Can I Be Honest? Sometimes, I Get Jealous

mom and daughter

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 daycare. 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 PM 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.

I guess I just wanted to let you know that I see you, and I recognize the sacrifices you’re making for your family. It’s easy for me to focus on the highlights of your life—the things I’m personally missing out on—but I know that’s not the full picture.

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. It’s easy for me to focus on the highlights of your life—the things I’m personally missing out on—but I know that’s not the full picture.

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 Mom

Note:

This post was written by a woman who’s been a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, and a work-from-home mom. She’s felt the unique joys and challenges of each, and is here to scream from the rooftops: none of them were easy. None were perfect. And definitely, none came without guilt.

There’s always greener grass somewhere, and always will be. Don’t forget to look down at your feet from time to time–the ground you’re standing on right now is actually pretty awesome.

 

102 Responses to Can I Be Honest? Sometimes, I Get Jealous

  1. Gale Hellpap June 22, 2016 at 9:17 am #

    This is absolutely fantastic. Thank you for writing this! I am quite confident all moms can relate. 🙂

    • Eileen Gant July 1, 2016 at 1:10 pm #

      Yes indeed! I am s great grandma so I stayed home with our 5 sons. I am not sure I could have worked and kept up with all the home affairs .my husband did not want me to work, he wanted me home when the boys came home from school. I was. OK with that. I can see the advantage in both ways. The economy makes it hard for mothers to be a stay at home mom.also I hear mothers say they do not want to be a stay at home mom! Each family has to make that decision! I feel neither is right or wrong but what works best for each family!

    • Debi K. August 7, 2016 at 6:19 pm #

      What a precious thing to post. I’ve been the career-mom, stay-at-home mom & back to career-mom….it’s hard! But I have two precious adult children that loved me both ways. I am at the point now where I have to be the LET-GO mom. That’s the hardest of them all. I gave them their arrow and pray they fly straight.

  2. Gina O. June 22, 2016 at 10:04 am #

    What a great reminder to all moms to be thankful right where they’re at! Great article!

  3. jackie June 25, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

    so true thank you for writing it from both sides!

  4. Kara June 25, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

    Love it. Thank you. As a mom with a lot of flexibility and choices, I too recognize that there is no easy or perfect way to do it!

  5. Jaclyn June 26, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

    So very very true, I have been on both sides and felt the same things. Thank you for this article/note.

  6. Becca P. June 26, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

    Finally, an article that sees both sides fairly! I feel fortunate to be a half-time working mom, so I get to best (& challenges) of both worlds. The “mommy wars” drive me nuts, & you said it perfectly — neither is easy, and the grass isn’t always greener. Thank you!

  7. Misty June 26, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    As a woman who stayed at home, I think the sacrifice I didn’t anticipate was what would happen when I was ready to go back to work. We all doubt our decisions, whatever they are, but the working world also doubts a woman’s decision to stay at home. It took me 3 years of applying to entry-level jobs (with a stellar education behind me) before I could even get an interview. That was ego crippling.

    Still, I’m grateful for the time I had with the kids. But I would advise new moms to try to keep one foot in the working world while your littles are growing up, even if it’s a couple hours a week. It will make your transition back to either work or an empty nest much easier.

    Peace.

    • Beth Simes July 2, 2016 at 5:35 am #

      Oh yes… ego crippling

  8. pat ertman June 26, 2016 at 7:20 pm #

    a very well written article, enjoyed it, Enjoy the the grass underfoot, it’s the best for that time and place.

  9. sarah June 27, 2016 at 1:10 pm #

    Whooaa… Is this the mythical entity known as a balanced, agendaless piece of internet content? *applause emoji* Love it!

  10. Lily June 28, 2016 at 8:04 am #

    Thank you so much for this article. It actually made me cry. I was a working mom, now SAHM and even though I’m grateful, I struggle with it at times. So thank you for literally seeing it from both side. Much love:)

  11. Ashima June 28, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

    Loved it… I am a working mom and I can so relate to it!

  12. Phoebe Lonborg-Lewis June 28, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

    Loved this article! So well written, and so TRUE! I was a married working mom, divorced single working mom, newly married with 3 step kids plus mine working mom, then sole working mom when my husband lost his job for 6 months- while I as 9 months pregnant! Then I was a stay at home mom for 2.5 years, and now back to work mom with 5 kids- I have done it all, and It is ALL hard. We need to support our fellow Mommas, no matter what role they are in, because there are tough days no matter who you are or what you’re “work ” status is.

    All have their pros and cons- the key is to try and find the blessings and silver lining in every aspect of being a woman- because at the end of the day- WOMEN ROCK!!!

  13. Barb June 28, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

    Both of these are very good. But, what I wonder is what the children might say. Who is there for the meltdowns? Is it someone who really pays attention and truly cares because they love the child? When children are stressed and tired or sick, does that paid caregiver even take time to notice? Is mommy’s career more important?

    • Mandy June 28, 2016 at 11:31 pm #

      It’s not just about “mommy’s career”. Sometimes it’s not an option, it’s a financial mandatory.

      • jules June 29, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

        What Mandy said. And also women have a choice on how they care for and parent their children. It’s wonderful when they can make those choices with support and without judgment.

      • Sarah June 29, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

        Unless you’re living in a smaller, less expensive house, unless you’ve given up expensive treats and vacations, unless you’ve traded pricey vehicles for used, yet reliable models, and seen if you can make it on one income, then you cannot say that a 2nd income in the house cannot be lived without. In this materialistic world we have considered some very expendable things as mandatory. We don’t need big budgets for name brand clothing, in fact we don’t even NEED small budgets for it. We don’t need professionally done nails or expensive color in our hair…childhood is gone in a blink. You don’t get the formative years back, and children do not get to lay down for all their naps, with a loving parent kissing and hugging them goodnight. With a parent that loves them in charge of their discipline each day. Growing up along side their siblings, and forming best friend relationship’s with them, not with their siblings in another room, and kept apart like strangers all day long.

        Yes, it is a trade off, and yes, some people (but far less that claim this) have no choice. But I applaud the parents that have sacrificed their luxuries, their careers, who they were before they became a parent, because they see the moment for what it is, fleeting.

        • Janine June 29, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

          I don’t think this is a fair statement . Between my husband and I we make mid-six figures but Due to the cost of living where we live, rent, electric and heat bills, student loans, groceries, car insurance, medical and life insurance, contributions to our future and my daughters college fund, I literally cannot live on one salary.

          I do not live outside my means. I do not take fancy vacations or drive an expensive car. My 2 bedroom apt is moderate – no doorman or luxury amenities. The last time I got a manicure was 2 years ago and who knows when I last went to a salon.

          I do not pay for childcare as my mom babysits and still if my husband or I didn’t work – I would more than struggle. I couldn’t pay rent, my student loans would have to be deferred which is setting up my family for failure and I wouldn’t have certain medical benefits through my employer. Sure do I spend a hundred dollars a month so my daughter can go to Gymboree or music class. Yes. But to me that is so important in her growth and an opportunity for her to learn and make friends. That wouldn’t happen if I didn’t work.

