This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.
**warning note – I know this is a HOT topic – this is just my opinion**
I was somewhat surprised when I read about a thing called “The Mommy Wars” in some kind of parenting magazine. I had never heard of the mommy wars and was intrigued as to what they are. One of the topics disccused was the war between stay at home mother's vs working mothers.
This strikes home. I am a Mom that has been working full time since my daughter was six weeks old (because that is the length of time I was allowed maternity leave disability pay, and could not afford to stay home without pay). My Mother was a stay at home Mom for 20+ years and has returned to working full time and my sister is currently a stay at home mom for her three children.
When I read this article the women in the article claimed that they chose to work because they wanted to have extra money for their child’s college fund, private schools, and brand name clothes etc. What a bunch of bull crap. I am sure that some Mom’s out there do work for the EXTRA money but not ALL Mom’s do, and coming from one working Mom - this thought and articles of its ilk are perpetuating a horrid lie.
And when someone says that I am selfishly putting my own needs before my child because I work, I need to step up on my figurative soap box and say something.
Today’s economic times are causing more and more mother’s to return to the work world shortly after having their child. In the social world, this rise in working Mother’s is bringing this so-called “War” to new heights.
On various social media pieces, blogs, facebook etc. I read women’s perspective on working mothers vs. stay at home Mom and it almost always boils down to harsh words being spoken to the working Mom. About how with choosing to be a working Mom you are choosing yourself over your child, and subjecting your child to the horrors of day care/baby sitters.
But being a working Mom is not a choice for all Mother’s – it is a fact of life. Some Moms have to work. Why do detrimental words have to be spoken about a woman, because she is doing what she has to do for her family? A working mother is seen as going against her nature, and out of her station in life. To enter into a world that is still not her own, to provide for her family. If a woman leaves her babe to be cared for by another while she goes off to make a living, then she must be torn down for being such a selfish and awful creature - Right? She must be made to feel guilty? For a working Mom such as myself, I do not need the negative criticism to feel guilty. I do not need to hear another mother say such things as “I am glad I made the decision to not miss my child growing up”.
Being a Mom is hard work, whether you stay home, work part time, or work full time. It is hard. And I know it is not nearly so black and white, some mother’s may stay at home and play on the internet and make extravagant online purchases and such and some Mom’s may devote every second of their day chasing around 3 children under 3. Some Mom’s may work because they want to, some Mother’s work because they have to. Some Moms have no choice but to stay home and care for their children, some Moms have no choice but to work. But the Mom’s in all of these scenarios, are still good Mom’s.
I have put together some of the things I have heard about working Mom’s vs. what my reality is:
*You work because you choose to. I do not; I work because I have to. I work because I am the breadwinner of my family, and if I did not we would not be able to pay our basic bill (and we do not have credit cards, new cars, or a big house)
*You work to have extra money and buy nice things. Hard honesty? We barely make it pay check to pay check; we have no money in a savings account. My clothes and shoes are second hand – and not because it’s cool to be thrifty. We have not gone on a “real” vacation since our honeymoon. (We went to Cape Cod last summer for my brother’s wedding and had to borrow money for gas).
*By working full time you are putting yourself before you child. Really? For many mothers, myself included - I AM putting my child first. I am working for her, because even though I have no choice that is sometimes how life works, you take what you are given, you stay strong and you do your best.
*You should not have children if you can’t afford to be with them. **dumbstruck**
*You are letting someone else raise your child. It is true that Cass is cared for during the day by daycare teachers at a facility I choose, and they have a huge role in her learning. They care for her and she cares for them. But I am the one that is with her when she is sick, I answer to her every 3am wake up call. I wake her in the morning and lay her down to sleep at night. I am and will forever her be her Mom.
*You should have married someone with a better job so you didn't have to work. This has really been said, women who “picked” their man based on the lifestyle he could provide for them. It sounds so cold, calculated and icky. I “picked” my man because I love him and I could not imagine life without him. He works damn hard at his job; he has two college degrees and has been dealt a tough card. I thank God everyday he is my husband because of the man he is, and not for what he gives me.
For some reason, some women will always look for a reason to tear another woman down. I may not like it but I understand that this is just how it works. When it comes to being a Momma, we are all doing our best and should try to do our best to support and understand one another. A lot of us travel on a hard road, it doesn't matter the size of our bank accounts or what clothes we wear, or how we spend our day. Stripped down we are just Momma’s. We love our little ones with all of our heart and souls, and we do our very best for them.