clementine / 982 posts
Maybe a little different because I was trying to squeeze work in too, but I had both girls home for a half day and my jealousy is officially cured. Ha!
hostess / papaya / 10524 posts
@Truth Bombs: Not sure I agree that SAHMs only wear one hat, I'm not sure it's a fair statement. I think all moms wear many hats, they just might look different. Having a salary affords you a maid and maybe an early childhood educator for you child, whereas a SAHM might be the one doing those things.
Shoot, I would bet for moms that work and take a legit sick day, sometimes they actually have some sort of sick day because they can still send their kid to their childcare for at least some of the day. DH has been stuck at work the last 72 hours and I'm at home sick and have to do all the things. It's hard. I solo parent a ton, so for other moms in my situation we are also playing dad a lot.
I think mom-ing is hard in general and no matter what kind of mom you are there are challenges.
@2littlepumpkins: Exactly! That kind of schedule would be so nice!
@looch: Great reminder! We all struggle, and have challenges, but we are extremely privileged!
clementine / 874 posts
No matter what, parenting is tough. I think each is equally demanding/rewarding in their own way. My sister thinks I am awesome because I WOH and I think she is amazing because she SAH with her four kids. It's not a contest of who has it harder or easier. We are just doing what's right for us and for our families.
pomegranate / 3214 posts
Wow so many rude comments here make me kind of sad. Regardless, being a SAHM is so much more fun in the summer and it makes those loooong winter months worth it! I hope everyone gets to enjoy a few idyllic summer days with their kids. And please just stop with the mommy wars. It's not a competition, ladies.
apricot / 436 posts
@skipra: I don't really see rude comments. Varying opinions of course, but I don't think anyone in this thread is engaging in "mommy wars."
@Jennibenni: ok different opinions, I guess. I found a couple comments to be demeaning and "holier than thou" but maybe it's just me.
GOLD / nectarine / 2655 posts
@skipra: yeah there definitely are some demeaning comments. I really didn't expect this to be anything more than "I have an unrealistic fantasy in my head about staying home with my kid" type of a post - oops!
GOLD / grapefruit / 4118 posts
@Boogs: I would say from the number of people supporting my comment, most WOHMs would not agree with you. If you are too sick to care for the kids can't your husband take the day off and help so you can have a "sick day"? If your answer is no, he can't take time off work, then why assume us moms who work can easily take time off if we or our children are sick? I solo parent all the time too because my husband works basically all the time. Some Working moms have husbands who work crazy hours just like some SAHMs do. Yes, SAHMs do lots of different (hard, exhausting, fraustrating) things in a day, but they all boil down to taking care of your family. When you teach your children, or clean your home, all those things fall under the same realm of responsibility. If your child is sick and needs your constant attention, you give up cleaning or teaching them that day and no one is left upset, let down, or picking up your slack (except maybe your husband but he's your co-parent, so again, same realm). SAHMs don't have to balance a demenading boss, or an upcoming deadline with the needs of their children. Because when my child is sick and needs my constant attention, I have to balance that with the demands of my career which are not at all related, and therefore it's a more difficult balancing act. My statement was simply regarding that it's hard to balance two things that don't give and take with each other because they are in totally different worlds.
pomegranate / 3855 posts
@Truth Bombs: While true, I also found that I have/had a lot more support when as a WOHM, even moreso as a FT WOHM. I wrote a bunch more but it was too long.. that about summarizes it. I have a lot more people in my village as a working mom than not. Of course that isn't everyone's experience but it has definitely been mine.
Really, sometimes we all just have to vent about our situation. Even if it's the situation we chose/want for ourselves. Sometimes it's still hard and we can want to talk it out with people in similar situations. I don't understand the motivation of a SAHM to come on a thread about working & parenting to either say "yeah, you WOHMs are right, my life is so much easier than yours" or to come say "you don't know what you're talking about my life is so hard". It would be like if someone started a thread in the Stay At Home Parent board about how it's hard to budget on one income and just needed to vent to other parents in a single income family... and I came on and said "yeah, it's awesome that our dual income means I can buy whatever I want whenever I want" or "hey hey hey! Dual income families have to budget too, we have it just as hard".
@2littlepumpkins: I think your village is what you make of it. I have a kick ass village that I would probably die without. However, none of the people in my village come from my professional life, so I like to think I'd still have a solid village as a SAHM.
@Truth Bombs: Some of them did have to do with work, some of them didn't. Even within my own family, people made/make assumptions about how hard life must be based on whether you're working. We used to get tons of offers for help/babysitting/accommodating our schedule when I was FT, we get some now, and we got very little when I sah ft.