          I wish every day that I could stay at home with her and not miss her “firsts”. I wish I can take her to the park or stay home with her just because she has the sniffles. I cry every single morning when she says “momma stay” but we do not work so we can go shopping or take tennis lessons and lease a Lexus. I work in order to provide for my family. To put a roof over our head. And so that down the road, we aren’t struggling with all the financial repercussions from having one income.

          I’d gladly “sacrifice” my career if I had the opportunity but in return I’d be doing more harm than help.

          • Carrie July 19, 2016 at 9:26 am #

            Thank you for this comment, Janine, and all of the other moms on this post that understand her day-to-day life. Your reality and mine are almost identical, and my husband and I both work as hard as possible to ensure that we can pay the bills, the rent, our student loans, and still provide for our children. We are not choosing fancy vacations over time with our children; we are choosing to love and support them the best we can at this time in our lives. Stay strong and ignore what “Sarah” said. It is unfair and narrow-minded for her to think that she can make a generalization like that.

            This was a wonderful balanced article, and it is a shame that Sarah needed to make a comment like the one she did.

        • Mary June 30, 2016 at 1:13 am #

          Dear Sarah,

          My husband died, so there is only one way to pay the rent and put food on the table. But thank you for making me feel like a failure to my children.

          • Maria Suarez July 1, 2016 at 11:25 am #

            I’m sure that was not the writer’s intent to make you feel like a failure. As a matter of fact, I applaud you for being there to take care of your children as a SINGLE parent. I was a single parent when my husband and I split and my boys were 2.5 and 1 month old. I also had no choice but to go back to work to put food on the table and take care of my boys. I had some help from family but eventually I had to pay for child care, and the tears that we both shed broke my heart. If I had a choice, I would have loved to stay home at least until they started school but I was not that fortunate. So kudos to all those parents who are raising their children alone. You are both mom and dad to your children. My sons are now parents and I am blessed to be the grandmother of 5 beautiful children the youngest being only 9 months old and my heart. Stay strong.

        • Brenna June 30, 2016 at 3:22 am #

          So says a privileged person who does not understand the average wages across America. Did you know in La for example a teacher only makes 35k, before taxes. After taxes we will say 25-28. Lets say 28 for both math and simplicity. So my mythical teacher brings home 2.3K a month! Great Right….Now lets say this teacher did go to college, shocking I know, but he only has a modest 300 a month student loans repayment, b/c he was a very responsible teacher. Now he also has health insurance, b/c he has a family and they do occasionally need to see a doctor. Lets be very generous and say his monthly premium is only 500 and its great health insurance. So now he has 1500 a month left. Go him! Now in 1500 he needs to pay for a house or apartment to rent in Louisiana that is still 750-11000 for an apartment or house for him and his wife and their two children. and we still haven’t added insurance, food, clothing, utilities….so need I go on? and this is a college educated inviduials. What do you think it is for those who never had the benefited from that opportunity. Its easy for someone who has never had to provide and work and keep food on the table to degrade those who work. Many of us marry for reasons other than financial security and do not have the privilege of having a spouse to makes enough.

          —ps. I am in law school and was the breadwinner until I did so. We made 75K and yes my husband stayed at home with our son, but I would never make the assumptions about someone elses financial situation.

        • Tgrahammy June 30, 2016 at 5:43 am #

          Sarah, I agree with you 100%! If Sara’s comments don’t apply to your situation then she’s not speaking to you…no need to feel belittled. Her point is, make sure you’ve prioritized before claiming that you need two incomes. If you have done that, then she’s not addressing you. Only you know that. Due to circumstances, I am now a single working stay at home mom. I moved to a different state so that I could get housing that I could afford on my single income. I work from home at nights and bust my but so I can be with my kids. I also tried being a working single mom, but my kids suffered! So I sacrifice, so my kids don’t have to.

        • Hachu June 30, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

          There always has to be one of you people…

          • Betty July 1, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

            Thanks Obama

        • annoyed June 30, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

          Lol way to completely miss the point of this post.

        • Kristen June 30, 2016 at 11:45 pm #

          I make nearly 3x my husband’s full-time salary right now (and trust me, mine is not great) plus I have fantastic benefits that allow us to only pay $60/month for his meds that would otherwise be about $3500/month. We live simply, don’t go on vacations, but are not in debt. I wish everyone would stop assuming that everyone can survive off of “one income”. Each “one income” is not the same. I have a WONDERFUL husband who works hard and has many gifts, but it will be a while before he makes enough to support us, if that ever does happen. This is what works for our family, at least for right now.

          Plus, I get to work in a meaningful field and share my gifts and passions with the college students I invest in. My children can share me some. Plus, they know that they have a village of people around them who love them. We make our time together meaningful.

        • Julie Smith July 1, 2016 at 7:01 am #

          Barb, Sarah and Tgrahammy – I’ve been both (my youngest son was diagnosed in the autistic spectrum and I stayed home and studied and worked with him on his social/developmental skills in order to make certain that he was mainstreamed in at school and could grow up to be a productive adult). And my husband left. And now I’m stuck trying to get back into the workforce after having been absent from it for almost 10 years. I WISH I had stayed in the workforce, because getting even an interview, even with good education and skills is a toughie. I’ve had a couple of job offers (junior web developer and help desk tech was one – for $9/hr. – laughable to use THAT much of my brain for almost minimum wage). I’m willing to go back to entry-level, but I’m not willing to be taken advantage of. I’d work for $9/hr. if I had to – at a retail or fast food job or the like, so it’s not simply about the money, it’s about how employers fairly compensate their employees for the skills used, but that’s another topic. My niece looked down HER nose at working mothers as well, feeling that they were not being “as good” a mother as she was – then HER husband left, and she was left without any working skills and very little in the way of child support. So don’t use broad brushstrokes to judge. My older children all were raised while I was working outside of the home, and they turned out great. And I DID miss them when I was at work, but I was working for THEM – for THEIR tuition and THEIR college savings and THEIR clothes and activities and food and . . . well, you get the picture. I was working because I wanted to be able to provide well for them even if something happened to my husband. I was also there when my youngest needed more than just a guiding hand, and I’ve sacrificed my entire standard of living to do so. He’s a teenager now, mainstreamed in high school, doing wonderfully well, and while it was fulfilling to actually be at home with one of the children, doing what needed to be done, I still wish there was a way I could have done both.

        • Ellen July 1, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

          So, Sarah – my career is a luxury? The career I got after spending countless hours in the classroom to get 2 degrees, and now have thousands (and thousands… and thousands) of dollars in loans that this career is helping to pay off? My car was a used model when I bought it, many of my clothes are bought second-hand, my nails are bitten down to the cuticles, and my hair color is natural.

          I realize every single day that childhood is fleeting, yet my husband and I are doing the very best we can to manage the lives we have. We don’t need judgement from strangers like you saying that we’re making mistakes.

