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Breadwinner vs. Bread Makers

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Guest blogger Jane: Stay-at-home mothers aren't the only "full-time moms."

It was my turn to serve pizza at my daughter's fifth grade field day, and I cut out of work for an hour to fulfill my duties. I was in work garb and feelin' kind of groovy when I cheerfully greeted the group of women still outfitted in their workout clothes from the morning at the gym (mind you, it's noon) who were also there to serve.

Being that I was the only "working woman" in the group, it was only fitting that I began the process of placing slices on plates so we could get this party started. The non-working moms started whining.

breadwinner270.jpg

"I hate June. I'm so overwhelmed. I've got graduations, parties, trunks that need to be packed for camp, and I haven't even begun to pack for my trip." Waaaah, Waaaah, Waaaah!!!

"I know, and I need to buy presents and Jimmy needs to go to the dentist after school and Sally needs a haircut ... yada yada yada."

And all I hear at this point is "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz." And I'm thinking, I'm screaming in my head, "Who are you people? You don't f'n work!!!! What are you doing all day and why can't you figure out a way to get it all done and help with my sh*t?"

Get this ladies: Those of us who have jobs and careers do it all. We work and get Jimmy to the dentist and off to his parties with presents in hand. The trunks are packed at night and we're so happy to get off on a vacation, we'll get the damn suitcase packed or go naked!

You call yourselves full-time moms 'cause you don't have paying jobs, but guess what? You don't own the title. Working moms are still full-time moms, and we can run circles around you and still manage to serve you stay-at-homes some cheese with your w-h-i-n-e.


next: Kiss and Sell?
63 comments so far | Post a comment now
Happy to be a stay at home mom June 29, 2008, 1:17 PM

Actually I am sorry but you are so bitter because you are jealous of us stay at home moms. That’s good for you that you are a “super mom” but guess what? We are just as much of a super mom as you claim to be but we just do it even more happily being able to see all of our child’s milestones day by day AND take little Jimmy to the dentist. Also how can you claim to be a “full time” mom when you don’t even see your child for 40+ hours a week?

Anonymous June 29, 2008, 7:13 PM

Happy to be a stay at home mom - Bitter? I wouldn’t assume she’s bitter. But I could see where you’d be defensive and jump to that conclusion if you’re like one of the women she’s talking about.

Anonymous June 29, 2008, 7:55 PM

Yes, you are right you are a definately still a full time mom because motherhood does not stop just because you are at a paying job 8 hours a day. You are also right that in many ways your mothering job is harder for you because of the 8 hour a day paying job you have. But you are wrong that moms who do not have an 8 hour a day paying job do not work and our jobs are getting bigger every year because we (at least the ones who are not too selfish) are picking up the slack for the things that the 8 hour work day moms are leaving undone because they just physically cannot be in two places at one time. We are there every day at the schools volunteering our time, energy and effort to making the classes better for all our children. We are volunteering at community centers so the afternoon programs for children can go on. We also make it to all the birthday parties with a gift and still managed to get packed for camp. We can both be better moms if we get together and help one another. Please remember that though the work stay at home moms do may not come with a paycheck it is still important. Yes, we can handle some of your sh*t and the stay at home moms I know of are usually happy to help out the 8 hour a day working for pay moms whenever we can. It does not have to be a battle for who is the best or who works the hardest. It can just be a reminder of how much we all need each other to help make our childrens lives better because that is all that matters in the end anyway.

Kristin June 29, 2008, 10:25 PM

I don’t think it is fair to put all SAHM in this catagory. I have a 3 year old and a 6 month old. I work extremely hard. Just as mom’s who work an outside job work hard. There are days when I don’t have time to get all the laundry done, just like you. I sure don’t sit at home watching Oprah while sipping pina coladas!

Now, I can tell you that I wonder what those SAHM’s do when their kids are in school. I plan on working when my youngest gets in school. And by the way, I struggle to get 10 minutes of work out time in much less actually going to a gym! Some SAHM’s are whinny but so are working mothers. I think we all need to stop back biting and realize that we all do what we feel is best for our children. We all love our kids and that is all that matters. One thing is 100% true, WE ALL work hard at being good moms!

