing the brunt of the household duties. I know it is not easy.
2. Work really isn’t a break for me. I have bosses and clients and deadlines that keep me on my toes and keep me busy all day. I rarely take a lunch break because I am usually trying to get ahead on my projects because I am in constant fear of getting The Call from daycare. The call that says, “Your daughter has a fever and you need to come get her.” I work extra hard and don’t take breaks so when The Call comes I can drop everything to rush to my child.
3. I need your friendship. Really, I do. I see your posts on Facebook and Instagram about playgroup and activities with other moms and babies, and I am envious of the friendships you are able to build with other mommas. I crave that community for myself, but it’s harder to build as a working mom. So, when you see me at the park in my professional attire, please don’t give me a sideways glance. Pretend I’m also there in my running shoes and yoga pants. Because I am there to spend quality time with my child and to let her burn a little energy before I have to go make dinner, just like you.
4. I consider myself a full-time mom. I promise you that I am raising my child. I’m not outsourcing my motherhood like so many things I read suggest. I don’t cease to be a mother when I walk in the doors to my office. Quite the opposite: I am in contact with my daughter’s school and her doctors, and I am trying to arrange activities for us when I catch a free moment during the day. It’s much like what a stay-at-home mom does when she has school-age children, just modified for toddler needs. And for me, part of my motherhood experience means providing for my family financially.
5. I did not choose my career over my child. This is the thing that stings the most, especially since no one accuses my husband of this. I work because my family needs my financial contribution, and because I love what I do. But also? Also I’m working because we need women in the work place. I am part of the generation of working mothers that is pushing for better maternity benefits, equal wages for women, and more overall support for families. I want things to be better for my daughter as she enters her career. I want things to be better for your daughter, too.
SAHM, we need each other. Instead of finding ways we are different, let’s find the ways we can complement each other. There are so many ways we can complement each other. Let’s do this for our daughters, that they may have more options than you and I when it comes to balancing work and family. Let’s do this for our sons, that they may be supported by their bosses when they are the ones getting The Call and have to leave work in a hurry.
Let’s all get on the same team. It will be fun, and I’ll bring the good snacks, I promise. And, SAHM? I know you have things you want me to know, too. I am ready to listen.