        • Beth Simes July 2, 2016 at 5:56 am #

          Wow… just wow… because yes, we live with my mother. We use cloth diapers and my sons havr never had a drop of formula. We drove paid up good reliable second hand cars (one which my father GAVE to me). I dyed my hair with $5 box dye every second month. I kept my nails filed short and painted them myself if I had the time. We ate home cooked whole food that thankfully my mother had time to prepare from scratch. My mother carried most of the financial burden of groceries thankfully. We didn’t go on vacation. We barely visited family because of the cost of gas. And still we couldn’t get by. Financially we were drowning despite both of us working full time. This thankfully has passed but please your comments are hurtful towards the mothers that simply cannot afford not to work but suffer the guilt of leaving their children. And yes we wonder everyday if we are doing the right thing by trusting others with the meltdowns etc. Sometimes a career is not a choice but a necessity.

        • Julie August 30, 2016 at 9:39 am #

          Oh, Sarah…I knew the judgy perfect moms would come out. Could we live without my (part time) salary? I’m sure we could manage, but we’d be screwed if we had an emergency. Also, I spent 8 years getting my doctorate, so I didn’t want to give that up. Plus, my son lives that his mommy is an animal doctor and can share lots of cool stories about my work day. Plys, I hope it helps him see a strong woman who accomplished a lot and that he will redpect strength and independebce when it comes time for him to find a partner someday.
          And my kid ADORED his daycare/school. They did so many fun things I never would have thought of and he had so many great social opportunities. I don’t regret anything so far.

    • Michelle June 30, 2016 at 6:06 am #

      Well, I’m OK with saying that we COULD go without my income. But I own a business. I love my career. I love that I give jobs to hundreds of people and that my business has helped thousands of families. My son went to daycare. Guess what? He’s not a monster! He’s polite, loving, intelligent…I could go on and on. And my now 7 year old son and I have a great relationship.

      Don’t feel like you need to make excuses, working moms.

      • Michelle June 30, 2016 at 11:09 pm #

        Well, Michelle, I love both your name AND your response (along with many others).

        For one, way to miss the point, Sarah, and continue to belittle people who are making different choices than you. People like you are the problem and reason we need articles like this.

        Two, stop acting as if I’m a cold, heartless mother because I have a career. Grow up and join 2016. I have a business that is noble work, am the financial breadwinner, and show my daughter (like my mother did) a lot of lessons about hard work and goals. I also schedule around her school parties, cuddle as often as possible, and spend every moment finding how to raise her as a well rounded and respectful human being.

        Three, I have huge respect for what moms at home do, much like this article. It’s not a fight. However, attitudes like yours add to the fact that career moms (we all work) still face so much crap in the workplace. Your husband gets reassurance that his lack of respect for women working is justified and treats people like me as their subordinate, despite more experience, degrees, or spot-on ideas. Perhaps that doesn’t bother you.

        And it should.

    • Rosa June 30, 2016 at 12:42 pm #

      Barb,

      Sad to see that your “questions” are just tearing down more women and possibly creating more guilt. Why can we not all gather around as women and mothers and accept that we all have different wants and needs for our families and SUPPORT each other however we can?

    • Gretchen June 30, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

      Barb and Sarah,

      You clearly didn’t understand the point of the article.

      Your not-so-innocent “questions” about what the children would say and what financial sacrifices the family has made to justify mommy’s career, are clearly mean to belittle and guilt any woman who works… whether by choice or by necessity. Passive aggressive mommy-warring at it’s finest. Way to illustrate the exact opposite of the message that author was trying to convey. Well done.

      To the author– thank you for your well written piece. It certainly captured the guilt, chaos, and joys of motherhood… no matter the path that is walked.

      PS– Yes, Barb and Sarah. You are clearly superior and better than anyone who dares to work outside the home. Your way is the best (ONLY) way. Got it. Understood. Thanks for your feedback. I think I know just where I’m going to file that away….

    • annoyed June 30, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

      >Who is there for the meltdowns?

      Experts in early childhood education

      >Is it someone who really pays attention and truly cares

      Yes

      >When children are stressed and tired or sick, does that paid caregiver even take time to notice?

      It’s literally their job to

      >Is mommy’s career more important?

      Yes, and you’re fucking welcome. My job makes your world a better place to live in.

      • Michelle June 30, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

        Clapping.

        • Danielle July 3, 2016 at 7:55 pm #

          YES.

    • Stop judging June 30, 2016 at 9:20 pm #

      I think several of you missed the point! The point is not to judge other women for making a choice different from yours. Sarah, you really missed the point!(and you sound like a super judgemental person) Women have several different labels, MOTHER, is on of them. Because a mom chooses not to give up all other labels doesn’t mean her children are sacrificing. I’m a working mom so my children will have high education paid for just like my mom did, I’m 28 years old and I don’t remember ANY nap time or specific emotional breakdown i had when I was 4. But I do remember my college graduation and how hard my mom worked to put me through my undergraduate and I respect her and love her for that. Moral of the story… Women are awesome!

    • Michelle July 2, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

      Barb, I can’t speak for all children, but I can tell you what my kid says. We went to tour a few preschools because I was tired of the string of unreliable sitters we were using to cover the few hours I teach in the afternoons. I was very hesitant to have him in an all day program when I only really needed a few hours of childcare in the afternoon, but schools don’t call in sick a few hours before I have to conduct a concert. We had to drag him away from the tour. Rather than waiting until the fall, we started him for the summer session. He asked about it every single day in between the tour and his first day. It’s three hours, 9-12, and they have after care until 6. I had to drag him away after lunch the first day, he was in tears because he didn’t want to leave. It took so many promises of coming back the next day to tear him away. I finally let him stay in after care one day to see if he would be okay. He didn’t want to leave at 6. He asks to stay after every day. My budget only allows a few days of extended care for now until I’m working more in the fall, but given the choice, he would stay every day. So, to answer your questions:

      >But, what I wonder is what the children might say.
      He says “can I stay for next school?” (his name for after care, after he wakes from nap. He hadn’t napped at home for nearly a year, but likes to sleep at school.)

      >Who is there for the meltdowns?
      Trained and certified caregivers who have a wealth of resources to deal with big toddler emotions and way more patience than I have because they’ve had a good night’s sleep and don’t live with these kids. Also, he has friends there who help him. It’s adorable to watch one tiny person come over to comfort another tiny person.

      >Is it someone who really pays attention and truly cares because they love the child?
      Yes, yes to all of those things. The teachers at my son’s school really pay attention. They aren’t distracted by a million chores that also have to be done. They aren’t distracted by a backlog of Stuff. They are there only to take care of the children. And yes, they love them. Not the same love as I have as their mother, but yes, they love my kid.

      >When children are stressed and tired or sick, does that paid caregiver even take time to notice?
      Sick kids stay home so they don’t get everyone else sick, but yes, every single time at this school and the other program he participated in when he was younger they mention at pick up that he seemed slower, or not as energetic, and that we should keep an eye on it. Recently, we had a meltdown in the morning before drop off and he was in a mood. I told the teacher what had happened and that he might need some space or be extra sensitive, and then got a detailed email during their nap time about how they had talked through it and ideas I could use at home to help him work through those difficult feelings. So yes, they do notice, and they do take time.

