We hear a lot in the media about the “Mommy Wars.” We might envision moms facing off — one in a business suit and the other in yoga pants — but that’s mostly hype. Most moms realize the letters M-O-M spell T-I-R-E-D whether you spend your days in a boardroom or wrangling toddlers in your living room.
We can say stuff like, “We’re all in this together” and, “The grass is greener on the other side.” Maybe both of those things are true, but here’s a mommy wish list, from working moms to stay-at-home moms:
1. Make all the baked goods
Seriously, can we work out a barter system? If a Costco-sized bag of sugar appeared mysteriously on your doorstep, would you make our share of the cupcakes for the year?
Don’t assume we hate baking… but working until 5:00 p.m. and then organizing dinner, homework, baths and laundry often means busting out that box of Duncan Hines at midnight. No one likes that.
2. Don’t roll your eyes at our Oreos
OK, maybe we don’t expect you really make all the baked goods, but don’t turn up your nose at our store-bought treats. Maybe it was a major accomplishment to remember to bring something.
3. Understand that we want to volunteer
But we might have to beg our bosses for time off or use vacation days we’re stockpiling for when the kids are too sick to go to school. It doesn’t mean we can’t contribute, but don’t be a jerk if we say we can’t… because sometimes, we really can’t.
4. And don’t make jabs!
“Gosh, I bet little Ryleigh is bummed you didn’t come to blah-blah-blah.” You don’t say.
5. Understand that we have long to-do lists … cut us some slack
Our second shift starts as soon as we walk in the door at five or six o’clock. Our husband might not be an equal partner in housework, cooking and kid stuff… or maybe there is no partner. The little things that take up your days take up our evenings and all too often, our late nights.
6. Ditch the term “Mommy Wars”
We need friends, too. We’re not that different.
7. Stop telling us what you could “never do” and don’t start sentences with “can’t you at least”
8. Don’t plan kid’s parties on weekdays
Maybe Tootie’s Trampoline Palace has great rates on Tuesday afternoons but stop for a minute and think about the wrench that throws into a working mom’s schedule and the drama we have to deal with if our kid can’t go to your kid’s party.
More: How long could you survive without your cell phone?
9. Don’t plan mom events during the school day
We’d love to come to your Pampered Chef fiesta but when it starts at noon on Wednesday, you’re sending the message that you don’t really want us there.
10. Quit saying, “I don’t know how you do it”
We don’t, either.
11. Don’t confuse our professional and personal lives
Police officer mom might be a marshmallow about her kids. And doctor mom? For the love of all that’s holy, quit asking her to check out your kid’s rash at the book fair. Just no.
12. Quit the backhanded compliments
“Wow, that dress is amazing… I would love to be able to afford clothes like that.” We might work out of financial necessity and our dress might have come from Target. And so what if it didn’t? Looking professional might be a condition of continued employment. We don’t think we’re better than you because we don’t wear yoga pants all day.
13. Don’t feel sorry for us — or our kids
We’re raising them to be proud of us.
14. Understand that we sometimes wish we could switch places
15. Understand that some of us like our jobs
And some of us don’t. There’s no “cookie cutter” working mom, so stop stereotyping us.
16. Don’t ask stupid questions
There’s no universal answer for: “Doesn’t it make you sad that you’re spending so much time away from your child?” And that’s OK.
17. Know that we value what you bring to the table
Because we really are all in this together.