3.06.2012

Save the Working Mom Pity Party

I'm a working mom. I know all moms are working moms, but I'm a mom who also has a full-time job. And I'm OK with that most days. I have co-workers who I really enjoy, a career that inspires me, and the flexibility to drop everything whenever necessary. But, it's not easy. It's exhausting and fast-paced and often emotional (but so is staying home with kids!).

I've gotten used to the questions about how I manage the frantic pace of my life... But, one thing I can't get used to is the underlying pity that is often thinly veiled with those observations. For instance, someone recently commented that I'm "not lucky enough to stay home..." This was after the whole "I don't know how you do it" pity party. I focused on the help I have from my mom and two nannies, my flexible schedule, and how lucky I feel to have a great job. What I should have said was: Luck has nothing to do with it. There is nothing unlucky about finding a career that is fulfilling and a job where you're appreciated. Period.

Choosing to work doesn't make me a bad mom. Yes, we currently rely on both of our incomes to maintain our quality of life. Could we make changes that would allow one of us to stay home? Absolutely. Do I want to? No. The assumption that deep down inside all moms are yearning to stay home is wrong, as is the ignorance that comes with comments that include the word "luck" in the working mom vs. stay at home mom debate.

I wear a lot of hats and play a lot of roles in my life. But, mom is the first role I think of in the morning and the last one I think of when I go to bed.

Visit this Babble.com piece that includes my thoughts and the insights of other working moms on Twitter. How do you feel about being a working mom?

1 comment:

Kim/reluctant renovator said...

I've done okay for myself over the years a SAHM and later WAHM, (and for a bits here and there a working out-of-house). There's no perfect arrangement. Life with young kids is challenging and exhausting no matter what.

I would disagree with your statement about luck, though. I think it takes more than just intention and hard work to wind up in the right job with the right support (be it in the form of a great boss or reliable childcare).

It's always a balancing act, but it sounds like you are managing it quite well.