      >Is mommy’s career more important?
      My sanity is important. My identity as a human being is important. Balance is important. Quiet one on one time spent with my younger one is important. Also, the condescending tone of this question doesn’t help anyone.

      The most liberating thing anyone ever said to me was that it takes a village to raise a child, and that child doesn’t care if some of the village is paid to be there.

    • Barb July 2, 2016 at 9:37 pm #

      This sounds a lot like judging. It is self anointed arrogant people like you that enjoy kicking other females for no reason. Hopefully people know who their nanny or sitter is, and know they are loved by them. From what I have seen in children’s meltdowns, they seem to happen more often with stay at home mothers than working mothers because they are not as well adjusted, or mothers coddle them way too much.

      You could ask are those stay at home mother’s thinking about their child’s best interest and how they may feel? If the parents allow their child to have play dates at other homes, is that your child thinking why do we not have nicer things, toys or a nice house like other people? Why can’t I have pretty clothes? I wish I could go out to eat like Susie does with her parents. Wow, I wish I had good food every night. I wish I could go on vacations. I wish I could see and play with other kids more often. On and on…

      Now if none of that would apply to your circumstances, you need to keep your opinion to yourself until you realize how most families struggle financially if the mother stays home. That struggle isn’t about nice things, actually most cases it is NOT about things. It is basic necessities. It is about paying the power bill and hopefully having enough money left to afford decent protein for their child to eat. Or if it will be spaghetti without the meat again.

      You really need to step off that pedestal before a higher power knocks you off.

  14. Shandi Dews June 28, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

    I absolutely love this…all to often, there is so much backlash from both sides about how much harder life is for one vs. the other. I appreciate that you wrote this article!

  15. Katie June 29, 2016 at 1:28 am #

    So, can I be honest too!
    Dear Moms,
    Sometimes, I see your life and I wish it was mine. I wish I had hurried mornings. I wish I had messes to clean up. I wish that I had noses to wipe, diapers to change, homework to help with, dishes to wash, mountains of laundry, a cluttered toy room, bikes on the front lawn and everything that comes with it.
    I know that you see my life and you think it’s a picnic. Just the two of us. But it isn’t.
    I guess what I want to say is….thank you for being willing to give up your life for theirs. Thank you for loving them so much. Thank you for being something that I will never be.

    • jules June 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

      <3

    • Jaime June 29, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

      Thank you Katie. That’s exactly what I was thinking. Both of these stories do not represent all sides. Let’s not forget those of us who would kill to have a child. Whether we work, or don’t, isn’t the issue. That’s the least of it. It’s the fact that we will never be parents, and we are jealous of both of you. And I am thinking to myself, be thankful for what you have.

    • Angel June 29, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

      I’ve been where you are and my heart is with you. There are lots of sides to the story for sure.

    • Michelle June 30, 2016 at 11:17 pm #

      I’m not going to pretend I’ve been in your shoes, but this still punched me in the gut. As it should as a fellow woman, because we are on this crazy ride together.

      I can’t believe that the amount of pull you have toward motherhood (clearly) doesn’t spill out. That you don’t love people around you well and fill mothering gaps they need filled.

      I hope and pray that you are able to do that 24/7 someday. <3

  16. Sally June 29, 2016 at 8:25 am #

    This is so great. All true, all hard, all worth it, wherever you/we are. I’ve been at all parts of this spectrum, including where you are right now, Katie. Thank you for this.

  17. Chari June 29, 2016 at 9:03 am #

    Oh…my…goodness! As a WAHM, I LOVE this and thank you so much for writing it! Through the frustrating & hard times this is a great reminder to be thankful for the blessings of being able to stay at home. This was right on time. God bless you!

  18. A SAHM June 29, 2016 at 9:15 am #

    So, JSYK, women who have businesses and also stay at home are /not/ SAHMs – they’re /Work From Home Moms/. They get to be around their kids but don’t always get to interact with them. They have the same deadlines working mons have. People on the outside see them and assume the cleaning and cooking is on them. They assume their job is a hobby and not a means of finance.

  19. Mama MoMo June 29, 2016 at 9:17 am #

    I went back to work three days a week after my daughter was born and it took many months before I was able to not feel guilty about leaving her when I went to work and to not feel guilty about not being at work the two days I was home. Then one day, my co-worker who doesn’t have any kids yet told me how lucky she thought I was to “have it all” right now, and I think maybe she’s right. I hope more employers like mine can help their mom workers find balance!

    • SallyCo July 5, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

      Good lord, how did you even function?! I could barely walk across my house by myself three days after my son was born (no-complications vaginal birth, so I know it could’ve been much harder), let alone go back to work.

      Whether it was by choice or forced because of financial strains, I hope you know that almost every Mom that hears a mother went back to work three days postpartum thinks you’re a serious badass. You must possess incredible emotional and physical strength. Guilt seems to come with the motherhood territory, but I hope you know you’re a true Super Mom!

    • SallyCo July 5, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

      Wow, I completely misread your comment! I feel silly. But doing what you have to for your family and for yourself still makes you a Super Mom! <3

  20. jules June 29, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    I’m a full-time working mom, sitting at my office desk after reading this, and I’m crying. so, so good and so, so true. countless days I have cried while driving the “wrong” direction on the way to work. so many times I have longed to be the one caring for my little. and I have also tried to remind myself exactly what you remind me, that there is no perfect, that we are all finding our own beautiful and noble ways to do this blessed work that is parenting. Thank you for sharing, mama. <3

  21. Melissa June 29, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

    I very rarely comment on posts that I have read. This has been shown to me and has been suggested reading to me by many moms and non moms that I know. The writer does a good job, but I have a fundamental issue with this piece of writing. While I understand what this writer was trying to do, and she does portray both sides, what she doesn’t do is make it clear she isn’t comparing two things equally. She is comparing privilege and those less privileged. For ALL stay at home moms, they have been afforded an opportunity due to financial security and blessing that not ALL working moms get. It’s nice that this writer had the OPPORTUNITY and the CHOICE to be a stay at home mom and a working mom. Choice is amazing, even if you have to sacrifice to get that cohice, you still have that choice. However, many working moms don’t get a choice. We are forced to work without the option to stay home because despite sacrifice and hard work, we can’t afford to stay at home. So to compare me with someone who has the choice to work or not to work is unfair and minimizes my feelings and my financial inability to obtain the same reality. If a stay at home mom wants to work, she can. If she wants to stay home, she can. For me and many moms I know, if we choose to stay home, we lose our home or live off the government. We don’t vacation, we don’t have cable, and we don’t eat out, we sacrifice daily. We can afford to have a child by being very careful, but I can NOT stay at home regardless of what I do. So all this article does for me is point out again that stay at home moms have privilege and opportunities I will never have and when they get jealous, they can change their situation. I cannot.

    • juju June 29, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

      This.

      I would only add: how about all you moms quit complaining in general and victimizing yourselves and give the example you should be to your kids about how to have control over your own life. Don’t like staying at home or can’t afford the lifestyle you’d like for your kids? Get a job. Don’t like your current job? Get a different one. Can’t seem to find a job? Get education or learn new skills that will land you one. Or learn to start your own business.