Kelley June 30, 2008, 12:12 AM

I still haven’t figured out why we can’t put this argument to rest. We’re ALL trying to be good mothers to our children, and that’s all that matters to me, period. Right now, I’m a SAHM, in the future, I’ll be in medical school, and then a resident. I won’t be “home” full-time anymore, but my love for my child, and my desire to take care of him won’t be changed.

Fran June 30, 2008, 8:28 AM

I don’t think she is bitter or jealous. Unless you have worked a full time job and while raising a child… you have no idea what is involved. A working mom has no time to go the gym for 2 hours to meet up with friends. A working mom has no time to get the housework done before the kids get home. Hello…any teacher would tell SAHMs stay away from school! SAHM are there too much! It is annoying…find something else to do. The extra events you create just make it harder on the working parents. Donations are what the schools really need.
I am a SAHM now, and I am choosing to go back to work now that my kids are going to be in school fulltime. I get bored, the gym gets old, and I want to be challenged mentally. I know it will be hard, but I want to set an example to my kids that we all need to work hard to accomplish as much as we can in this life. If the economics keep going down in this country, the life of the SAHM may become extinct.

Jen June 30, 2008, 1:19 PM

the phrase working mother is redundant…

Anonymous June 30, 2008, 1:44 PM

I work full time (and then some) and yet seem to be one of the few that does volunteer at school.

Amy June 30, 2008, 9:46 PM

Before we get our panties in a bunch, let’s take a look at what she’s saying. The SAHM crowd she has encountered comes across as whiny and self-serving. Don’t you find people like that annoying? I know I do, because I’ve encountered people like that - both when I was a SAHM and since I’ve gone back to working a full-time job.

Where I live (and note, I’m not saying everyone is like this), most of the women who stay home with their children are, shall we say “well-to-do”. Volunteer activities, or sitting in a waiting room at the dance studio while Princess has her dance lesson, serve as the adult interaction and attention they crave. They come across as incredibly bitter, selfish, catty, narcissistic, and just obnoxious.

It offends me so much, I make my DH take our daughter to dance class each week, just so I don’t have to listen to them. No, I’m not kidding - he brings his iPod and tunes them out.

Nikki June 30, 2008, 9:54 PM

I’m a single mom, workin a full-time job 2 raise my 2yr old. Her father don’t want anything to do with her and all she knows is me and grandma! I’ve worked since I was 16 and I was raised to work for what you want. I’m 24 now and had the same job since my 16th birthday! My daughter is being raised that nothing comes easy and by the time she’s old enough to work, she’ll know it! The economy now is getting worse and worse, I fear for the years when she starts paying bills!

Kati June 30, 2008, 10:09 PM

Thank you Jane for finally putting on paper what a lot of us working moms feel. It really irritates me to her SAHM moms in my area complain when they don’t get to play golf every day, or that they are stuckwith their children all summer when we have the luxury of escaping to work! I work 37 hours and still make it to volunteer and attend every game my children play in. My personal time will come when the children grow up!

Shannon D. June 30, 2008, 10:49 PM

I’ve been both, a SAHM and a working mom. Both sides have pros and cons but the one common denominator is that we are all moms doing the best we ca. Why can’t we put this petty argument aside and help each other out? I’m a SAHM right now going to school for my nursing degree. My daily life is not rainbows and dewdrops, but I try and help out the working moms by getting their kids off the bus if they are running late, or running so and so to practice because I’m going to be there with my kid anyway. What is the big f’ing deal? This is not a SAHM vs. working mom issue..this a decent human being issue. Jeez..enough of this ridiculousness already!