To your point about needing to vent to like-people, it probably would have gone down better if the title and thread weren't completely based on sahms and the lives it is assumed they have. If it just said, jealous of people on summer vacation, or something like that, I doubt it would have turned into this conversation. But it's the internet, so maybe.
@2littlepumpkins: Yeah we have no family anywhere near by so I guess thats not something I considered. All our help is either paid, or comes from friends who have their own young families so we only ask when we really need help. When we DO really need help, our friends are amazing and jump right in. But for every day stuff like date nights or kids who are too sick to go to school etc, we are on our own with no one offering to jump in. Maybe it would be different if our families were close.
pear / 1658 posts
@2littlepumpkins: This is posted to the *working and parenting* board.
@Truth Bombs: Again. THIS.
@Boogs: All *parenting* is hard. And that's why I don't crash a SAH board/thread to say *oh yeah? well WOH is harder/whatever-more [fill in the blank]. Because that would be so tone deaf.
@mrskansas: you never know what type of responses you'll get! Personally I became a SAHM due to feeding and growth issues with my oldest and then it just worked for us. I 100% understand the jealousy of our summer vacation because, yeah, it is pretty awesome. but I will say that by March or April when the weather has kept you locked up in the house with your kids for like 5-6 months straight you would really question if it's worth it! I would have to say the most ideal job would be like a part time substitute teacher for little kids that aren't awful to subs yet. Summers off and not a ton of responsibility that you have to take work home with you. Plus a little extra money too!
I really meant for this to be a light hearted thread about the *fantasy* I have in my head about summers as a SAHM.
Regardless of what actually happens during a normal SAHM day, SAHMs do have the *ability* to go to the splash pad or whatever with their kids, whereas working moms do not on a normal day. I know for me personally, I can take days off, but while I'm home on that day, I feel guilty because my team needs me at work, I worry about the massive disaster that will be my inbox the next day, etc. So needless to say, SAHMs do have it easier in regards to having the freedom to do fun things with their kids during the day.
That's all I'm really jealous about and I should have stated it differently in my original post. I didn't mean to ruffle any feathers.
@pwnstar: I think most people just use the main board on here.. HB isn't that big. It just isn't surprising to me. I hope nobody is offended that I thought SAHM life was harder. I don't think in reality that there even IS a harder choice- there are too many variables in peoples lives to say that. I'll say for sure I think I have the easiest set up right now as a part timer!
@mrskansas: I get it. Yeah there were days when I had to work ft that I used to fantasize about doing anything on not-a-weekend since everything is so crowded on weekends! Sorry it got so off topic. I felt the need to play devils advocate a bit. I hope you do get the time off to do fun summer stuff!!
@truth bombs: I suck at asking for help so yeah I could work on that too and maybe I wouldn't have felt such a stark difference. Could be that as a SAHM *I* felt like I should handle it all and projected that to others. I guess I'll never know because I never plan to be at home all the time anymore, just wasn't for me.
kiwi / 708 posts
Such an interesting thread to read through, especially as I'm grappling with whether or not to apply to a FT job I was approached about this week (great mom-friendly company, fun/challenging role, could work remotely). I became a SAHM when I was laid off during leave a year ago (another topic with another thread!) and it has been tough at times, mostly because it wasn't 100% my own decision. BUT the privilege I have to even be able to stay home at all and to now make my decision about whether to work a great job or not cannot be understated.
I think it's important to realize that we're all probably jealous of each other at times, some days more than others, and everyone should get to vent without judgment.
persimmon / 1474 posts
@YogiRunner: loved your last few sentences. Perfect.
@Coral: @skipra: ️
@Truth Bombs: I think you read past a lot of kind posts that tried to just commiserate with the OP, whether a WOH, WAH, SAH mama the point is that sometimes it can feel like the grass is always greener, when it actually may not be. The OP was trying to be lighthearted, and you don't have to just be a WOHM to commiserate on 'your board.' It's frustrating when people seem to tread into the mommy wars territory by saying how much harder they have it than other types of moms. We can't assume we know what others situations look like or what they are juggling. Just because one stays at home doesn't mean they aren't juggling other non taking care of your family things. And as for the sick time, I never said it was easy for you to take time off. My husband doesn't participate here, so I don't discuss his business, but no he can't always be around when I'm not well, which is one of the many reasons I stay home. My point was that if you have childcare in place because you work, at least you may have to option to still send your child so you have some time to yourself. I've seen many posts on here where other ladies talk about doing their grocery shopping before picking up their kids from daycare because it's easier, having lunch dates with friends/partners during the work day. No matter what kind of mom you are, it comes with perks and hardships. I think that's the point many people were trying to make. And I think the SAHMs who chimed in, despite you thinking they don't belong on this thread, again were trying to commiserate with they OP because they have their moments where they have their jealousies also.