      Be a responsible adult. Your children are looking at you and will copy your behavior. Teach them what life is about. It’s not about patting yourselves on the back complaining how hard your lives are (spoiler: unless you or a family member is heavily disabled or terminally ill or has just died – no, your life isn’t hard at all). It’s not about playing a victim (ESPECIALLY don’t teach your daughters all about being a victim and don’t even use the words “ah the sacrifice I did for you”, that will cause more damage than you could think). Life is about embracing opportunities: you are a sailboat on an ocean of opportunities. You have the sail and the rudder. Don’t just float wherever the wind takes you, just steer the goddamn thing, you are the captain!

      Also, why do I never hear dads complaining about how hard their lives are? They don’t live on another planet, they have their ups and downs too, but the society doesn’t allow them to complain, they have to be strong. I wish society treated women equally, and expected us all to be strong too. Strong women are happy and successful, have a lot of various skills, feel in control of their lives, and don’t need any self-esteem booster or validation from blog posts. So don’t take the easy way of a victim, it’s for your own good, ladies!

      Sincerely,
      Mom to be

      • Megan June 29, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

        Mom to be, please check back in with us in a couple of years and let us know if your tune has changed. SAH, WAH, or working mom… they’re all hard. No, they’re not the same kind of hard as having a terminally ill family member, but I spent over four years raising two small boys while working a full-time job and helping as much as possible care for my dying mother. So yeah- it’s hard. Life is hard. It’s nice to know you’re not alone sometimes.

        • juju June 29, 2016 at 5:51 pm #

          I don’t think you got my point, Megan. Here, let’s all stand in a circle and all repeat after me: “Life is soooo hard. My life sucks. I had to sacrifice soooo much. I need everyone around to acknowledge how hard my life is. Because mine is especially hard and you know nothing about it, because you’ve not been in my exact shoes. I haven’t been in your shoes either but I feel entitled to claim that your life as a non-mother is waaaaay easier than mine, so shut up and don’t tell me I should stop whining”.

          I wish it wasn’t “fashionable” for women to be weak. I wish whining in public was frown upon more. I wish there was a social expectation of women to be strong (just like there’s such expectation of men). I wish mothers didn’t sound like victims just because they CHOSE to become mothers, so now the whole world owes them something for their HARD work of raising children and you know, like supporting yourself aka simply being an adult.

          Sincerely,
          Mom to be

          • Selena July 2, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

            Juju,
            So thank you for your thoughts. I am curious how you feel later in life.
            I used to be you. Then I got married, had kids, had more expectations put on me. I pushed and pushed to be STRONG and do it all…and I got sick. Seven months in bed. No more running. No more triathlons.
            Now I know better.

            Expressing our frustration, sadness, and guilt is not weak. In fact, it’s the hardest thing to do. Because of all the expectations on women these days: be strong, be sexy, be PERFECT, be a mom, be a wife, be a corporate exec, be a good cook, be fit…we (women – unlike you, I guess) struggle.
            How can we possibly fit into all these roles?
            Guess what, we can’t.
            If we allow ourselves to play these roles and be “strong,” we will suffer. Because we are stuffing our real feelings, pretending that we are okay and have it all together, and pushing ourselves beyond our limits to do right by our obligations.
            What happens then? Women get sick. Physically and emotionally sick.
            Depression, adrenal fatigue, thyroid disease, anxiety, and more.
            One way to combat this is to be TRUE to ourselves — tell our non-judgmental support system how we REALLY feel. Understand that we are not alone. Understand that we do have choice — choice to allow ourselves grace and speak our hearts openly. We have choice to feel and share.
            And THAT is strong. Being vulnerable is POWER.

            I won’t plug myself here, but I created a project for women around this entire issue. Know that you are loved and there are ways to work through the guilt.

        • Vee July 1, 2016 at 7:47 am #

          Agree! Thank you, Megan. Now, like magic, whenever people without kids render opinions on motherhood and childrearing and parenting in general (which I never realized just how much they do until I became a mother) I find myself internally rolling my eyes and thinking about something else in my head. They can’t possibly get it, of course – and they won’t – until they “get it.” But they’ll be too embarrassed by their ignorance, delusion and righteousness by that point.

      • Megan Soto June 29, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

        Men complain all the time – they just don’t have “mom blogs”. It’s not “weak” to admit imperfection – I would actually argue being vulnerable takes strength. I like to model to my children that it is ok to not be perfect – that I have my struggles – so when they face hardships they know they are not alone and that despite feelings of unease they are resilient and will persevere. I’m incredibly blessed. I love my children. But some days it’s hard – and some days it sucks – plain and simple. I imagine that is true for every walk of life – the inevitable struggle. No one is happy all the time- not a soul on the earth. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting that. I’d argue that the illusion that without a dying family member that life is easy is a breeding ground for depression via attempted suppression. There is a difference between expressing yourself and dwelling – and in no way do I see this post as dwelling.

    • Nicole C June 30, 2016 at 10:48 am #

      Not all SAHMs have the option to work. I am pregnant with my third child. My husband and I were “preventing” each time but her we are…five years into marriage and expecting our third. We cannot afford daycare costs for our children or a second vehicle (plus insurance and gas) for me to have a job. There is no job I qualify for that would be worth those costs.

      Does it suck sometimes? Yes. Do I feel trapped sometimes? Yes. But it’s life and we move on with the hand we’re dealt. No need to feel sorry for yourself because you *have* to work, just like there’s no need for me to feel sorry for myself because I *can’t.” There are benefits to both sides that we can each enjoy.

    • Lesley July 1, 2016 at 11:38 am #

      Melissa, I believe you have hit the nail on the head with your response. I couldn’t agree more with what you have said. There is an irony and a truth to what you have written. My favorite response to this article. Thank you.

    • Michelle July 2, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

      Hey, guess what Melissa, I had to quit working because in the area I live, the work I do wouldn’t cover the cost of childcare. So, staying at home wasn’t necessarily my choice. And I know I’m not the only in this boat. So just be careful, not ALL stay at home moms are here by choice either.

  22. Murray June 29, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

    How about us working mom’s who don’t have “office” jobs but very long and physically draining jobs that leave us with next to nothing energy wise then have to take care of the home duties in the evenings and weekends while simultaneously spending as much time as we can with our little ones? All that aside, I do actually appreciate this and seeing that no one way is better and that we are ALL.hard working, loving Mothers just trying to do our best.

  23. D. June 29, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

    Great article. I believe social media has created this problem between working, WAH, and SAHMs. We are constantly seeing these pictures on all our outlets and perfect lives can be posted by any mom, regardless of what’s actually happening behind the scenes. Not only that but social media can really play on my ‘mom guilt’ in general, and probably any mom’s guilt- working or not. I see long days at the park, elaborate birthday parties, mounds of holiday gifts…everything seems to be a competition. And what could be an innocent, well-intentioned photo can hurt if I view it as not being able to provide the same for my son. It’s hard to disconnect, but think about 30 years ago when the internet wasn’t around. I don’t think my mother had the ‘working mom guilt’ that I have nor do I believe the rift between WAH and SAHM existed. Obviously I love the Internet and technology but it’s definitely shifted mom perspectives and priorities. I digress…this article is a great reminder that we are one- don’t hate, lift each other up moms!

