To The Working Mom, From A SAHM

Dear Working Mom,

I have never been in your shoes. I can pretend to know what it is like to get up Monday through Friday or whatever your hours may be, but I do not. I left my job as a nurse when I was 30 weeks pregnant with my first child. It was a choice that my husband and I made for our family based on calculated financial and shared responsibility before we actually knew what it was like to be parents, but one we have continued to renew. I say this because I know many people have no choice in whether or not to work, so I just wanted to acknowledge that up front. I also thought it was important to highlight that I made this choice to end my career having zero parenting experience.

I Am Often Jealous of You.

I’ll be real honest here, often times working seems like the better gig. Leaving my house looking put together with no one else bodily fluids on me to use my brain and have adult conversation. Lunch hours alone. Peeing alone. Car rides alone. Someone to call me by my actual name instead of just demand snacks. Your day isn’t filled with laundry loads started and then forgotten. Cleaning up the same mess 47 times. I did the same wooden jigsaw puzzle, no joke, ten times today because some how the pieces kept ending up scattered. I miss the fulfillment that comes from really being good at something measurable.

There is no progress report in motherhood, and if there were I am pretty sure my dirty house and sometimes ill behaved children wouldn’t earn me a raise. I am also not good at the stereotypical parts of my role. The dust bunnies under my couch multiply like well bunnies. My mom flirting is awkward. And I cannot craft, but rather Amazon Prime everything. I feel like I am always behind checking no boxes because my “work” is never done. I am envious of a project with a completion date

But Then I Realize Sometimes I Just Miss the Old Me.

It’s not so much that I am jealous of you because when you wake up extra early to make yourself presentable, stay up late working on all of the household tasks that I could allocate through the day, you are just as much of a 24/7 mother as me. Our ways of doing things may look different, but you still need clean underwear just like I do only you have to manage it outside of your regular job. That and helping kids with homework, providing dinner (like every night…these kids!), waking up with nursing babies. Everything. You do it too.

What I am really missing is my pre-mom self who had no idea how simple things could be. I would never wish to actually go back to that because my heart is so filled both with love for my tiny people and their father helping me raise them. I do have moments of clarity and self reflection, however, somewhere around that third cup of coffee/second glass of wine feeling, where I wish I could reach back five years and shake my own shoulders.

Mommy Wars

Maybe that’s why I like to direct my envy at you, darling working mom. Maybe in my own way, you look like you haven’t lost yourself quite like I have. Somedays it’s the most blissful loss filled with giggles, hugs, milestones, and of course coffee stained yoga pants. But other days it’s lonely and exhausting and boring.

I hate that from a young age we’ve been ingrained to point fingers at someone different than us to explain away our shortcomings. Maybe you look at me and see someone with no drive or ambition wasting my education. Maybe somedays that’s fair, but mostly I wish we could each see how lucky our daughters and sons are to be living in a generation where women are so strong. They are free to financially rule the home with a baby on their hip, they are free to run a business from nap time, or command a courtroom after a pump break. How about I just tell you that you, working mom, amaze me and I am so happy to point you out to my daughter. Let’s be in this thing together.

Love,

Meredith

A Stay at Home Mom

15 thoughts on “To The Working Mom, From A SAHM

  1. *standing ovation* I feel every last thing you’ve written. I’m also a SAHM and envy my husband and sometimes other moms for getting to, like you said, use their brain…look nice…PEE ALONE!…and more. That was the exact reason I started my blog. I had to do something for ME. Although, my entire blog is about being a mother, so maybe not so much for me lol.

    Angel | Mommy-ing Differently

  2. As a working mom, your post left me in tears, because it becomes so vividly clear how the grass is always greener. I don’t think stay at home moms have no ambition; I think they make sacrifices every day to be home with their children. I envy you in so many ways. There are obviously benefits to being a working mom – getting some of that alone time, adult conversations, etc. BUT there are downsides too. The guilt when your child asks if you have to work today, the pain when you miss a once in a lifetime milestone that your baby hit, the worry about being a good enough mom and a good enough employee can be overwhelming. (I also think that it’s a strong assumption that I make it to work without someone else’s bodily fluids on me Haha) “Let’s be in this thing together.” Let’s lift each other up. <3 Comparison is the thief of joy as they say.

  3. WOW, this really clicked with me. I feel this way often, and I am now questioning whether I am jealous of the working mom, or jealous of the mom I was before I had kids. I tell my husband that I am jealous of his free time in the car every morning, and he always says he is jealous of my getting to spend time with the kids. Its such a balance. I was a working mom and am now a stay at home mom and I have been jealous of the other end in both situations!

  4. Oh, girl. I’m a working mom. Yes, I get to pee alone at work. However, I am an elementary teacher. My fellow coworkers and I sometimes find ourselves clinging to each other in the hallways, trying to get in some “adult conversations” while we are walking our students outside for P.E. I can tell you that most of the mommas I work with would LOVE to stay at home. We work for financial reasons. I agree with someone else’s comment…the grass is always greener. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing. I believe we can all relate to your post in some way.

  5. so many feelings! I am a work at home mom who wants to be a stay at home mom because I feel like I don’t have enough time to get it all done. But I am grateful to be home and have to not forget that <3 Also, ya life was way easier before and I had no friggin clue 😉

  6. Well said! There are pros and cons to working vs not working as a mom. I’ve done both and I couldn’t say which I “liked” better, but right now staying at home is what works best for us.

  7. This resonates so much with me! I’m a SAHM too, and I left a corporate career that I miss in some ways. Then there are times that I just miss being the woman who was succeeding and thriving around a group of adults. The feelings are so complicated in both directions. I think both stay at home moms and working moms are superheroes. There isn’t one that is easy. They both come with challenges. I think if I were on either side, I would sometimes feel that “grass is always greener” feeling. Thanks for sharing.

    http://www.outmommingabout.com

  8. YES! Thank you for writing this, word for word from my own mouth! We are so much stronger together than pitting ourselves against each other!

  9. Thanks for such an honest post! I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to experience both scenarios and you are totally right – there is no easy way. We all do the best we can. I’m thankful to have the option to stay home (or to go back to work if I choose that, too).

    I don’t hate a quiet car ride every now and then, though!

  10. This is wonderful! We moms have to stick together and build each other up. Raising kids is work…work is work…living it seems is always working in some capacity! I’m getting ready to go back to work parttime next week…I totally get what you mean about missing the old you!

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