I know I’ve mentioned before that I am only working outside the home three days a week. I am “off” on Wednesdays and Fridays. When I was leaving a few days ago, my co-worker said to me, “Well, at least you have tomorrow off! Enjoy it.” No. I am not “off.” I am still working. And the job I am working is many times more difficult, more tiring, and more thankless than my “career.” Oh, and I don’t get paid for it.
My days at home consist of many, many rounds of diaper changes, battles over breakfast, lunch, and dinner, loads and loads of laundry, dishes piled up in the sink waiting to be tackled, and schlepping a 16 month old who hates her car seat around town running various errands. I usually don’t manage to fit in a shower. If I am lucky, I’ll get a half hour to catch up on some TV. If I am very lucky, I might even page through a magazine for 5 minutes. My point: it is a day without breaks, chatting with co-workers, sipping coffee, catching up on articles online. My adult interaction is limited to small talk with the librarian or the cashier at Target. And at the end of the day, my house still looks like a bomb went off, despite all of my efforts to tidy-up.
Okay. Deep breath. Step back. It sounds like I am complaining here. I don’t mean to. (Well, I meant to complain about my co-worker, I guess. This is not the first time she has said this to me. I have heard it from many other people, too.) I enjoy chasing Clare around. We play games and go to the park. We make silly faces at each other and laugh hysterically about them. I think she likes having time at home with me, too. I kiss her a thousand times a day, and I wouldn’t trade cuddling on the couch and reading books with her for anything. My point is, though, that it is still WORK. It is not a vacation day. I have very little time for myself. I think too often people assume that because you are not in an office or on location somewhere at your job, you are not really working. I am usually more tired at the end of the day on my days at home than I am after a full day of working at the office.
I know the interwebs are full of people sniping at each other about who is the better parent – a mom who works or a mom who stays home. I don’t intend to get into that debate. I am a big believer that a happy mom is a good mom, whether working outside the home or staying home full time. Or doing a little bit of both, like I do. And I consider myself very lucky to have the option to work part time, because I know many people aren’t able to do that. I think we just need to remember that regardless of what path we choose or if there is a salary involved, ALL moms are working moms.
P.S. Since I am in a ranting mood, can I just say that November 6th cannot get here soon enough? I am so sick of all the lying liars and their LIES. Ugh. Okay, I am done now.