September 16, 2012

Admitting This is Tough

I am so tired of the "Mommy Wars", a debate started in the late 80's over who has it easier/better -- the moms who stay at home with their children or the moms who work out of the home.  We all need to do what's best for our children, our families and OURSELVES.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both scenarios.  What works for one family might be a complete disaster for another.  What comes easy for one Mother might be really difficult for another.

Instead of bashing and belittling one another for the choices we've had to make, we should support one another in our decisions and rally together to help through the difficult days.

I posted a status update the other day, saying,

I love my kids and am grateful that I have the chance/ability to stay home with them. But today is one of those days where I'm envious of the parents who work outside of the house.

It was one of those days where I was envious of the working moms who could go to the bathroom in peace without having a small child intently inspect what you were doing while trying to assist or having to hurry through your business because you could hear them emptying stuff out of the refrigerator.  A day where I was envious of the working moms who could hold business conversations over the phone without having to lock themselves into the bedroom for 3 minutes of semi-muffled quiet or asking your banker if you could call them back because you couldn't hear them over the screams of two fighting children.  A day where I was envious of the working moms who could take their kids to daycare and then take a sick day for themselves where they could actually get some rest and try to get feeling better.  A day where I was envious of the working moms who didn't have to sit and listen to an hour of their five year old screaming how they hate you, how you're a horrible parent and how they wish they weren't part of the family all because you tried to get them to lay down for a nap.

My intent wasn't to say or insinuate that working moms have it easier.  I wasn't saying that they're lucky to be away from home all day, to have someone else tend to their kids.  I know there are aspects of my day that working moms long for.

What I was saying was that *I* was having a hard day being a stay-at-home-mom. That *I* was struggling with the blessing I've been given.  That some days I question if this is the best decision for our family, for me, for the kids; that I wonder if the girls would be better if they didn't have to deal with a short-tempered, exhausted Mom some days. 

Some days I wonder what the hell I'm doing and if it's even close to the right thing.  Those are the days that are really tough.  Especially when I am criticized for complaining, criticized for saying I'm envious of others.  I carry enough guilt for feeling like I'm failing my kids and not appreciating or savoring the chance I have to stay home; I don't need others making me feel worse for just admitting my weakness(es).

Aren't we all allowed to have bad days?  Days where we question what we're doing?  Days where a part of us, even if only a teeny-tiny part, wishes things could be different?  That things could be easier?

All I know is that being a Mom is by far the toughest job I've ever had.  If you've never had a moment in this career where you drop your head into your hands, or stand in the shower, sobbing because you're overwhelmed, exhausted or just completely unsure that you're doing the right thing and praying that you're not messing up your kids, you're luckier than I.

I didn't mean for my comment to cause such controversy.  I was just trying to let the other side know that sometimes, I wish I could be in their shoes, even if they are simultaneously wishing they could be in mine.


Susan said...

I get you. :) Complain away. I don't even have kids and just trying to understand the responsibility you have overwhelms me.
I think BECAUSE you even ask yourself all these hard questions means you are doing a great job!

Lots of love to you. Ignore everyone who doesn't "get" it. :)

Kristen said...

I'm right there with you. If I hear one more time how "lucky" I am to work from home I might scream. Hell yeah I'm lucky, I know that but it sure as heck isn't easy working from home and raising three kids. Wouldn't it be better if we could all agree to support each other instead of tearing each other down all the time???

And you're right. This is the toughest job imaginable! :D

The Marecles said...

You have every right to complain and wish you had days out of the home. I agree with's not easy and I have had and I know I will continue to have hard days when I feel as though I am not good enough to be the mother of my children. But then a new day begins and I get the chance to start all over. I can't imagine what it is like trying to work at home and take care of kids, I admire you for doing it, and your kids are sure lucky to have you around. Don't worry about what others have said, just like you said you have to do what is right for your own family and that is all that matters. I have those days where I envy those moms (and dads for that matter) that get to leave and come home to kids who are excited to see them. Some days I feel like if I leave they are excited so they don't have to see me. ;) But in the end I know that I love my kids and I know they love me and I am doing what I know and think is best for them. Hang in there, it's not easy being a parent but it's worth it!!