I have played both roles of being a stay-at-home mom and a working mom. To be honest both are very tiring. You do the same amount of work playing both roles. The only difference is how much you see your kids and the quality time you get with them.
After having my son, Logan, I was a S.A.H.M. because I was not going to miss all of his milestones and miss watching him learn new things every.single.day! And, I read too many horror stories to be comfortable leaving my son with a stranger… that’s just me being paranoid and making excuses not to work lol. I loved being home with him. I watched him learn to crawl, walk, talk, eat solid foods, and become a very intelligent and wild child. He blew my mind every day with all of the things he’d come up with or small things he’d do ( laugh at jokes he shouldn’t understand or pay close attention to a movie/show I’d be watching) and just all of the baby talk. I couldn’t imagine missing all that. All the while, my husband missed almost all of it because he worked, and not just a normal 9-5, he traveled so there were times he’d be gone three weeks in South Carolina for work and cry to me on the phone as I told him our son took his first steps.
See dads, you can still relate to these feelings.
It was not all fun and games though, definitely NOT! I dealt with many things on my own. I had to clean up puke and diapers daily, scrub walls from accidents that would occur during diaper changes, Clean up crushed cookies all over the carpet that he’d get into when I wasn’t looking, scrub colors off the walls, break my back bouncing him to sleep when he was teething, grocery shop while trying to calm a screaming baby (or else I’d get some really nasty comments and stares if I didn’t calm him down), the list goes on.. This was my day, an average day on top of my morning workouts, making meals, and keeping the house clean. It was easier when my husband was home because he would help, but most times he was so tired from working long hours and the 8+ hour drives home. I felt like I was doing it on my own. It was tough and I cried myself to sleep many times. It doesn’t sound all that tough until it’s your own life. I loved being home with my son, but there were times it was very overwhelming and I envied moms who worked because they got that small break away to breathe and rest.. or so I thought.
Then came my daughter, Lisette..
After I had my daughter, I was determined to make some extra income since our family was growing. I waited until she was a few months old and got a part-time job while my mother-in-law watched the kids. Part-time wasn’t so bad because I was still able to spend most my days with the kids, but working in retail sucked come the holidays when I had no choice but to work instead of enjoying Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years with my family.. I loved feeling like I was providing for my family, I loved having a small break away from home, but mostly I loved my job. I was good at working, who knew! I was great at customer service and loved getting kudos for my work ethic. It was great, but I still found myself missing my babies and wishing I was home. Then my mother-in-law couldn’t watch them anymore and abrubtly so I had to quit my job, maybe that was an excuse because I probably could have found someone to watch them had I tried to look hard enough or if I was actually determined.
Back to being at home…
A few months later, we found a good daycare provider we really like and offered daycare at a very reasonable price. She was truly heaven sent! I got a full-time job at McDonalds, because I was still set on helping provide for our family and a job is a job is a job.. It was actually pretty great, I loved being in customer service. But, being away from the kids for longer hours was hard, I was not prepared at all. The one greatest thing I enjoyed was how happy they were to see me when I’d pick them up. All in all, I was really bummed to not be able to spend more time with them. Their daycare provider would make arts and crafts with them, read to them, teach them songs and dances, and soothe my teething baby girl when she was having bad days. I was missing out and missed my kids being dependent on me. I started feeling unnecessary or useless really. My days off helped me snap out of it a little bit because they were just as needy and lovey when they had me all to themselves. A little too much but I wasn’t going to complain, I missed them.
Now, I’m working full-time with a good company and even though I really enjoy my job, I still have mornings where I just want to call it quits and stay home and cater to my babies. Logan just started kindergarten this year and I am missing all of it. I don’t get to take him to school and watch him go make friends, I can’t volunteer and be a part of his school journey, I don’t get to pick him up and ask him all about his day. Instead, by the time I get home, he has forgot all about school or what they did or learned so I don’t get to hear about it until he sporadically remembers at some point and then wants to tell me. I get to help him with homework and I love that, but it hit me hard watching him start school and me not being able to be a part of that. I did take off work on his first day to be able to at least have that, but I was so rushed because plans did not go as I had expected and I had to worry about my daughter trying to run off that by the time I got her settled my son was already sitting with his class and sissy did NOT want to stay and be cooperative so I had to leave so she wouldn’t make a fuss.
Moral of the story, we wish to be the other no matter what side we are on. When I was a stay-at-home mom I longed to be able to work and make money to do more with the kids and to have a “break,” but now that I work I would give anything to be able to stay home with my kiddos again. I would volunteer at Logan’s school, sign them up for sports, do fun after school activities like arts and crafts or go to the park or library, and just enjoy them while they are small. The older they get the more sad I get because I don’t feel like I did enough while they were younger. With my son I did, I definitely was always doing stuff with him. I read to him every day, went on daily walks, ran errands with him, lots of painting, park trips bi-daily. And I know some of you may think, there’s always time like after work or weekends, true.. to an extent. With commute, by the time I get home it’s time to make dinner, then bath time, then sleep. I love weekends, that is when I try and squeeze in a million things to do as a family to be able to make up for the little to no time we have together during the week. I’m grateful for my weekends but sometimes it does not feel like enough.
I do wish to one day have my picture perfect life where my husband makes $$ big bucks $$ and I get to stay home and be a house wife and baseball mom! GO SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS! My son will play for them one day 😉 I mean a mom can dream right?
I guess reading all these posts about which moms work harder or which moms are better than the other inspired me because I don’t think either one is better or works more or less than the next mom because we all have our own lives, we have our own way we play mommy roles and at the end of the day our kids love us the same. Stop the mom-shaming, stop the bashing, be a parent and worry about your own family. I love my working moms as much as I love my moms who are stay-at-home moms. Just like the whole “c-section is the easy way out” or “epidural is for the weak” why is everything a competition? Either way we are all moms/parents and we are all trying to do the best we can in our own situations and in our own lives. Embrace one another and leave the judgement at the door because it’s not about who is a better mom or parent because no one can be a better parent than you are to your own child(ren).
I know this was a long one but it was something on my mind with my son starting school and all. Everyone has their own opinion, this is mine. Hope you all enjoyed the read!