If you are ever bored and feel like entertaining yourself by pushing someone's crazy button, go up to a mom and you can count on certain issues to put them on the nutty train. Not all moms of course, some of us are more concerned with out own lives than those of others, but some moms are very opinionated on what lifestyle all families should leave.
I am a working mom. For some people this idea is just awful. I am a bad parent. I didn't make all the sacrifices necessary to be able to stay with them. Currently they are with the next best thing, Grandma, and in a few months they will be headed to daycare. To a daycare that was previewed by our foster kiddos and they loved it. Based on some opinions that I have recently received, I may as well drop them off at an orphanage because I must not love my children very much if I am considering daycare.
I do not have a fancy shmancy career and I am not at work so that I can afford my BMW, my manicures, and a pricey wardrobe from Nordstrom's, such as some mom feel must be the only reason a parent would work. The last time I went to the nail salon was in October and it was a treat from my mommy. I drive a Corolla which does not have a car payment and gets amazing gas mileage. I continue to drive it even though it looks like a clown car when my over six foot hubby steps out of the driver seat and then twins pop out the back. Don't get me wrong, I think there is nothing wrong with hard working moms spending their money on BMW's and Nordstrom's at all, in fact, I admire those Mama's. But for some judgemental beyotch to try to tell me if I just gave up a Starbuck's run and an SUV and then my children would forever be grateful and I would be a "real" mom just makes me angry!
What I do have, which in my opinion should be a basic human right, as a result of my job is benefits. I can take the sicko monkeys to the doctor anytime because I work. We can go do fun things on the weekends because I work. We can take trips to see Grandma and Grampa because I work. We can wear clothes and eat food because I work. If I did not work we could still eat and have a house, but that's about it. I have never judged a parent for staying home. To me, that is a luxury, so I can't fathom why some women are so judgemental towards working mother's. There are very few long term differences between children who stayed with their moms and those that went to daycare. Around 5 children who were in daycare instead of at home are both more likely to have aggressive behavior (not good) and also more likely to have better vocabularies (good).
I work with children and was watching at a field trip we were on. I have guilt and I of course get jealous when I see moms at the park with their kids. The thing that made me feel more contented that day was watching three moms with their children. They sat and chatted while their children played (which I have no problem with whatsoever). They had 5 children between the three of them. Then I watched what was going with us. We had 27 children between the 3 of us and to be completely honest, our poor, sad, unloved daycare kids were getting as much, if not more attention as the kids there with their moms. I know that the daycare that the babies will be attending is awesome. I love the teachers and the environment. Do I wish that I could be happy and we could do all those things together if I was at home with the babies? Of course! But for today, it's not possible. If I had the luxury of staying at home, I think I would still choose to work one or two days a week and I don't feel bad about that. To say that I absolutely couldn't stay at home without lots of sacrifices is a lie, but I don't want to make those kinds of sacrifices because I don't think they would be very beneficial to Ocean and Peanut.
I remember when I was a nanny in college and we would hang out with the stay at home moms and their kids. One of them pulled me aside and asked me if the parents loved the children that I watched. I was completely astonished. The kids I watched are their parents pride and joy. The time they spent together was the highest quality of any family I'd ever seen. Their parent's played video games with them, cooked with them, they went skateboarding together. I just thought it was unbelievable that anyone would even ask that question. That was my first taste of the judgemental world of mommyhood.
I've received my own comments from strangers, friends and family. I had a coworker who is unmarried and also not a mom herself tell me all about how she would never work after having kids and if she couldn't afford to stay home she just wouldn't have kids. She was saying this to me as I was sitting at my desk, working. With kids. Many things ran through my head but I stopped myself from giving her a lecture because it would be lost on her. So I changed the subject.
Aside from wanting to slap sense into her, I felt a pang of guilt. Should I have waited until it was an option? But I know firsthand that dreams of what life should be like and what reality has in store for you is very different. It took all the money we had just to get the babies, so time that we could have been paying things off and saving was spent at the RE's office on tests and procedures. If my eggs were rotten losers at 23, what would they be at 35 when our student loans are paid off and we had years of careers under our belt? It probably wouldn't have been good.
The other thing that makes me so angry is when stay at home moms tell me that they have to clean all day and it's very hard, much harder than having to go to work. Listen lady, I have to clean too. Just because I work doesn't mean that the laundry fairy and the toilet cleaning bunny stop by as a gift to me.
The moral of the story: I don't need anyone telling me that I should stay home. I have happy, loved, extra adorable babies even though I have a job (unbelievable, right?). I like having money in my bank account even though I'm a mom. I don't understand the judgement as I don't think mothers who stay at home are lazy and rich or aren't as smart as I am (I hear some people say that being at home is not intellectually stimulating enough for them, which I also consider rude because you are basically saying you are smarter than a stay at home mom, so that's not cool either). I don't need any help feeling guilt for not spending all my time with my children, but thank you anyway for trying to do that for me. I love my kids as much as anyone although I shouldn't have to explain that to you.
The monkeys might be more likely to punch your kids in the face when they go to Kindergarten, but they are also more likely to be smarter than those kids because I am "dumping them off" at a good daycare and heading into work to bring home some bacon and healthcare. So there.