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Working Moms: You're Not Missing Much!

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Moms, feeling guilty about being at work? Don't. One dad says "you're not missing much!"

Dad shouting and kids playing in background

Daddy with a Mouth: Since I'm currently in between jobs and my wife works full time, it made total sense for us to pull our toddler out of day care and for me to stay home with him. Though the transition from being in working/breadwinning/manly man mode to the temper tantrum/constant snacks/diaper savvy mentality wasn't easy, within a few weeks I got the hang of it (I think). The hardest part of being at home with a toddler full time is coming up with stuff to do all the while keep him on his (g*d damn) schedule. I usually try to get out of the house before 10 so that he doesn't fall asleep in the car and so that I can be back by 11:30 to give him lunch and put him down for his nearly three hour nap (please people, I need that three hour nap!!). So last week, after exhausting all the regular haunts (the park, the duck pond, the library, the market, etc.) I decided that I'd do what I figured other SAHM's do: Go to the mall.

First of all, the stores don't even open until 10 AM, so it's no wonder that the majority of the people there are moms. At one end of the mall, I saw literally a herd of mommies all in a circle. They were clearly a part of some exercise group because they all had resistance bands in their hands. Look, I applaud them for working out (most of them looked a little thick), but a) aren't they embarrassed to be doing crunches on the floor in front of Nordstrom (which hasn't even opened yet, btw!) and b) they're so busy trying to tighten their asses, they have completely forgotten about their kids! Literally as the women count to 30, their kids are screaming and having fits; some are throwing cheerios, others are throwing their bottles - it's utter chaos. So instead of doing something active and healthy with their children, (like you working moms dream of doing), they are completely ignoring them and might as well have them in day care.

At the other end of the mall, you've got the moms that have been up since 5 AM and are ready to pull their hair out. They're all sitting around the germ infested play area as their little ones run around and climb on the virus and plague-infested slide. But instead of actually playing WITH their children, like you working moms once again dream of doing, they are catching up on gossip with one another and obsessively looking at their clocks and towards Nordstrom to see when in fact it will effing open!

The point is, I know we all like to praise SAHMs and talk about how hard their job is (which I know first hand it is) and how much they devote to their children -- but the truth is, being at home doesn't necessarily mean you are giving more and spending more quality time with your children. Bottom line, don't feel guilty. From what I've seen, you're not missing much!

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13 comments so far | Post a comment now
Bennie February 4, 2009, 1:07 PM

THANK YOU!!!!!

Amy February 4, 2009, 1:23 PM

You are right, some of us SAHM’s take time off from our children, even while they are with us. What you have failed to mention is that the moms that work get to leave their jobs. While we are doing ours every waking hour of the day. So you are right, there are times when we socialize and let our children do things that might not always appear sane to onlookers. I don’t think either side of the fence has greener grass. I am thankful that even though most days I feel I might lose my mind if I have to pick up toys one more time, I am so thankful I don’t have to try to find time to add yet another full time job into my schedule. Give SAHM’s a break, they deserve time off too!

Emma February 4, 2009, 1:24 PM

wow I have to say I love this article. Is great to read something like this specially when you have SOME ( not all) SAHM with a hollier-than-thou attitude and look down on us working moms. This is great to know, so thank you for writing this article.

Nina February 4, 2009, 1:38 PM

I’m a stay-at-home mom and I don’t look down on working moms. Why do we have to be at odds? We are all just trying to do what is best for our families. Personally, I am in awe of working moms and have learned a lot from them. No matter what your path, if you are doing your best for your family, you’re a great mom.

Miriam February 4, 2009, 3:57 PM

What great logic: just because someone out there is doing a job worse than yours means you’re doing great…

I guess that means I’ll always be a great mom because I’m not locking my children away in the basement and sliding tortillas under the door.

I hate the tone of this article. I think we could all do better, working mom or otherwise and spend more quality time with our kids.

Brooke February 4, 2009, 4:57 PM

Amy, working moms get up in the morning and do their mom job, go to work and do that job, and then come home and do their mom job again. Just because they are not doing the same job all the time does not mean they get a break. Unless you consider sitting in rush hour traffic a break, that is.

Amy February 4, 2009, 5:40 PM

Brooke,

I was a working mom until recently. I got breaks at work. And to be truthful, once I hit send, I realized that it could be taken the wrong way. I am not knocking how hard it is to be a working mom…. because it is crazy hard. I was just commenting on how he was making it sound like SAHM’s who are not constantly interracting with their children are lazy or are not totally devoted to what they do. Because here I am taking a break again and not interracting with my children and folding the laundry like I should be…..bad mommy!

Katie February 4, 2009, 10:06 PM

I was a working mom but now Im a stay at home mom. I don’t agree with this guy at all. Maybe once a month I might be one of those moms interacting with other moms at the mall or playground- but that is a small glimpse into my life! We may gab for a few minutes because yes even stay at home moms need some adult interaction. But don’t make it seem like thats all we do! Plus, who are you to judge- don’t you get a three hour break during naptime?

Anonymous February 5, 2009, 12:17 AM

This guy sounds like a tool.

KMS February 5, 2009, 6:06 AM

I wish I got a 3-hour break in the afternoon!

Jusitn  February 6, 2009, 7:54 PM

So true. Some days are better than others. I keep two boys at home and they drive me nuts. They’ve been to day cares in the past, but we pulled them because my wife works full time and I’m in Real Estate. I struggle with things to keep them occupied, too. We go to the gym now and then, parks, grand parents, etc. My 2 yr old is a monster! Way too much kid for me. But you know what at the end of the day I’m very proud that I can stay at home and not in daycare 8-6!

Samantha February 10, 2009, 7:56 AM

From what he wrote it doesn’t sound like he does nearly everything a SAHM does. DId he do any schooling (abc’s, counting ect.) Did he clean the house? Did he prepare all the meals, run all the errands, take care of the finances?
Not all SAHM go to the mall I know I sure as hell don’t.
I know many fathers think being a SAHM is easy (which some days it is) but most SAHD don’t do half of what the SAHM do.

shara March 21, 2009, 9:18 PM

and if you ask any sahm they will tell you that they never go to the mall. yeah like my name is sandra day o’connor. they will also deny ever watching tv which is a lie.


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