@pwnstar: I hope you're kidding that a SAHM can't crash your thread because of the category it's posted in. It would be like saying someone can't post on an infant loss thread because they've never had a loss, or they can't post on most of the threads here because they haven't gotten pregnant yet. There's nothing wrong with having multiple, intelligent viewpoints in a discussion. Parenting is hard enough, I just can't stand when we have these pissing contests on who has it worse. Comments about WOHMs being so badass and knowing how to get shit done doesn't really sit well with me personally. That wasn't the OP's point in her post, so I'm not sure why it went down that road. We should be building each other up, not tearing each other down with comments like that.
@YogiRunner: Exactly this. Thank you!
@2littlepumpkins: Interesting perspective, especially since you've tried working/parenting in various ways. I've definitely never really had anyone volunteer to help, but have definitely been victim of assumptions.
@Boogs: If you didn't want to get into the mommy wars of who has it harder, you would have ignored my post instead of responding to it directly, arguing that SAHMs juggle just as much as WOHMs, and then randomly bringing up the topic of WOHMs getting "real sick days" which has literally nothing to do with the topic at hand. If you didn't want a pissing contest, your last sentence "I think mom-ing is hard in general and no matter what kind of mom you are there are challenges." would have been your entire commentary on this post.
@Truth Bombs: Unlike you, and your wearing one hat comment, I wasn't stating one type of mom has it harder. The OP never meant for this to be an us vs them thread, and neither did I in my comments. In my commiseration with the OP, I was giving examples of the types of things that may appear greener on the other side. Sometimes we get stuck in our bubbles about what sucks/is going wrong/isn't working and we forgot about our privileges or things we might be lucky to have. You keep missing my point.
GOLD / cantaloupe / 6690 posts
@Truth Bombs: I think you started the "Mommy Wars" with your comment about how you're jealous of SAHMs only wearing one hat.
papaya / 10564 posts
Hell no! For me, personally, being home on my year long mat leave was the hardest job in the world. My husband would get up, get showered, style his hair and get dressed while I was juggling two children, making breakfasts, brushing their teeth - then he would leave the house alone, whatever the horrors unfolding in the house (eating battles/poop explosions) "gotta go, mustn't be late" and I would be left, unshowered, kids screaming...... The first thing I said when I went back to work was "you've gotta help in the mornings now"..... and it's just amazing! On the rare occasion that I'm not doing drop off, I leave the house alone and I strut like Beyonce!
You know who I'm jealous of? The people at work who don't have caring responsibilities. They can leave when they want because they don't have to pick anyone up. They can go straight home and relax, whereas I'm getting straight into dinner wars, bathtime, bedtime routines, CIO, making packed lunches, washing bottles - it's 9pm before I get to sit down and that's only if the baby will sleep. I'm jealous when everyone is like "Yay, it's Friday, got any plans?" and my weekend looks like two 5am starts, swimming lessons, food wars, desperately trying to get the washing done, ironing school uniforms, more food battles, poop, wet pants, cleaning and more cleaning, probably a kids birthday party.... It's hard to remember that some people would give everything for what I have. It can be hard to feel the joy when you are in the midst of it all.
@mrskansas: sending huge hugs. It must be awful dragging yourself to a job you hate when all you want is to spend time with your LO. I think the common theme in all our different situations is the element of choice. Different hours, SAH/WOH, if only we could choose the configuration that works for us.
GOLD / grapefruit / 4006 posts
Whatever your particular situation I figure you have three options when it comes to whether or not the "grass is greener" - take more care of your grass so it becomes greener, buy a newer, greener patch of grass or learn to love the grass you have!
Life's too short to be miserable or to spend it coveting something you don't have and you only get one shot at it!
wonderful persimmon / 25202 posts
@Cherrybee: Girl, me too....on the strutting like Beyonce thing. It happens sooo infrequently, but when it does, I just feel like I am floating on air!
