Listen up to all my mommy friends. I’m far from perfect. Let’s get that out there first.
Here’s the thing… I’ve been a workaholic, adrenalin-seeking mom for almost 8 of my 15 professional years, sheesh, and now in a round-about-way I’m a stay-at-home-lose-my-marbles-daily kind of mom, too. THEY ARE BOTH THE HARDEST THING EVER.
Recently, I did a wild thing. I hung out with some ladies I had never met before. It was nice. Actually, it was a blast. And I think a part of it was the freedom that I had no idea who worked and who didn’t. And they didn’t know anything about my crazy life either.
Because, let’s be real here. Some of us working moms have had those jealous thoughts toward the SAHM who has it so easy. You hear the stories and acknowledge that staying home with the little rugrats all day isn’t a piece of cake, but really, is she having cake during nap time? Well guess what, if she is, she made it her damn self, which is more than I can say. I get so easily distracted trying to cram in one more load of laundry or one text (that turns into 10), that I can burn anything. Truly. So if she IS having cake, she deserves it! And let’s be honest my kick-butt working mommy friends, you get lots of cake. Birthdays, appreciation parties, customer events — you’re doing just fine on that front. I’m seriously wanting in the sweets category since I’ve been sequestered to these barren pantry walls. But don’t worry, there’s still some Valentine’s candy left I think.
So what about time? Well, I’m here to tell ya there is no greener side on this one, either. Me not working full time has meant trying to cut back on other things. We experimented with a few options and the result is a big fat NO. As in, no cleaning ladies was well, a complete disaster. Sure I can clean a bathroom, and I can sweep. I can even scrub grime out of every milk-infested cranny of this house, but would anything else get done? Hell no. So I prefer to spend time doing things that aren’t a futile attempt in preserving my sanity. And working moms, we know time is your greatest enemy, and yet, I have to admit, I was way better at crushing everything into my 50 hours of office time with my limited family time than I am now. I truly think it was that ridiculous Outlook calendar. I could see things more clearly, in nice colored blocks. Now, I just see colored blocks on the floor. And in my bed. It’s because I see free time as this thing I can throw around like Monopoly money that I volunteer too much. But, much like that paper with a goofy old man on it, it’s NOT REAL. My time is never free at home. And it was never really mine when I was working around the clock, either.
I could go on. Trust me. I feel like I could compare every nuance to these two worlds that I am straddling — painfully, embarrassingly so, like the hippo in the tutu on the trapeze line. Oh yeah, it’s a hippo-sized problem, because it’s inevitable gravity is going to pull me down, or at least keep me from ever moving too quickly in the right direction.
So here’s my new thing. I am trying to be super understanding, and super aware that every wonderful woman out there is clawing her way through this insane maze and however she wants to get through it, is up to her. And like many way smarter, way more prophetic women before me, I’m thinking we are better off supporting each other. Because I admit, selfishly, I need this to happen. I’m tired. And I don’t like having to watch what I say to whom every time I want to open my mouth.
I need to know it doesn’t matter. When I have a SAHM issue, I feel like I shouldn’t mention it to my working friends for fear of sounding spoiled or out of touch. And when I’m working and stressed, and can’t figure out how I am going to get it all done, I don’t share with my SAH cul-de-sac ladies, because I feel like a downer. I’m an outcast no matter how you look at it. And yet, there are great parts about both of my worlds that I don’t want to give up. So despite the rant, it’s all worth it. I just think I would feel more confident that I’m not on an island yelling “Where are you Wilson” mad, like Tom Hanks. And it would be a relief to know I’m not going to offend anyone by saying how I feel. And I mean how I REALLY feel. If I could believe we were all in this together, it would be just greaaaaat for me. That’s me being selfish again.
So anyway, hoo-rah for mommies who work, or stay home, or do both, or do none. I’m pretty sure the mommy part makes us all the same in the end. And I am definitely sure what I do with my kiddos, my way, is what’s best for my family. And I plan to do better about honoring each of you for your way, too. Besides, we are all ninjas, and we all want the same thing in the end… Peace, Love, Coffee, Wine. And cake.
Remember, I said I was faaaaarrrrr from perfect.
Disclaimer: Apologies to any daddies out there who feel I’ve left them out. You are ninjas and rock stars, too.