Suzanne June 30, 2008, 11:29 PM

I am a SAHM now because my company in which i worked for almost 20 years, went BK and I was laid off. 6 mos later, the 2nd company I went to laid me off. I had it with the let downs and decided to not look for work for a while and stay at home with my 6 year old daughter (mind you I have two older kids in which I never was able to spend the entire summer with while I was working). I am taking full advantage of what comes with being at home but it sure the heck isn’t all soap operas and lunch dates. All my friends work full time, I’m lonely most of the time and I spend more time than I can remember doing laundry and cleaning house, all to make sure I “deserve” to be home while my husband works his tail off. Whether you work away from home or at home, it’s still work…pay or no pay. However, I will say this, working full time while raising my older kids didn’t feel like such a bad thing. I loved them, they knew it and I did all I could to provide a loving caring place for them. Now that I’m home with my younger daughter, she gets exactly the same from me but now every once in a while I have to say “honey in a minute, I’m cleaning the toilet”.

Renee July 1, 2008, 12:10 AM

Wow, the author seems pretty blunt and is letting things get to her WAY too much. I don’t understand this whole thing. Sure I do feel working mothers don’t have the headache of hearing kids argue and fight; whine constantly that they need your attention; deal with children all day long; don’t have kids home during the day to destroy the house; 24/7. Sure you hear it has well but not at or on the same level as SAHM’s do cause you aren’t there. Now I realize some have to work and some just aren’t cut out for staying at home wit their children. Why make a woman stay home if she will be miserable? And how many working moms are actually home from work at 3pm when school lets out? Very few. I’m one of those mom’s that shows up to school in their gym clothes only because I drop the youngest at kindergarten then go to the gym and back to school to do all the pick ups. But I think the underlying issue here is that we aren’t fitting in. Even though I am a SAHM I don’t feel I fit in with any of the other mothers. But I’m sure if we took the time to talk to one another instead of snubbing each other we would see many of our concerns and dramas are the same, that’s how we relate.

Anonymous July 1, 2008, 12:13 AM

Wow, the author seems pretty blunt and is letting things get to her WAY too much. I don’t understand this whole thing. Sure I do feel working mothers don’t have the headache of hearing kids argue and fight; whine constantly that they need your attention; deal with children all day long; don’t have kids home during the day to destroy the house; 24/7. Sure you hear it has well but not at or on the same level as SAHM’s do cause you aren’t there. Now I realize some have to work and some just aren’t cut out for staying at home wit their children. Why make a woman stay home if she will be miserable? And how many working moms are actually home from work at 3pm when school lets out? Very few. I’m one of those mom’s that shows up to school in their gym clothes only because I drop the youngest at kindergarten then go to the gym and back to school to do all the pick ups. But I think the underlying issue here is that we aren’t fitting in. Even though I am a SAHM I don’t feel I fit in with any of the other mothers. But I’m sure if we took the time to talk to one another instead of snubbing each other we would see many of our concerns and dramas are the same, that’s how we relate.

anon July 1, 2008, 2:11 AM

I totally feel for the author. My son used to attend the school in the well-to-do part of town where we rented a duplex. I’ve actually been in a situation where SAHMs were trying to jones each other on their summer plans “Oh, I’m just so tired - we got in yesterday from shopping in Italy.” “We can’t decide where we should vacation, the Caribbean or Hawaii.” It is a one-upping game and it made me (who shops at Ross Dress for Less) feel like I was back in junior high, destined to never be in the popular crowd because of my socio-economic status. I don’t feel jealous - I’m proud of my job and being able to provide for my family (divorced mom of three). While there are things with money I’d like to do (mainly buy a house), I know it will come in time and don’t begrudge others who have the things I would like to have.

Being divorced, I do 95% of the kids’ activities alone. My kids are limited to no more than two activities per semester so we can fit everything in our schedules. A SAHM told me I was being so unfair to limit the kids like that. I have three children, one who is too young yet to do a lot. If they each have two activities that meet one night a week - that’s four evenings we’d be gone. And of course, most activities require more than one evening per week. I can’t get the clothes washed, dishes done while my kids are in school - I’m busy working. I can’t afford for someone to clean my home or do my laundry.

