Stay At Home Moms vs. Working Moms – Why do we need a scoreboard?
After hearing about the “Daddy Wars” firestorm after Matt Walsh (blogger) wrote an article which defended Stay-At-Home-Mothers (SAHM) against Working Mothers who looked down at them, I felt obliged to write an article of my own. In Matt’s article (http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/10/09/youre-a-stay-at-home-mom-what-do-you-do-all-day/), he describes a few instances where Working Mothers have looked down on SAHM’s. I thought the instances were a little exaggerated, and that he might be making a mountain out of a mole hill….until I read the comments on his blog post (more than 8,000 at the time of this article).
The comments ranged from supportive, to downright anonymous internet trash where people went ballistic about the stance he was taking. Everyone seemed to immediately look at the scoreboard, trying to figure out if Working Mothers or SAHM’s had a harder job, which I thought was very interesting.
There were basically 4 groups of people who were commenting:
1. Angry Working Mothers – “How can staying at home possibly be harder than going to work AND raising a child?”
2. Angry Single People – “Every time I see SAHM’s, they are relaxing and barely watching their kids while I am working my ass off.”
3. Appreciative Working Mothers – “I agree with everything you said, and I hate when people look down on my decision to stay home with my children.”
4. Appreciative Working Fathers – “I agree with everything you said and I don’t tell my wife often enough how much I appreciate her.”
I, quite obviously, fall into the fourth category. I am a working father, who is fortunate enough to have the type of job where my wife has the option to stay home with our children if she decides she wants to. I wanted my wife to stay at home, though I left the decision up to her, because I wanted our children to have the very best childhood possible, and I have never met a better person to raise my family than the woman who I married.
She deals with dirty diapers, temper tantrums, bruises, bumps, messes, emergencies, and disasters. In addition, she has decided to run her own business from home, which makes a modest income, enough to pay for a few vacations and a few updates to the home each year.
Does she get to sleep in a little longer than me, and take an occasional nap during the day? Sure.
Do I have to change a diaper when I am suffering from morning sickness because my husband knocked me up again just as I was recovering from my C-Section, starting to teach my young son Spanish and English (along with crawling, walking, sharing, and a million other things), all while finally getting the hang of raising a child full time? No
So, how about we stop keeping score?
Is her job harder than the women who work full time? Who really cares?
Seriously…Raise your hand if you care?
I work as a Senior Manager in a Fortune 500 company, and I run a collection of businesses that comprise nearly a billion dollars in sales every year. If I walked around comparing everyone’s job and stress level to my own, I would not appreciate the contributions of very many people who I run into throughout the weekend. Luckily, I don’t do that. It takes all kinds of people to make this world turn, and I can be just as proud of the single mother supporting her kid by pouring my coffee at McDonalds as I can of the Working Mother who has climbed the corporate ladder when the odds were not in her favor. I am just as proud of my wife, who is spending her mid-twenties making sure that my children, and future children, grow up to be amazing people.
How many people in their mid-twenties had a job that was that important?
Life is not a contest, and raising kids is not an easy job…Neither is being a Working Mother…
There are no easy jobs worth doing…Period
Working Mothers have the stress of going to work every day, leaving their baby with someone else, knowing that they have to do all of their invaluable mothering in the few hours between the end of the work day and bed time.
SAHM’s have the stress of being the sole person responsible for raising a child successfully, not getting any recognition or any paycheck, all while having one of the only jobs where you are, quite simply, never allowed to quit or take a sick day.
Working Fathers will never understand what Working Mothers or SAHM’s are going through, and judging by the comments on Matt Walsh’s blog, we are not allowed to have an opinion on the issue anyway.
Stay-At-Home-Fathers (SAHF) are a special breed who are bucking an enormous social norm, while offering their child a unique experience that not many children get. In short, I do not want to get hate mail from you guys, I have almost as much respect for you as I have for my wife (and that is as good as it is ever going to get in my book).
To sum it up, the only thing that Hillary Clinton and I will ever agree on is that it takes a village to raise a child. That village consists of Working Mothers, SAHM’s, Working Dad’s, SAHF’s, along with working single people…
The only thing that village does not have is a scoreboard…and that is how it should be…
- S.A.H.M. vs. Working-Mother? Aren’t we one in the same. (lovelifeandlemonade.com)
- Moms Rock (What I Learned During My Paternity Leave) (matthewruttan.com)
- SAHM vs. Working Mom. Who is the better mother? (irishsison.wordpress.com)
- “You’re a stay-at-home mom? What do you DO all day?” (lipstickandsuperheroes.wordpress.com)