Calling for a Parent Peace Truce – Whether Employed or Stay-At-Home
Hey, you! Let’s Stop the Mommy Wars! Instead of working parents looking down on stay-at-home parents, and vice versa, how about if we just accept each others’ circumstances and decisions, and maybe even forge a network. For real, all of us tackle challenges day in and day out – they are just different. And, if we can find ways to work together, we can help each other tackle those challenges in meaningful ways.
Here is where I’m coming from. My condensed motherhood/work resume looks something like this: Practiced law in an office until my first born was a year old. Worked from home for 13 years in editorial and management roles with kids running around me. Full-time mother to teenagers for 3 years. So, I’ve been a working mom, a work-from-home mom, and a stay-at-home mom. Likewise, my “support system,” a.k.a., my friends, includes both working moms and stay-at-home moms. I rely on these peeps to help me out in all sorts of ways, and I try to do the same for them. Here’s how I see it:
To the stay-at-home parents
Thank you for being a reliable emergency contact on everyone’s school forms; being the back-up childcare; and driving more than your fair share in carpools. I’m cheering you on as you tackle life’s daily challenges, spend most of your time with (of for) kids, and volunteer for hours on end for something near and dear to your heart. I know you make sacrifices to make this happen, and I respect that. Your kids may not always thank you, but deep down they appreciate that you are always there for them. And, for my kids, you serve as an outstanding example of stay-at-home parenting done right!
To the working parents
Thank you for contributing your skills to our economy; striking a solid balance between family, work, and community; and serving as a resource for kids in your given profession or field. I’m cheering you on as you forgive yourself for not being available to drop off your kids forgotten lunchbox, juggle a very busy schedule, and get that well-deserved promotion. I know you make sacrifices to make this happen, and I respect that. Your kids may not always thank you, but deep down they appreciate that you balance work and family. And, for my kids, you serve as an outstanding example of working parenting done right!
If you look amongst your “support group” and find that most of them have similar circumstances to you, I urge you to branch out a bit. If you work, make an effort to get to know a couple of stay-at-home parents, and vice-versa. You never know who might be the next perfect fit for your “support group.” We all have something to give and we all have something to take.