frommtvtomommy

Why I am the least popular woman on Facebook: motherhood myths debunked

In motherhood, women on January 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm

The other day I committed a cardinal sin on Facebook: I pissed off a bunch of mothers, mostly ones who stay-at-home.

It wasn’t intentional.

I posted a status on how people should be grateful to be with their kids, and not to complain to me about being with them all the time because in a four-day stretch, I saw my daughter for less than 2 hours.

1 hour and 45 minutes was the time I spent with my kid in four days. Total time. Just the sad normal for me as of the past few months.

I am heartbroken, and wanted to express that while it is hard to be trodden down with the kiddos and exhausted, not seeing them is the worst pain I have ever felt, and I was once alone with a kid, all the time. And tired, mentally insane, etc. I didn’t say that people couldn’t complain about going crazy being around their kids– I said don’t complain to me. I am heartbroken. Don’t wanna hear it now. It’s like when I miscarried…I didn’t want to hear pregnancy complaints. It was too much for me to handle.

All of a sudden I got all of these tirades about “the grass not being greener,” and “SAHM don’t have it easy.”

Newsflash: I never said it was easy. Or always fun. 

But for me, being a mostly SAHM was an easier lifestyle than being a mom who commutes 19-24 hours a week, is gone for a total of 60-65 hours, and sees her kid a whopping 7 hours total from Monday through Friday.

Then, people–women got pissed because of my post titled, Why being in a mental home is easier than being a working mom.

Apparently–even though there was no mention of SAHM vs. working moms in the post, nor did I say I hate my job ( I like my job, not my lifestyle)– apparently I am “bringing down” mothers and insinuating that I hate my job, which I don’t. I like it.

Ps. the blog is supposed to be dark humor–humor folks!!–, just how I like it. Serve my comedy up black please!

So here I am, the least popular girl on Facebook and I am here to dispel the myths of motherhood, once and for all. Thanks.

SAHM do not have it easy

Raising kids is not easy. It is not fun. It is however, a privilege, as far as I see it, to be able to stay home and live on one income.

With that said…

Not all SAHM want to be at home!

Some moms are at home because they cannot find a job. Others say it is due to the cost of childcare. But that is variable. Some teachers I know left their jobs because daycare was too costly. If it were me, I wouldn’t have left that job. I would still have needed whatever was leftover after the cost of childcare. 

Depends on the finances.

SAHM love being home

Some feel conflicted about it. They miss work, but would miss their kids more. Some husbands don’t want the wives to work, and these women act subservient to their husbands. Others are unable to work due to health reasons.

SAHM are contributing to the household

You would be paying for childcare instead. Enough said!

SAHM don’t all eat bonbons and watch tv

It isn’t a picnic taking care of the home and child/children all the time.

This isn’t a vacation. Domestic chores. Cooking. Childcare. Repeat.

However..

Working moms are also the cook, cleaner, etc. And we don’t always work by choice!

If you have called another working mom’s job a lifestyle choice, i.e., we have chosen that I stay at home, and you have made the best choice for you,  you may be very wrong.

Many of us have to work. Even though we don’t make a lot after our taxes, childcare, commutes, etc. We still have  to work. This is not a lifestyle choice. Don’t call it that unless you know that it is. Please.It’s offensive, especially for those of us who struggle with our ‘”choice.”

Some work by choice

Some moms need to work. It makes them a better parent. For me, I like working, but my schedule does not make me a better parent. For some moms, their jobs make them better parents. I support that!

I wouldn’t do what you do–something people who don’t work say to working mommies

Thanks. We know. We know because some days, we don’t want to either. Some people hate their jobs. Some moms like myself, like the job. So yes, you wouldn’t do what I do, but when you say it like that it is hurtful as if I can just up and walk away.

For the Career Mom, or High-Achieving/Demanding Schedule Mother

Many of the furious moms insisted I could find a closer job! A less stressful job! People who don’t know you will tell you what you can do with your life, as long as it is on Facebook.

For me, working a small retail store job at night wouldn’t cover my student loans and bills. For me, teaching at a preschool wouldn’t cover it.

So many people suggest doing in home childcare…I don’t have the space and won’t make enough.

I needed to commute. For now.

There were no other closer jobs. I looked. Believe me.

Least you’re making money

Why yes, thank you. But I am busting my ass to make less than you think I am making.

Not all working moms make bank

We aren’t all making “bank.” Some of us are just getting by, thanks.