    • juju June 29, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

      D, it’s not social media. It’s self-esteem, or lack of thereof, and insecurities so common in women, especially young mothers. A person with healthy self-esteem and proper attitude towards life isn’t hurt because they see someone who has more time, more money, better vacation, better relationship or all of the above. A person with a healthy self-esteem doesn’t really care what others have and what others post on social media, such a person doesn’t constantly compare themselves to others (because you can ALWAYS find someone who is better off in about any aspect of life).

      If I have a healthy self-esteem, I love my children and I know other parents love their children too. There’s no competition who loves their children more. If I have insecurities, I will judge others to try to validate myself and make myself feel better (spoiler: it doesn’t work, you only feel more guilty).
      Therefore I have one tip for mothers (working or not): be strong and quit whining. Stop paying attention to others. Instead of focusing on everything you don’t have, embrace the opportunities that you do have. Everyone will be happier this way (I’m serious).

      • D. July 1, 2016 at 11:53 am #

        Oh please give me more tips, I so need mom advice from a non-mom. Super helpful.

        • Erin July 2, 2016 at 9:36 am #

          D, although it is tempting to discredit everything Juju’s saying just because she’s not a mom yet, she does make some valid points. I think it is a good idea for us to try to focus on ourselves and making our own lives the best they can be and try not to compare ourselves to others. Don’t they say comparison is the thief of joy?
          Anyway, I’m sure Juju will soften a bit after she has her kid, and maybe will gain a little more empathy, but in the meantime, her viewpoint still has value and reminds me of what my husband tells me to say whenever I’m feeling down or overwhelmed:
          “F@&k everything, I’m fantastic.” 😉

  24. Kathy June 29, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

    I enjoyed this article… loved the perspective of both sides. I also loved all of the responses…sans one. I felt her self righteousness rise up as she wrote. It seems this was the exact attitude that the article was trying to dispel.
    I’m a gramma now, so I can afford the luxury of looking backward without the angst I felt while rearing children. I know I thought I was doing the right thing staying home with my two sons. I learned a truth while rearing them. Life is truly not black and white. I wanted my days at home to guarantee happy, healthy, well-adjusted, loving adults. However, I discovered that “working/staying at home” is not as causative as I thought in the beginning it would be. Parenting is SO much more complicated than this one facet of childrearing. I will end by saying to all the moms that read this article, don’t let anyone define your mothering for you. Reach deeply to do the best you have in you….and go to bed resting in that truth. You are their moms. One day you’ll be done with the
    day-to-day childrearing and … hopefully they will go on to raise the next generation. … your grandchildren. My granddaughter is the delight and gift of this older mom. That is the pattern of life. So try not to weigh yourself down with other people’s expectations. They aren’t you and they aren’t your children’s mom. You are. That is all/enough.

  25. Candice June 30, 2016 at 7:29 am #

    Dear working moms & stay home moms, sometimes I get jealous…..I’m a married forty-something who only ever wanted to be a mom, but due to medical difficulties my chance was taken away over 12 years ago. So when I see you with your kids my heart is happy for you, but it breaks for me…so whether you work or stay home always remember you are a very special person…you’re a mom and treasure that. Not everyone gets to have that blessing. God bless & love your children.

    • Alisa June 30, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

      Sending hugs Candice – you are right that all moms should cherish their children. I struggled with infertility but ultimately was blessed with 3 children. There are days with struggles for sure, but I know how lucky I am and wouldn’t trade any of those moments for the world. I am sorry that you weren’t able to have kids – but thank you for sharing your kind comment.

  26. erinraemac June 30, 2016 at 9:14 am #

    This is awesome, Kim. I’ve had the pleasure(?) of being all three moms as well. It has given me a chance to see where I fit best and where I need more for me and my kids. Thank you for writing something so heartfelt and in simple in the effort to say “we’re all in this together!”

  27. Donna June 30, 2016 at 10:26 am #

    This is so great. Thanks so much for writing it. I’m a working Mom who travels a lot so it really touched me.

  28. Kevin June 30, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    Thanks for painting two very different perspectives Kim.
    I have been a stay at home dad of five amazing children ages 13 to 2-1/2, for almost 13 years now. I still get the “isn’t it nice of you to take your children out” comments. I can only sum it up by saying that I had an easier time getting shot at in the jungle.
    Though I see some comments here that are less than positive, I know you can’t possibly cover every situation. Thanks for writing this.
    God Bless.
    Kevin

  29. Neil June 30, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

    This would be envy, not jealousy. Great post, though.

  30. Tamara July 1, 2016 at 4:52 am #

    Ha, I’m a part-time working mom, I do both. I’ve been doing it for several years now, and it doesn’t feel as “multiple personalities” as it did when I started out.

    I get the good and the not so good of both lifestyles, and as my son gets older I’m glad I didn’t lose the business part, because who is going to hire a lady who has been out of the loop for so long? Fortunately he liked going to daycare. I don’t know if I could have dealt with him crying at every drop-off.

  31. Vee July 1, 2016 at 7:17 am #

    I have been a stay-at-home mom since my daughter was born, and I have obviously loved every minute of it. I have a Masters Degree, and I don’t care – nothing worth the time I spend with my baby girl. Now that she is 3, we do different things every day, and I also do get a lot of time to do “me/alone-time” things, while she plays or eats or naps. I know I don’t speak for everyone but I don’t feel like I am missing out on my career, I am just one of those people who is fulfilled by being a mother (although not everyone will be). I am grateful I am in a situation where I can stay home and live life on my terms, but living life on one’s terms and being fulfilled means something different for everyone.

  32. Dedicednu July 1, 2016 at 8:02 am #

    So beautiful and relatable to everyone. It’s disappointing to see arguing in the comments about it still. The trend of mommy shaming seems to be continuing and that is so heartbreaking

  33. Father July 1, 2016 at 9:13 am #

    What about working Dads with deadbeat stay at home mom who neglect the house, the kids, the laundry and chores and do nothing but play on their phones and laptops all day? Not only that but they also do not pay the bills, hide bills, spend all of the money earned on themselves then hise.it or lie about it? I hate these gender bias one sided stories that are filled with bologna. As parents we should be supporting and lifting each.other up, not posting one sided stories. I would love to b e a stay at home Dad, unfortunately for me my wife decided her job.as as a stay.at hime mom was too much and asked for a divorce. You can only ask someone.so many times.to.do the househild.chores.in a nice way.before.you.get angry about.it.

    • Binny July 1, 2016 at 11:38 pm #

      Just to let you know…taking care of kids, getting housework done and dinner made is virtually impossible every single day, then try adding in a moment for yourself, to eat, pee, take a shower. Maybe if you weren’t so gender bias you would have realized that and rolled up your sleeves and given her some help. Then you probably wouldn’t be divorced.

    • SallyCo July 5, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

      To be fair, there are a lot of husbands that have unrealistic expectations of their SAH wives. But there are also deadbeat moms, not just dads (another stereotype that many new fathers today are trying to overcome).