On the other conversation that is going on in here, look, it's not easy to read about perceptions that people have about your life. I think as a SAHM, it's not so easy to read that you only wear one hat or you're not intellectually fulfilled, to use a couple of examples from previous posts, as written by a stay at home mom. As a WOHM, it's really difficult (at least for me) to read about the different approach to the summer, when I know it's the truth, that I can't take a day off just because...it has to be planned, I have to make sure someone covers me at the office, etc.
I've done both, stay at home for an extended period of time and work full time. They're both difficult in their own way and they both have joys. Can we agree on that?
Full disclosure: I have edited my post to be a bit clearer as to whose comments I was pulling from.
@pinkcupcake: this will be my last comment on this thread since I don't really care that much to continue to engage. I'm 100% comfortable with my choice to work outside the home and don't feel the need to defend it. The one thing I'm jealous of is that I have one more role to juggle than SAHMs do. That's a simple fact. If a SAHM finds that to be offensive, perhaps she likes to play the martyr a bit too much. But in response to your specific statement, I didn't say anything about Boogs "starting" it. I said that if Boogs interpreted my comment to be starting a war that she supposedly didn't want to have she would have scrolled on past. To engage and escalate and then turn around and claim to hate the argument is just ridiculous. If you hate the argument, don't have it.
GOLD / cantaloupe / 6331 posts
@Cherrybee: @looch: strut like Beyoncé I guess that's one thing that all of us can agree on because I've used the exact same phrase about leaving the house alone. Especially when I FLY alone. Walking through the airport alone with one small carry on
grapefruit / 4602 posts
I daydream about carefree summer days where the kids and I can have endless fun. In my mind it's like this commercial that I/we grew up with.
Obviously life isn't like commercials. We're getting ready for an outing right now and my not yet 2 year old just spit in my face and the kids are whining.
In reality I'm hoping that I have a flexible enough schedule that the kids can do some fun activities tailored to their interests each summer and that we get to take a family trip. My house doesn't have AC so I'm very happy to be at the office many summer days.
@Truth Bombs: you wrote - "if you didn't want to get into the mommy wars of who has it harder..."
What I'm saying is - your very initial post started this entire "mommy war" by bringing up the one hats thing.
Anyways. It's obvious you're set in thinking you're correct so have a great day
GOLD / nectarine / 2817 posts
@Kemma: your post is a wonderful one I would have liked to write if I were braver, or better with words. Having done both, I struggled with guilt and frustration and shame in both roles. I think the key is to ENJOY whatever is good about the role you are in. Unapologetically cling to that good. I will admit going to a totally empty park at 9 AM feels good as a SAHM. Instead of feeling guilty I'm going to just enjoy that and feel lucky for the opportunity to do it. When I was working FT I really enjoyed having lunch occasionally sans kids with my husband. Those felt like precious stolen moments that I appreciated so much. And as a teacher I loved taking all the skills I use on an irate toddler and deploying them on teenagers. Made my work feel meaningful and joyful. Whatever is good, cling to it fiercely and that helps you to feel more peace in your decision. We are all too busy to give ourselves a hard time about this. Culture is so tough on moms.
pomegranate / 3709 posts
@mrskansas: I'm a SAHM and your original post made me smile, because as a SAHM, I also share your fantasy about these super fun and exciting summer days we're going to have...tons of craft projects, educational sensory play in the water table, fun outings and adventures, lots of trips to the ice cream shop....because no school = less structure, and should mean lots of extra time, right?
But if it makes you feel any better, it really is a fantasy for me, too! Reality is that with my kids out of any regular drop off program (they're normally in school 2 and 5 mornings per week, and I have aftercare options to buy me extra time when I need it), they're going to be with me for all the errands I can normally run without them...which makes those things take two or three times as long as they should, sometimes leaving us with LESS time to play than we actually have during the year.
I was up the other night pinterest-ing and making an iPhone list of all the fun things I want to do with my girls this summer. My motivation for all the fun sensory play (that I have to set up/clean up with them underfoot and getting into it before it's ready, to have them use for only five minutes), outdoor time (arghhhhh mud in on the freshly mopped floors, b/c they're now home when the cleaning lady is here), and outings (just how many bathroom trips can we take on ONE trip to the splash pad?) will probably be out the window in the first couple of weeks. So if it makes you feel any better, summer honestly doesn't buy me QUITE as much extra fun kid time/freedom as you (or I!) would expect.
Not trying to compare SAHMs to WOHMs, b/c there's no point. I am simply agreeing that to some extent, I think EVERYONE regardless of working status builds up summer into this magical thing that is actually really hard to achieve. Personally, I hope that as my kids get a little bit older and getting out of the house is easier, we can get slightly closer to my summer fantasy!