I am blessed to be a teacher and have the same schedule as them (I go in and leave 30-45 minutes before/after our start times). But I still miss the school parties and field trips because I have to use my sick days and personal days on when my kids are sick. I appreciate the SAHMs who have been nice, giving me a copy of a photo they’ve taken that my child was in, asking if I wanted to go in on a gift for the teacher. I wish more SAHMs were that way.

Hillary July 1, 2008, 2:33 AM

Wow, someone got up on the wrong side of bed. To assume all SAHM are like the ones you talked about is a very narrow minded. Maybe your out of your league w/what sounds to be a wealthy group that has time to work out in the AM, and take vacations. But there are plenty of moms at home that never get a vacation and can’t afford to work out but gave up their personal wants for the well being of their children. If your working b/c you have to, that’s one thing and your jealousy would be understandable, but to work out of choice and put SAHM as we got it easy, think again. Try staying at home and dealing w/your child(s) 24/7 w/no breaks. I could be just as nasty as you and call you a weekend mom, yeah you pack your kids up everyday to drop them off somewhere for essentially someone else to raise them. You may think you run circles around us, but think again, your really just your child’s coordinator. And if you don’t have a nanny or other big help I bet you use your weekends to get things done so how much quality time to you spend with your child(s)? This isn’t a competition, if you choose to work or have too, well then you make the best of it, but don’t get pissed at the SAHM who don’t work according to your schedule. To each is their own, try being a SAHM and dealing w/people who think because your don’t work you don’t have a real job - try dealing w/someone like yourself. Next time your rant about SAHM, think twice it’s not as easy as you want to think it is, trying talking to SAHM outside your small circle. If you don’t want people to put your down for your choices, don’t put them down for theirs!

Gloria July 1, 2008, 7:10 AM

Well I can say that I have my boys raised now and I was a stay at home mom. When they were little I tried to work outside the home for a little while and I didn’t like leaving my boys for someone else to hug when they got hurt or explain why we have to eat something more then peanut butter and jelly for every meal. Yes I did enjoy the quiet when I was at work and not hearing “Barney” or the “Mom, Andrew is hitting me again”. But I was also missing out on the hugs and mile stones also.
Their are good Moms that work outside the home and Moms that work at home. Yes both have a lot to do but I wouldn’t say one has more than the other.
The mom at work is away from the house along with everyone else and so she doesen’t have the mess to clean up as does the mother that is at home all day along with the kids who like to make messes.

I have been in both roles and I can say each have work to do it just depends on which work you want to do from 8-5 we all do the same from 5pm-whenever we go to bed.
Inbrace your choice and stop trying to make the other mothers feel bad about their choices. It’s a good thing we all don’t want to do the same job because who would watch the children of the moms who choose to work outside the house. Who would go on the field trips.
All in all we have jobs and we have choosen to do. Let’s be proud of our choice and do it the best we can do.

Stephanie July 1, 2008, 8:12 AM

I completely agree with you! I’m so mad that as moms that work we are not pressumed to be good moms. I just finished my Associates Degree while taking care of my two year old and working 30 hours as a bank teller. Because I’ve been a single mom before I was also the one who had to take my son (who has a weak inmune system and gets sick constantly), to the doctors and specialist. We’ve been to the ER almost 10 times in the last to year due to pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma. Who says sahm have it hard? They don’t know the half of it!

C July 1, 2008, 8:23 AM

I’m sorry but that was the most poorly written “article” to get posted on an e-newsletter. I was under the impression this would be a place to find interesting mom themed things to read, not some random woman’s ranting about something that sounds completely phony. I’m unsubscribing immediately. I’ve been a working mom & a SAHM and while I recall the difficult juggle of home and office (and guilt), staying home isn’t hanging out doing whatever I want and loitering at the school. I’m busy taking care of my kids & home, not going to the gym, attending parties and whining. I’m off to take care of my kids now, which is something is woman should be doing in her free time instead of complaining about other mothers.


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