      You can’t know someone’s personal situation. I know a lot of working dads whose partners don’t help, drain their accounts, don’t take care of their children, run out on their children when they feel like it, or are generally selfish people. One of my good friends works and goes to school to better his family’s financial situation, and would get frustrated when he got home to his SAH wife with a messy house. I thought he was asking a lot of her too, and I wasn’t even a mom yet. Then it became known she was addicted to drugs and ran off with some loser and left him with their children. He lost their car and home because he had no one to care for his daughters and couldn’t work enough to also financially support them. So I was wrong to judge his situation by assuming he was asking too much of his wife.

      Gender bias goes both ways.

  34. Holly July 1, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

    It’s good to remember that not all working moms go to jobs that involve travel, cute tailored
    blazers, offices, and important meetings. Many, if not most, go to jobs that are way less “glamorous”. They may involve such things as scrubs, uniforms, waiting on other people, cleaning for other people, or taking care of other people’s kids.

  35. Kevin July 1, 2016 at 1:02 pm #

    Can we substitute the word ‘parent’ for mom please 🙂

    Sincerely,
    Stay at home dad

  36. Jeannie m July 2, 2016 at 3:23 am #

    This post is about empowerment. No need to take offense, belittle others or be jealous, except in a good way as this blog suggests. Loved reading the first few responses from people as this message was clearly a pick me up. There’s just no need for a negative Nancy to turn this message into a downer. Women do what they got to do to move forward and everyone’s walks of life differ and that in itself should be respected.

  37. Desiree July 2, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    As an expectant mother who is currently working, and has mommy friends on both side of the spectrum, I appreciate this post so much! Thank you for posting!!!

  38. Anne July 2, 2016 at 7:13 pm #

    Thank you. I’ve been a working mom and a stay at home mom. Parenting is hard no matter how you slice it. Let’s be totally honest – sometimes I’m jealous of couples with no children and even of that single life I had in my 20s. No, I wouldn’t change where I am now, it’s just reality to let our thoughts drift to the ‘what ifs.’

  39. Disappointed July 3, 2016 at 3:58 pm #

    Great article. It is sad that some women missed the point entirely. I am a working mom who happens to love my job but that doesn’t mean I love my child any less. A man does not get the guilt trip for working and accused of putting his children on the back burner. In fact men get applauded for working. There are different ways to raise your children and not one is better than the other. It’s all about what works for you family.

  40. Charms July 5, 2016 at 3:51 pm #

    I LOVE THIS ? This will clearly show you how hard it is for mothers regardless of which direction they go. It’s almost torture! It’s time to be able to strike a balance!!! It’s the 21st century!?! ? I’m a full-time employee & a single mom! That’s two full time jobs!

  41. Annaca July 29, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

    I understand the point of this article and it is a very nice message. I do have to say that not all moms have regrets, envy or think the grass is greener on the other side. Not all moms feel like they have to “deal” with their baby acting like a baby or their child acting like a child. I do not live in la la land thinking my child is perfect, but to me..my child is pretty freaking amazing meltdowns and all. I love ALL of the moments we share, the crying the giggles..I love it all. I can’t be the only mom that doesn’t worry about the “what if’s”. I know not everyone is able to figure out a way to spend more that just evenings and weekends with their kids, or maybe they would rather not and that’s okay. I know lots of very loving parents that work outside of the home with 9-5ish mon-fri. jobs and they are amazing parents and amazing people in general. My only point is that not all of us moms wonder if we are making a mistake, working or not working. I know I made the right decision for me and my family because I can feel it in every once of my body. And for all of the working outside the home moms, you do what you feel in your heart and know that no one’s grass is greener than yours if you are truly making the best choice for you and your family.

  42. Nicole @ Beauty Timeout August 28, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    Lovely post. I know we all have our upsides and downsides to the path we’ve chosen but it’s always nice to see that other people recognize it, too!

    xoxo

  43. Sarah September 30, 2016 at 10:32 pm #

    This article was beautiful and made me cry. Too bad the comment section got overrun with insecure people trying to fight over which side was right.

  44. Rsweet November 16, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    I agree with The last comment – This was NOT about judging The “other” mom ( Whether you actively made The decision or not- a Lot of Times there Is only one way). I think this article also Applies to one parent Staying at Home And The other one working. we Are all just trying to find Balance in life. This was written by a Mom who has been on Both sides And She describes her experiences- She has Seen good days And Bad days … Like every Single one of us- SO WHY DONT WE STOP judging others For what they are. Why don’t we spread LOVE And SUPPORT, embrace that we Are all different, accept that we make different decisions in our lives.

