We’ve all heard it. The stereotypes out there about motherhood and the judgmental comments concerning a mother’s working status. Whether you are a stay-at-home mother or a mother who works outside of the home, both are inevitably faced with negative backlash.
“Working mothers are so selfish”
“They only care about their career”
“It must be nice to have someone else watch your kids while you’re out”
“Stay-at-home moms are so lazy”
“They don’t know what it’s like to really work”
“It must be nice to just stay at home all day and not have to do anything”
Like I said before, I’m sure we’ve all heard these ugly comments before, but you know what is worse? The fact that these comments too often come from other women’s mouths- mothers even.
I have personally experienced both sides of the fence, and let me tell you, neither one is a walk in the park. I was a stay-at-home mother for 2 ½ years and I have now been back in the workforce for 3 years, and its tough either way.
I can remember all of the blissful moments of being a stay-at-home mom, as well as the challenges that came with staying home full-time. First and foremost, being able to care for my children 24/7 while they were infants was a wonderful blessing and I was so thankful that I was always around to see all of those precious moments and milestones unfold.
But at the same token, staying home 24/7 definitely took its toll on me, as I’m sure it does on most mothers. While the most common comment you’ll hear about stay-at-home mothers is that they don’t understand what it’s like to “really work”, I’ll just go ahead and completely bust that myth.
Being a stay-at-home mom is HARD work. You’re basically a full-time, round-the-clock caretaker, chef, maid, doctor, teacher, entertainer, and best friend whose payment isn’t in the form of a paycheck. Managing a household is no easy feat and while it may look glamorous from the outside looking in, stay-at-home moms rarely catch a break.
It doesn’t matter if a SAHM is up and down all night with a crying baby, because when morning comes and the other kids are up, she still has to take care of them- ALL day, and usually does this minus help from others. Mouths still need fed, dirty dishes and clothes still need washed, and there are most definitely always errands to run.
On the flip side, the first month I worked full-time outside of the home was one of the most depressing months of my life. I can remember being at work and constantly thinking about my children and all of the wonderful things they were doing that I unfortunately wasn’t witnessing. And of course the dreaded mom guilt made it worst. Crazy and irrational thoughts that my kids were going to forget all about me and stop loving me made me question why I wanted a career outside the home in the first place.
To stay-at-home mothers I’m sure it looks so appealing to get a “break” from it all by going to work, but the fact of the matter is “working” isn’t really a break. Mothers who work outside of the home wake up every day get their kids ready to go wherever they need to go, whether it be school or a babysitter, work all day, pick their kids up, cook, clean, and do whatever they need to do to tackle it again the next day. So glamorous, right? More like extremely tiring.
The point of this post is most definitely not to say that one type of mother is better than the other, because in my opinion all mothers are rock-stars. Yep, you heard me rock-stars. The fact that we as mothers can accomplish the amount of tasks we do on a daily basis is seriously amazing.
Rather, the point of this post is to say that at the end of the day the one thing that we as mothers need is encouragement and support from each other. In the end we all have our struggles and challenges as mothers, and the last thing we need is judgement and negative comments from other people out there on the extremely tough decisions we make as parents.
As mothers, we all make sacrifices for our children. Many women make the sacrifice to stay at home and raise their children, instead of being a two-income household, while others place their trust in others to watch their children while they go out and make a living for their family. In the end, both are honorable sacrifices and are 100% done out of love.
But too often, we as mothers feel that we are in a competition with each other, and I want to tell you today that this isn’t a race.
Today I’m challenging you to put a stop to the mom-judging, and instead I’m asking you to support each other and to remember that all mothers are amazing, regardless of their working status.
I’m asking you to tell the tired-eyed, overworked mother that she’s doing a great job and that what she does everyday matters.
Tell her that even though she feels overwhelmed and is on the verge of a breakdown, that everything is going to be okay, and that you’ve been there before. Tell her that her kids are so lucky and that one day they are going to be so proud of everything she has ever did for them. Tell her that she is so blessed and that no matter what anyone says, she’s a rock-star.
A little encouragement goes a long way, and I know I sure have appreciated all of the times in my life that people have told me these things.
Being a mother is the hardest job I have ever had. But it’s also the best job in the world, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Thanks for stopping by!-Cara