@Truth Bombs: I know you won't respond but I think the reason why SAHMs resent the one hat thing is because the life of a daycare kid looks so different from the life of a kid who is at home. When my SAHM friends ask for potty training advice I lol and tell them point blank: the daycare did that! At the time my kid was in daycare 2-4 days a week. And when he was at daycare they had a potty schedule. The daycare worker didn't have to make food, run errands, go to the store, etc. It was so hard for me to keep that potty schedule as I went from doctor to bank to grocery store to cleaning the bathroom etc. I distinctly remember feeling so guilty that I I couldn't keep my kid on a better potty schedule. I agree that SAHMs have only one hat but at a daycare there is someone who makes food, someone who does education stuff, someone who cleans, etc. So a lot of people wearing the various hats at a daycare. The experience for the kids is more seamless.
GOLD / papaya / 10740 posts
@Kemma: That's a good, zen attitude to have....I try to think like that when I slip into the "wants and gimmes".
@Mrs. Sketchbook: Genuinely curious for understanding - how you can say that daycare workers do wear various hats, but SAHMs don't? In general I try not to compare different roles because one hat comments can be perceived to be just as offense as comments about how working parents don't raise their own kids because they have grandparent care/nannies/daycare, etc. In actuality neither is true, in my opinion, so it's usually kinder to just not go there, ya know?
@Kemma: Great way to look at it!
@Cherrybee: Yes to the leaving the house alone! And to husbands having to help when you are both working! That's what I mean when I said there are real tradeoffs to working/SAH and it really just depends on the specific --dynamics of each family. I could afford to stay home. I barely clear any money after paying our nanny, commuting expenses, and random work expenses. BUT I am just not the kind of person who would ever feel that if I'm at home and my husband is working, that I should do *everything* related to the house and kids by myself. You know, some women do their husband's laundry, pack their lunches, iron their shirts, take care of the kids, clean the whole house. I am not about that life. My husband has two working arms, he should use them. And my particular husband would quickly fall into a rut of expecting some of those things from me (let's be honest, he knows I will never iron a shirt of his and I will never do his laundry) and I would resent the hell out of it.
So I work! =) And it's a juggle, for sure, but I don't think I would be happier the other way around with my particular husband. We've got a good thing going now...but when I feel like I'm missing something--like recently, my health issues made it clear I have been neglecting my health--he and I brainstormed together to figure out how I can get more time to workout and meal. And spoiler alert: it all involves him doing even more at home, even though he works a demanding job with long hours.
You just constantly have to communicate, adjust and readjust.... And Kemma said, make your own grass greener. =)
@Mrs. Sketchbook: and just a note, although I know this is not the point of your post---I personally really hate the stereotype that working moms are able to/want to outsource everything SAHMs do.
That idea came up a lot in this thread, and it misses the huge percentage of working moms that don't outsource anything (except childcare during their working hours). I work, and I do not have a cleaner. We don't dry clean our clothes or send out our washing. I don't even outsource our cooking (like with the delivery meal services) or the kid's lunches, although I could buy my daughter school lunches. Even when I'm not doing Whole30, we only do 1 meal a week out or delivered. My husband and I do *all* of that ourselves. When my oldest daughter was ready to potty train, I did it myself, at home, in a 1 week period before returning her back to daycare fully pottytrained and in panties (it took about a week to go through the blocks of the method I chose). And I had a newborn home with me that whole week, too. And I made dinner every night, and I did the grocery shopping, and all the other things that had to be done.
And when I was sick, I had to keep my daughter home with me because her daycare was an hour away. Since she commuted with me, I never ran an errand without her. But I still had to juggle everything.
I totally don't think it's a pissing contest---I think having kids is hard in general---unless probably a person is a really shitty parent who passes along all the parenting duties to other people and have multiple nannies, cooks, cleaners, etc. Otherwise, it's hard for all of us.
But I do hate that recurrent theme that working moms have it so easy because we get to pee alone or take long leisurely lunches. Maybe I'm in a uniquely difficult situation because I'm a teacher working with kids all day long, so I *never* get to go to the bathroom when I want, and I often have to give up my lunch for lunch/recess duty...but oh man, that stuff gets me! And I know I'm not the only one working that kind of job.
And I have so many single mom friends who are working, parenting without partners/dads in the picture, and being everything to everyone. I don't even know how I would cope without my husband.
Maybe we can all agree with single parents win the pissing contest. =) =)
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