This morning while perusing the Post Secret website, I came across this little gem: 

I showed it to Bill, and we laughed and laughed. 

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I frequently don't get a shower until the early hours of the evening, and if I get my hair done it's a miracle - but I wouldn't call that laziness. I'd call that exhaustion.

I've done both: the working mom and the stay at home mom thing, and in my experience, I can honestly say that being a stay at home mom is infinitely harder. Bill - who has a demanding profession - agrees with me.

"I don't know how you do it," he says. "Your job is WAY harder than mine." (He sure does know what to say to a girl!)

Please understand. I LOVE working. I loved what I did and I was good at it. I took great satisfaction from my professional successes. I didn't choose to stay home because I thought it would be easier, or because I was trying to escape the working world. I liked living in that world. I just like this one, better.

My paid-job was challenging - but because of the challenge it was also stimulating. It broke up the day. My biggest challenge with the SAHM gig is the mind-numbing monotony that I often find myself lost in.

There are no promotions.
No paychecks.
It is often thankless.
It's often POINTLESS (have you ever tried to clean a house with 3 small kids underfoot?)
No vacation days, no time off, no business lunches or company retreats.
For the love, no sick days.
My colleagues don't talk about politics or philosophy or event the latest episode of whatever. They can, though, go on and on about My Little Pony. (I love MLP, but a girl can only take so much!)
It is physically taxing, emotionally demanding, mentally draining...24-freaking-7.

Not to mention how we're surviving with rent, student loans, five to feed and one still in diapers on one income. This was our deliberate choice, one we made with our family's best interests constantly at heart. This was something we felt it was important - and we are making the sacrifices necessary to make this work in a financially demanding world and a failing economy. 

So, okay, yes. Often during the day you might find me sitting in a crumpled mess on the couch, a dazed and empty expression on my face - but trust me. It's not laziness.

 And all of my working-mom friends (respect! yours is a hard job, too!) would not, I think, ever use 'lazy' to describe any aspect of what either of us does.

And to suggest that Stay At Home Moms are lazy is, at worst, a trivialization of this incredibly demanding and extremely important job, and at best, a gross display of your own ignorance of what the job entails.

Not an ignorance that induces anger or spite. No. Just one that induces extreme fits of teary-eyed laughter, because - SERIOUSLY?!


Anonymous said...

A-MEN! This mom thing is WAY hard. I still hold on to the part-time-work-thing for lots of reasons, one being that I don't know if I have what it takes to do the mom-thing full time. Both working outside the home and staying at home full-time is SUPER challenging. I'm big on choices - every mom should make the choice that makes her a)the best mom she can be (most of the time, because, let's be honest, no one is amazing 100% of the time) and b)what is best for their family and what they can make work financially, etc. and the rest the critics can please just shut up! (I have to type that because it's a naughty word in our house :)!)


Emily said...

Perfectly said. LOVE this.

Charms said...

I think it's the easiest thing in the world to be a stay-at-home mom. Anyone can, and does, do it.

Now, that said--being a GOOD or even GREAT stay-at-home-mom; now that is the hardest and most rewarding job in the entire world.

Jenn said...


Jenn said...

Also, I think it's funny (but not really funny) that this person wrote that on this particular picture; beautiful home-cooked meal, decorated house, kids dressed spiffy with their hair done. Really? Yeah, that mother was sitting around doing nothing all day. I bet.

Virginia Richins said...

I totally agree! I adore the fact that I can stay at home with the kids and be their primary influence, but it is tough stuff! I thought it would be a breeze since I was a nanny for several families before becoming a mom. It is NOT the same! As a nanny, I got told when and how to care for someone else's kids. And at the end of the day, and on weekends, I could do whatever I wanted...including sleep! Oh how I miss sleep! As a Mom, you have to be the one to decide how the schedule will go, and how you will raise your kids (of course most of us are blessed with a spouse to help with those decisions, but it can still be tough). And though I adore those two little munchkins, I need a break sometimes too. Speaking of breaks, we'd really LOVE to have your family over sometime. I will FB message you my number, and maybe we can all get together soon :)