  45. Different Perspectives January 4, 2017 at 11:37 am #

    Hi All,
    I have had several roles that this article relates to. I’ve been a “SAHM” when I lost my job, a “Nanny” for several families, some with two working parents, some that both parents worked because they couldn’t afford not to both work, some parents that both worked because they wanted to and then one parent who worked because he was widowed and needed to but he also worked because he wanted to. I have also worked for multi million dollar companies and left my child with a care-taker because I couldn’t afford to be a “SAHM.” I truly can relate to most sides. Before being in each role I didn’t have an unbiased opinion. It’s almost impossible not to be judgmental unless you truly experience what each person is going through or has been through. I don’t blame anyone who’s disagreeing with someone else, as most likely they just haven’t had all of the different life experiences to truly understand appreciate where the other person is coming from. As someone who always wanted to stay at home with their child as a “SAHM” that was not an option for me as a single mom. My plan was to stop my career and be a “SAHM” once I gave birth. Being a “SAHM” seemed like the greatest job in the world to me. Well, life doesn’t always work out as planned. The longer you live, the more you will realize that. My now ex-husband who was the primary breadwinner decided to have an affair and leave his wife and 1 month old child to fend for themselves to start a life with his mistress. From my personal experience, it was heart breaking for me to have to leave my child with a care taker and not in my personal opinion “live the dream” and be a “SAHM.” I wanted to be there to solely raise my child and experience everything my child did. I thought that no one else could possibly love my child as much as me and be as good of a caretaker. Well, that’s not true. I don’t like to admit it, but I was wrong. His caretaker was excellent and loved him as if he were her own. I couldn’t afford to be a “SAHM” and felt guilty for leaving him but knew that he was in good hands and I was doing what I had to so I could financially support us. Now I’m not saying it was any easier leaving him and that I didn’t wish I could of have the option to afford to stay with him all day, as I would of loved that. It doesn’t make me a bad mom for not being a “SAHM” as I did what was best for my child. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I wasn’t jealous of all of my friends who in my opinion had the luxury of be able to afford and chose to stay at home to be the one to see their child every second of the day and experience everything with them, because my personal preference was to be a “SAHM.” Ironically though, some of my friends were jealous of me and said, “It was be so nice to have a break from your child and have such a rewarding, cool career!” I thought those were interesting comments. Don’t get me wrong, there are benefits to both sides however it’s nice to have the option to be able to chose. I don’t think anyone could argue that it’s nice to be able to have the option to decide one way or another. A lot of people don’t have that option. It’s also very easy to judge those “SAHM/D’s” who are lucky enough to be able to afford to make the choice to do that if that was their wish. Instead of being jealous of them, I believe that we should be happy for them. Hopefully they are making a positive difference in their child’s life and the child benefits from being around a caretaker who wants to be around them all day. Hopefully everyone is happy. As hard as it may be, let’s be happy for them, even if we are feeling jealous! I know I am! I think that there are two kinds of people that aren’t stay at home Moms/Dads. Some aren’t “SAHM/D’s” out of necessity and some aren’t “SAHM/D’s” because they don’t want to be. There’s nothing wrong with either. Truly! Hear me out…I can see how it can be easy for some to negatively judge those aren’t “SAHM/D’s” because they don’t want to be and work because they enjoy it, even though they may be able to easily afford to be a “SAHM/D.” There’s nothing wrong with that. If they would prefer to work, and think that they are making a positive difference in the world, then they should. If they think that it is in their child’s and in their best interest to not be a “SAHM/D” then they shouldn’t be. It wouldn’t be fair to the child to be around someone who would rather be somewhere else and it’s not fair to the person who would rather be somewhere else to be with their child all of the time. Also, some (not all) parent’s aren’t as good with kids as trained professional caretakers or people that are just naturally good with kids. It’s not those parents faults. Not every parent is born with strong parental instincts or knows what to do with a child all day. Not every parent wants to be with their child all day, has the patience to be with their child all day. Some parents may find it too challenging to be a “SAHM/D.” Some parents are just not that great at caring for their child all day. These are just some examples! Whatever the reason, it’s ok! Whatever the reason, in my opinion, we shouldn’t be so quick to negatively judge others and call each other negative names. The world needs more love and peace. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me and you!
    Some (not all) caretakers are excellent, and some (not all) do a better job raising that child then their parent who may chose or don’t have the option of choosing to not be around them all of the time. It doesn’t make them bad parents, they are actually being unselfish by making the choice that’s best for everyone. I also have had the position as the caretaker for families and I can say that some (not all) parents need a break from their kids for their own sanity and it’s actually in the child’s and parents best interest that the parent wasn’t a “SAHP.” I was able to give the child love and affection that the parent didn’t have the energy, patience or desire to give all of the time. That doesn’t make them bad parents for leaving their child with me. They made the choice that they thought was best for their child and that makes them great parents. I can also say that being with a child all day is exhausting physically and emotionally! Depending on the day being with a child/children all day was a lot harder than when I worked full time, for multi million dollar companies. I can also say that the stress from working for multi million dollar companies was something that was also physically and emotionally exhausting! It’s not easy not being a “SAHM/D” either. For a short period of time I was a “SAHM” when I had lost my job and it was the hardest and most rewarding job I ever had, as there isn’t any breaks, but I was able to be around my child all of the time which personally I enjoy, most of the time. I’m not saying that one job is easier than the other. They both are stressful, exhausting and not fun at times. So kudos to every Mom/Dad whether you are with your child all day or not whether you are a “SAHP” or not. Life is hard. Whether you are getting paid to work or not, you are working and hopefully doing what you think is best for you and your family. One choice isn’t better than the other or more selfish than the other. I applaud all working parents whether you are a “SAHP” or not, no matter what your choice is. Any good parent will chose what works best for their family and shouldn’t be negatively judged or belittled one way or another. Spread peace and love.

  46. C July 19, 2017 at 9:56 pm #

    This is an interesting article, and all the comments (read them all, whew!)
    I’ve gone through wanting a child and unable to have one (6 years of infertility, it took a major surgery and the loss of an ovary due to tumors to make it so I could have children), to a stay at home mom (was lucky to be able to stay/work at home until my son was 1), and then a working mom. My husband has been here the whole time and works but I’ve primarily be the bread winner in our family. It was a relief to go back to work after my son turned 1. And it was a stroke of luck that we were able to find a home daycare down the street from us that was amazing and reasonably priced.
    Now 7 years later, and one more child, my daughter is about to start kindergarten and my son 4th grade. I feel they are well adjusted for going to daycare, my daughter from the time she was 4 months old, they have met different people, done lots of things (zoo trips, activities from various educational programs, even vision screens from the shriners!), had a lot of amazing experiences, and this whole family loves them as a part of their family. My babysitter was in tears when I asked if she could do after school care for my daughter.
    As for me, my sanity is intact because of being able to get out of the house. There are times when I wish I didn’t HAVE to work, but it’s short lived. I really do like my job and helping people (I’m a social worker) is amazing and fulfilling on a level I’ve never known before. And the HAVE to work part? Well, with 2 incomes, well above minimum wage, after all the bills (just bills,: mortgage, electricity, water, garbage, phone, internet, insurance on the car, life insurance, car payment, daycare) are paid we have $700/month left over.
    $700/month sounds pretty good, right?
    Well, take $200/month off of that for gas and that leaves $500/month for food. That’s feeding 4 people on roughly $16 a day. It’s hard.
    I appreciate that there are some people who can afford to stay home and it’s amazing that they can.
    Not all people can.
    Am I jealous of stay at home parents, kind of, but mostly because they have the financial security that makes it an actual option.
    I work to provide my children a stable home, one where they can run around in the back yard and help me with the garden and the chickens, a place where they can ride their scooters and be kids. That makes it worth it to me. Otherwise we’d be in a cramped apartment in some ghetto worrying about all of our safety because that’s all we could afford. Or we’d be living with our parents. We DON’T want to go back to that.
    And bonus: I like my job. Some days I even love it. And I have friends at work. Honestly, if I wasn’t working I wouldn’t have any friends. My mental health is important too.

  47. Brie July 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

    This article is wonderful. For me I love being a stay at home mom. However i don’t always feel worthy of it or feel like people appreciate stay at home moms. I grew up in a household with parents who said education and jobs were the most important thing to have and do. I don’t compare myself to other moms but more of just what I’m providing to my family. I don’t feel like I’m contributing a lot to my family because I don’t bring in money. My husband luckily appreciates me even if I don’t have it in myself. My husband is the breadwinner in our family and he has way more experience and a better chance of getting a good salary than I will. I would be more than happy to work however at this time it is not feasible for me to work when my job would only cover the costs of daycare and nothing more hence why I’m a stay at home mom. My husbands salary covers our bills and that’s it so we don’t go out very much or do anything extravagant. It’s all about everyone’s situation and that life is unique for each of us. I don’t worry about others but I do put a lot of stress on myself. I love being a mommy and that is what is important in all of this. I wish on job applications that putting stay at home mom was considered something as well.

  48. Shanika July 23, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

    This post is everything! Thanks so much for sharing! This is a great way of shedding light on the struggles of both sides!

  49. Molly July 25, 2017 at 1:59 pm #

    You hit this on the head completely. Thank you for sharing the struggle of both sides. <3

  50. Katy July 31, 2017 at 6:09 pm #

    This is a wonderful piece. Yet, in some of the comments, I still see women seeking to tear down other women. I see women seeking to put down others in order to feel elevated themselves. Let’s not do this to one another. Let us unite and edify.

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