Mompetition   8 comments

aka The Mom Wars.

I’m so sick of it. So excuse me if for the next few posts I climb up on my soap box.

So I recently read a little article that I rather enjoyed concerning what a Stay at Home Mom does all day.

To me, it seemed the writer was answering the question for people who do not have children. Specifically those who seem to think that as a Stay at Home Mom you have endless amounts of time to organize your cabinents and create gourmet dinners a la Martha Stewart, run super successful businesses, or generally just morph into Donna Reed. I had some ideas that something like this could happen before staying home with LA… but being home with a toddler (and I only have one so I’m imagining the struggles with multiples) is hard! You have no control over your day or your schedule… one hour of less sleep or a rogue tooth or stomach bug and the most well thought out plans are POOF! out the window! It doesn’t really matter how organized you are… you are at the whim of someone who thinks Elmo is the coolest guy on the planet.

So I enjoyed this article because I could relate. She didn’t seem to me super complainy and I didn’t see any references to being a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) or a Work at Home mom or a full time working mom. If anything it felt pointed at people who don’t have kids and are not familiar with the fact that responding to a text can take literally days.

Side note- this is not bc the actual text sending takes so long, btw, it’s because when the text comes in you almost are never able to answer right away. So by the time you have at least one hand and a few brain cells free to send the text you are usually involved in taking that 30 seconds and trying to do something productive like start dinner, sweep floor, close a ticket in my case, etc…. and when you never have a seconds that aren’t need for something else. So it’s just a matter of a. remembering to text back b. having time to text back when something vital isn’t happening and c. having phone handy so you can use that time to text before your child needs you again….

But when I read some comments there were all these nasty ones form full time working moms like “I do EVERYTHING you do and I do it plus a 40 hour a week job. I have no sympathy.” etc…. well, that one about sums it up.

Well first of all I beg to differ…. I have the utmost respect for Working Moms… because you come home from a full time day and your child is waiting and you have to jump into mom mode. Dinner, cleaning, tantrums, etc… BUT I will say that when you come home your home is as you left it. I can’t get mine to stay clean for 30 minutes least of all a whole day… and I NEVER get to come home to it clean.

And in many ways I think Working Moms have it rougher because they are trying to cram a days worth of quality time in with their kids in the brief amount of waking time they have with them…..
But I will say, that in my humble opinion, they don’t get (except on weekends and breaks) the constant, unending neediness of having kids at home with you all day…. especially if you are also trying to work from home. I just work Part time and it’s craziness, I can’t even imagine doing it full time with children home. I have worked full time and even on my craziest days there were usually at least a few minutes of breaks, or opportunities to step away… there are a lot less of them being home.

And at the same time I remember coming home from work and being emotionally and physically drained yet having so much to do around the house. I cannot imagine doing that again and coming home to my toddler who needs so much from me. So hard. Both ways are hard.

But why can’t you have sympathy? Why can’t all moms have sympathy for each other… We’re all working hard.

But my actual point is I can see both sides… and I truly don’t believe one has it better or worse than the other. There are trade offs … and what is easier for one might be harder for another. And on the flip no one can say “well I deal with that exact thing plus…” because we don’t. Because we are all different… and our children are different. And our jobs are different…. different being the key word.

What drives me nuts is the competition of “Oh my life is harder than your life” thing that moms do… AKA Mompetition. It’s ridiculous… and there is no reason that we can’t support each other. Lift each other up rather than trying to make someone else’s effort look weak in comparison.

And apparently guys are getting into this too… there were some nasty comments about Stay at Home Dads do the same thing with less respect. Less respect from whom? I give Stay at Home dads LOADS of respect.

It seems everyone just wants a medal and it’s sad.

Having a child is a lot of work. Having multiples is more… working while caring for them tough. Having to be away from them while you work really tough. Doing it without a partner tough…. There is always someone out there with things harder than you…. which means you are probably working harder than someone else. But we all have our battles in life… and we all have our trials and joys. Rather than compete for who has the best kid (which is a whole OTHER side to mompetition) or the roughest day can’t we all just get along?

I realize there is also a lot of defensiveness in the whole thing. Stay at home moms feeling they have to defend that they truly do work hard. And working moms feeling as if they have to defend that they need to work and also take care of their children… and it’s ALL true.

Anyway… that’s my two cents. I really think that we should lift each other up and unite rather than a competition to prove who has the least amount of sleep or what not….because I totally win this week πŸ˜‰

;

and you can see how my toddler has taken over my house in the background… but who cares, look how happy she is!

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Posted May 12, 2012 by etainl in Culture, Life, Mommy-hood, Stay at Home Mom

8 responses to “Mompetition

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  1. LIttle miss is definitely one happy little girl & I can say that first-hand. She has the best parents (and grandparents) who put her needs & wants before their own. Little lady is definitely one lucky little person!

    Christine Stark
  2. Amen! I think the really, really sad part is that all of us need that pat on the back, that uplifting support and that so many people are feeling so unappreciated and frustrated that their only response is to lash out. Life is hard, it’s a struggle. We all struggle and slip up time after time. And yet, we wake up tomorrow and throw ourselves into it once again. And for that, we all deserve a pat on the back!

  3. My day doesn’t sound like hers at all. But I agree with you moms should support each other not tear each other down. I don’t really have any mom friends that envy me or feel like I don’t do as much as a working mom would. I have been both a working mom and now a SAHM. Glad I can do it but never really thought it was in my cards till we moved to Paris and it just worked out. I have had many moments where I want to go back. But not until both are in preschool which is another 2.5 yrs! But I am going back.

    • These just came in the spam folder!
      My day isn’t like hers either although some days (many days) that frantic trying to juggle too many balls feeling is there. But SAHM moms are usually pretty busy πŸ™‚
      I never wanted to be a working mom, unless it was working from home. I would like to not go back when LA and any other children are older. I would like to have my writing career so that I can work from home at that point πŸ™‚
      I know I have one friend who envy’s me… not because she thinks its easier but because she wants to stay home with her kids. And I have one friend who consistently says she doesn’t know how I do it without going crazy from children or boredom… which makes me laugh πŸ™‚

  4. Did you see the time mag also?

  5. OH I meant no one envy’s me because they know its a hard job haha! my husband says it all the time…he would go insane and it’s the hardest job ever! Glad to be appreciated though! When I go back I plan to be in a fairly flexible and i’d say easy job πŸ˜‰ I don’t feel ambitious enough to be the power hungry just out of college kid anymore haha!

    Oh and Im not saying Im not busy I AM! Just I am super organized and have the days planned out. Having a cleaning, cooking schedule and food delivered helps πŸ˜‰

    Great post

    • I am pretty organized, usually… La is just really skilled at getting things off track! lol I think it also comes from having family and other extended obligations here that call on me. Also the PT job can really take up some time, not even the doing it but the trying to get it done.

      lol Steve says the same thing… he’d go crazy. It’s good we have husbands who understand!

      What type of job are you thinking of?

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