Least you get lunch

This cracks me up. I don’t often get a lunch hour. I do however, get to shovel my food in at my desk–without a kid around.

However, I miss that kid.

As a rule of thumb, moms don’t eat. At least not slowly.

For the commuting mother: you get to sleep on the commute

I get to wake up earlier and sleep less than I did when I was home.

And when my daughter wakes now, I can’t nap with her in the afternoons. Fuck, I miss that.

Instead, I get traffic jams, broken-down subways, and all to the tune of $485 a month!

You get to be a person

Yes, it is awesome to be a person. It is awesome to use my brain.

It was also awesome to be around my favorite person in the world.

But yup, it is awesome to work and be a person. No doubt!

Just because we miss our kid and struggle with our choice, doesn’t mean we hate our jobs

I had women say, “Oh be grateful for your job.”

Uh, duh. Yeah. I am. I just miss my kid. Okay? Try it sometime. Then talk. Go months without seeing your kid. Then let’s have a heart to heart. How do you feel now?

I like my job. Do I have to say it again? With women, yes. 50000 times.

My kid’s quality of life not awesome

“How dare you say that your kid’s quality of life is not great! That’s insulting to working moms. Your kid seems fine!”–says the non-working mom to me.

My kid is doing great considering at 2.5 she leaves the house at 7am and comes home at 7pm 4x a week.

But guess what? She lashes out at me as soon as she sees me. I am the one and only person she cries when I get the blessing and good fortune to take her to school once a week. She tells me she hates me. Hits me…only to come running and hug me later. Why?  Because she misses her mother, who misses her.

Because she has the schedule of a 37 year-old adult.

All Moms Should Support Each Other

While this is nice in theory, it’s just not always possible to sit there and say, “What a great choice mom.” Plus, let me tell you: moms groups are nice, but while there are some very nice women who usually cheerlead everyone on, they also tend to be infested with high school-like behavior. I am wiling to bet that after my post, some ladies will be hating on me behind my back because I have heard them do it to others. One person even deleted me! It sucks and makes me sad, but I can’t be Miss Popular I guess. I cannot make everyone happy. If I am going to be a good writer, I am going to have to make some people mad. I accept this.

It’s why I hate “group think” and why I’m a proud sorority drop-out.

You should try to support all moms, but you won’t always empathize. None of the women who are mad at my status were mothers who have been like me: a SAHM who now works a grueling schedule. They can’t imagine what it is like as they hadn’t experienced it. Neither did I until now!

That’s the choice that works best for your family

I find women say this sometimes when they don’t want to say, “I don’t agree with you lady.”

So keep that in mind.

The Working Mom battle vs. SAHM

It will never end. SAHM-when I was one–feel out of the loop with the world, and guilty about not making money. Working moms (not all–some feel awesome about their choice) will have to be all the roles, as well as manage the home…and always feel as if they’re missing out.

But still, I will remind that in general, most families need two incomes. If you don’t, I think that is a blessing. But that’s just me.

But I don’t feel bad

Maybe being at home is awesome for you. Good–appreciate it, please. Maybe working is awesome for you–good for you.

Make peace with your choice working mommy

It is not always easy to come to grips with leaving your child as long as I do. Maybe it is for you–congrats. Not me.

We are not all a mouthpiece for you!

My experience is my own. I cannot account for yours. I am not writing for all mothers, all working mothers, all crazy Irish Jewish mothers. I can account for me.

If you want me to speak for everyone, pay me bitches. Pay me.

What about the single mommies?

I know single SAHM who experience no luxury, and SAHM who are struggling so badly–their kids don’t go to any activities, etc. I know working single moms who are like me–(I am not a single mom though) working all the time.

Sorry, but single working mommies…you win the war. You have it the hardest. Single moms in general. Lots of love to you–all the time.

Why being a mom sucks sometimes

In general, I think being a mom sucks sometimes because it means dealing with other women, who are constantly looking to reaffirm their choices.

My status of heartbreak became a status that made at home moms feel insulted. I was saying my life was worse than theirs–in terms that I don’t see my kid…and others do. But it was about me! It wasn’t about you! You can feel guilty, bad, less than, awesome, or fantastic in your statuses. I felt like shit in mine.

Don’t hate the hated

I didn’t mean to insult people. Or tell SAHM they do nothing. They do a great job, and are blessed to be home–from my point of view. Maybe not theirs.

They missed my message, so I will repeat: Even if your kid is driving you batshit, try to imagine never seeing them. Then hug them, and appreciate the time…after you runaway!

