What Am I Missing? Is There a Parent Award for Having it the “Hardest?”

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And so I begin again.

We are currently back visiting family and my husband took the kiddos to the playground while I am sitting around being pregnant and lazy and wasting time on social media. I come across yet another stay-at-home mom trying to tell a working mom she just doesn’t know how much harder it is being a stay at home. I barely could read the whole thing. It drove me nuts. (Sort of like the last time when I wrote this, followed by this)

Stay-at-home moms please stop! I know working mom rant articles may exist, but for some reason they don’t come across my radar nearly as often. Perhaps that is because working moms are too busy working and being a mom to write such rants. Or it could be because stay at home moms feel like they have to “defend” themselves more than working moms. Whatever the reason – it is getting old for me.

As expected, the comments on the article were a bunch of annoyed people or people screaming Amen. However, the bigger theme (besides people being in an uproar or people chanting thank you thank lady for saying it for me – were a bunch of people petitioning for the award of hardest scenario yet.

So mother’s listen up. This shit is hard and I am not sure who told you (I blame my mom she made 5 kids look easy) that it  wasn’t hard, but it is freaking hard. Whether you work or not. I love all of it –  the exhausting, and messy and my hair is never washed parts included. That being said – it is really freaking hard. It is hard to leave your kids in someone else’s care and rush to work and perform. It is challenging to be on kid schedule all day long picking up toy after toy all while playing whatever crazy game your kid whipped up.

As a stay-at-home mom, I have heard comments about how I live the life and must be nice to sit at the pool all day with my kids (ahem Dad). At times, I want to scream you realize I am not at the pool reading People magazine, drinking cocktails, right? But really – I am living the life. At least the life I want. Sure I would love to be able to afford a babysitter every now and then to go sit by the pool myself grocery shopping alone, but no situation is perfect.

As a working mom, I remember reading things (like the most recent article that annoyed me) and thinking who the hell do you think cleans my house, makes my kids’ lunch and what the heck do you think I do at work all day? Yes, there were “luxuries” sometimes (like being able to run into the coffee shop ALONE after dropping my kid off at daycare, although I will admit this was RARE because most days I was running late) or being able to take 10 minutes during the day to call the doctor and schedule an appointment. But those “perks” of being a working mom didn’t come without countless other obstacles. Just like staying home comes with the perk of alleviating the stress of “double-duty”, it also comes with the added mess of being in the house nonstop or the struggle of finding good things to entertain your kids.

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So let me compare some things working mom vs stay at home mom in hopes of shedding light that there are trade-offs – some things are easier, some things more challenging, but realize in the end it is all HARD.

Working moms often have childcare that you can utilize when not working. Like for example, it is probably rare you have to take your kid to an OB/GYN appointment. That being said, I know of working moms who have had to endure a Pap Smear with kids in tow and yes there are stay at home moms with babysitters who can go alone, but overall working moms have some form of built-in childcare that they can use along with some vacation time to make for kid free moments (tad easier than stay at home moms).

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Stay at home parents do not have to scramble to throw together a backup childcare plan when sick kids, snow days or doctor’s appointments need to occur.

Working parents do not have to deal with the pressure to entertain their children for 12+ hours a day ALONE. On the evenings/weekends, many parents are both home so you can divide and conquer or enjoy an activity together. That is not the same as being ALONE with your AWAKE children for long long hours – it is no easy feat keeping your kids engaged (and engaged with quality tasks).

Stay at home parents can “seize the moment”. Nice weather – lets head to the beach for the day. Mommy and me Class on Monday at 9 – sure got nothing else on the schedule. As a stay at home mom, I find it easier to connect with other moms because there are activities and events during the day to foster this, but as a working mom it is hard to find mommy and me swim lessons or other parent activities during the weekends (not non-existent, but harder).

Working parents houses do not get as messy because they are not utilized as much. There are less dishes to clean, toilets are utilizes less, the number of toys pull out is less. You get the picture. Working moms still have to clean their house, BUT the amount of cleaning and picking up needing to get done is not as much because for a lot of the week their kids make messes at childcare and they eat lunch at their desk (or in the fun rare occasion with other people!).

These are just some examples people. No situation is perfect. None. Being a parent is really hard work, but no matter if you stay at home or work, being a parent is also really awesome. Our kids can be huge pains in the ass and honestly they will be for the rest of their damn lives. (I still give my parents a headache) Kids also are incredibly awesome. So moms, when you need to vent about the hard parts – do just that vent – don’t try to say how much easier it is for this or that type of parent because seriously when your kid is 16 and pulls some stupid shit you will have to deal with it whether you are a working mom or a stay at home mom. And moms when a fellow mom needs to complain about how difficult things are right now – don’t sit there ticking off in your head how much harder it is for you because  in reality sides of the grass are full of shit, but if you actually look into it both sides also have some really green parts as well.

 

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