The rivalry between stay-at-home moms and working moms can make the Sharks and the Jets seem like good pals. But there’s no reason why moms have to choose sides in the working versus staying home debate.
Sure, most stay-at-home moms are happy with their decision, but that doesn’t mean they think less of moms who work. The truth is, all moms would benefit by sticking together and helping each other. In fact, there are a lot of things working moms can offer stay-at-home moms that we would love to have:
1. Your recipe box.
Because we’re in awe of your ability to work all day and still have enough energy to then come home and feed the family.
2. An invitation to lunch.
Because eating a sandwich in the midday sun without having to cut up someone’s chicken nuggets sounds heavenly.
3. Stories about your co-workers.
Although our toddlers try to rule the roost and can be very demanding “bosses,” we don’t get to experience the spectacle that comes with working with other adults. Let us live vicariously through your watercooler tales.
4. A nice dress to borrow.
Our yoga-pants-laden wardrobe may be comfier, but dressing for your job means you probably have more options when it comes to getting gussied up for a night out.
5. To ignore when our house isn’t picture perfect.
You’d think being home all day would mean a stay-at-home mom’s house is always ready for Martha Stewart to visit, but sometimes life gets in the way. If you don’t hold our unfolded laundry against us, we won’t mention yours either.
More: The new image of a stay-at-home mom
6. To ask in advance if you need us to watch your kids.
We’re happy to help out when we can, but we appreciate when you ask instead of assume that we’re available. Even the girls in The Baby-Sitters Club got the courtesy of advance notice, and that was before we had quick and easy ways of communication like texting and Facebook.
The kids rarely give performance reviews, and when they do, it’s usually to complain about how early bedtime is or the lack of hot dogs on the dinner menu. Anytime you can give us snaps they’re welcome, especially if you understand that any baking or crafting we do is because we enjoy it, not because we want to make you feel badly for not doing the same.
8. To not ask about our career goals, why we’re not using our college degree or our long-term plans for work.
If we’re perfectly content in our role at home, then we shouldn’t have to defend it to anyone. And if we are worried about the future, concerns like SIDS, secondary drowning, impending puberty and how we’ll pay for college give us enough to stress over already. Unless we bring it up, let’s leave the lid on that particular can of worms.
9. Your babysitter’s number.
Or the name of her equally responsible best friend. Because all moms need a bit of a break sometimes.
10. Your shoulder to lean on.
Just because our problems and worries come from inside the home instead of the office it doesn’t mean they aren’t valid. Being compassionate and understanding when we talk about our struggles can help all moms to realized that no matter how we spend our days, we all have the same goal of raising happy, healthy kids.