Maybe one day all women will get along.

I doubt it.

****I wanted to thank the women, working and SAHM alike, who contacted me about my status, understood my message…and didn’t like the freak-out that occurred. Thank you for understanding what I was trying to say!*****

With love and support when I can give it,

Moi!

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  1. You misquoted me to hyperbolize. In fact, I said: “you’re also implying V isn’t getting a good quality of life bc you work (which would offend me if I was a working mom, frankly); she seems pretty adjusted and great to me and you should be happy about that.” I’m sure this will be some back and forth, which is fine. Enjoy your day at work!

    • That’s fine. And I was implying her quality of life is compromised, because it is. She just happens to be like me–leader and not a follower, so she is adapting well. Seen other kids in her position struggle badly. At least she just takes all her anger out on me. Lucky me!

  2. I have a hard time with the stay at home mother thing. I would give up my left arm to stay at home with my son. I would still work from home. In an ideal world of course. But I cannot tolerate mother’s who say that a stay at home mom is a job. Its a choice, a choice lots of us don’t have. And mothers who try to say that their time being a stay home time is worth something, like $15 a hour to be the housekeeper and $20 an hour to be the cook, that too is bologna because I work not one, but two jobs, then go home and still do those things. That is the responsibility you took on when deciding to have children.

    • It’s very hard to work. I miss being home–although I definitely missed “the outside world” for sure, and yup, I still have to do all the shit I had to do when I was home! I did really miss my working identity though, you know? Like my intellectual being…and work does provide that. However, I could use a better schedule and balance, obviously. I have a hard time not getting stressed these days. I would still get stressed at home, but not as bad. I could balance things better–and at the time I worked part-time at night. That was manageable. Hang in there Momma. Two jobs is rough, and you’re a trooper!! Your son is so handsome!

      • Thank you. The one thing we have in common (at least I think after doing a quick stalk of your pages :)) is that we are both writers. I would love to just write from home, and I know I could. But my employers don’t agree. I have two jobs, one (writing for a newspaper) I do because I love it, while the other (copywriting for an internet and web hosting company) is for benefits and to provide for my family. If Turner takes his first step with the in-laws or even my own mother, I might kill them just to be sure that no one else on earth gets to experience that first before me. I haven’t seen my son in over 24 hours because he is asleep when I go to work and asleep by the time he gets home from the sitter. That is harder than any job or harder than anything a stay at home mom can compare it to. I couldn’t be a stay at home mom. I enjoy work. I enjoy seeing a finished product, knowing that I produced that. I would go nuts being locked in a house all day and my greatest accomplishment for the day was cleaning poop or teaching Turner the alphabet in spanish after an episode of Dora the Explorer. Its a tough comparison.

      • Well to you I say, email me. Why don’t we be “buddies” and help each other out since we are both going through similar scenarios. I know no one else going through this, which makes it hard. Plus, we can help each other out writing. I work one day a week from home…and I am sure you are right. You could work from home. Could you try asking for one day for one test month?xox

      • Yes! That sounds perfect to me. And btw, your post about how being in a mental home is easier, I got a lot of heat with my post about how raising a child was the same as raising a dog. Moms went nuts, when clearly it was supposed to be funny!

      • Yeah…sometimes people get way too serious, but you’re talking to a comedienne 🙂
        Please email me! Would love to have the support. I am ready to go off the edge 😦

      • what email works best for you?

      • I will email you so you have it! 🙂

  3. Here’s what I find SO frustrating about these debates: we are still talking about MOTHERhood and not PARENThood. Is my husband crippled with guilt because he chose work over parenthood? Absolutely not. Is the SAHD constantly on the defense? Maybe, but he gets a hell of a lot more fawning at playgroup. I am a SAHM. I know it’s hard work. I know working moms, I know it’s a hell of a thing working double duty. But can we stop JUST talking about moms? It’s a gift to have a PARENT stay home, not just a mother. It’s a gift for a child to have a working PARENT who provides and show the benefits of hard work.

    • Thoughtful comment Laurie! I do agree…that the “mother” part of parenting is scrutinized…not so much the paternal side! I think it is really tough to be female in this aspect. I don’t know too many SAHD, but you’re right…I am sure they get fawned over. I am also sure they might really struggle with the whole “being at home” aspect rather than being the provider… Wish I knew a few SAHD! Love the comment! Thank you for commenting and reading 🙂

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