In September of 2011 I wrote a post about being a mom and how it is hard work, period. End of story. Parenting is the hardest job we will ever have. I wrote this post before the whole "mommy wars" thing (which I think is absolutely ridiculous).
If you read the post, you will see that I think that both being a SAHM and a mom who works out of the home (I won't say "working mom", because aren't we all?) have their drawbacks. Both are hard. And both have good points as well. Being a SAHM might give you a little more flexibility to get things done, run errands, or even tend to sick children. But there is no break. However, a mom who works out of the home must still find time to get everything done and has to line up child care and all that fun stuff. You might get a break and adult interaction during the day, but it is not always easy. We all just do the best we can.
This post is not about that. I feel like moms should just back each other up. Even if you think someone has is easier than you, you just never know. You really don't.
What this post IS about...is people who believe it's a "choice". I don't really think it's a choice. We do what we do because of necessity. You know, like paying bills and a mortgage? Not having your car repossessed? All of that pesky necessary stuff that gets in the way and sometimes makes working a must for both parents.
Sometimes there is no choice.
If there was, there are many people who would not work. Like me, for example. I would LOVE to stay home with my kids until they were all in school. I would love to be able to volunteer in their classrooms. I would love to have playdates on a weekday or run errands on days other than the weekend when Target is ALWAYS packed.
On the other hand, if it was a choice then many SAHMs might go to work. They might choose to work out of the home because they long for some independence. Working might seem like a better option to them but they can't because of issues such as child care expenses or a spouse that has a job which prevents them from working.
Many people say that they "choose" to stay home because that was best for their family. That may be true, but the bottom line is that you could live without your income. That's what it comes down to. Others stay home to avoid paying for child care. That is definitely understandable. It is super expensive.
One mom once said that child care is not free, yet they stay home and that is what they do but they don't get paid. I read that and thought...wait, wait, wait, WHAT? Listen, I work out of my home and I have a home daycare. I do get paid for that. It is my job. BUT...when I am home on all of the other days with only my own children, that is NOT providing child care. That is called being a parent. Therefore, OF COURSE you don't get paid for it.
As you can see, unless you are independently wealthy (which I will be after I win the Powerball on Wednesday), there is no perfect option. And NO ONE will ever win the "mommy war".
It's time to wave the white flag. Then we can all go have a glass of wine together and complain about how bad we have it...when in fact, we know we have it pretty damn good.