Monday, September 19, 2011

Frustrations of a Working Mom

You always hear about stay at home moms and how hard they have it. Or at least how other people think they do nothing and don’t have a real job. Stay at home moms do have a ton of work to do and I long to be one some day, but I do have a few annoyances about what people think of working moms.

As a working mom people assume that you just don’t care about your child that much and would rather work. False. Some people don’t really have a choice. Yes, there are some choices, but they compare to the same choices the stay at home mom makes/gave up to stay at home. After having my son I had to go back to work. My husband and I still disagree on that point, but I went back and it was a blessing that I did. Shortly after returning we had several bad, expensive things happen that would have bankrupted us had I not had a job. God works in mysterious ways, but I’m glad that the decision to go back to work had its blessings.

Of course there’s the work aspect, too. When you have a sick child it’s not part of your job to take care of them. You have to call in to work and say you need the day off, see what you had scheduled for the day and rearrange what you had or attend with the chance of a crying/sick kid popping up. Work thinks you’re a slacker and gives you an unexcused absence. Oh, you read correctly. Work places still have them and they suck for parents because it can affect your performance evaluation, raises, and can get you fired. I’ve dealt with this and it’s no fun. Work makes you feel like crap and that you don’t appreciate your job and you feel like a crappy mom when your husband stays with the kid instead of you. It’s a no win situation.

What about when you’re sick? You can call into work, but they often want a doctor’s excuse (yep, you don’t get away from that when you leave school either). Some want you to come to work then send you home. If you’re like me you stay home and realize how much needs to be done in your house and feel you should do something, but know you shouldn’t because you’re sick. Plus you still have to take care of your child and husband when they get home (don’t get me wrong, I have a great husband and he spoils me so much…some of these comments are about working moms in general). Stay at home moms can say that they don’t get to call in sick, but you have to as a working mom because you have to get better quicker or risk losing your job. No one wants that on their record.

For some of us we also have the problem of not having family live near us so we can’t just call in grandma and grandpa to watch our child when we’re sick, want to go out, or whatever else you can think of. Most of the time I want Alexander with me, but there are times that it’d be nice to have time with just Ivan. Many stay at home moms I know seem to live right next to mom and dad, so life is a lot easier.

Lastly, and my biggest frustration of all, is the fact that stay at home moms have the mindset that they are the only ones who have housework and they have to balance that with watching their children. Are you kidding? What mom doesn't have all of that work? For a working mom you'll have roughly 12 hours of you day devoted to getting ready for work, commuting, and working. Take away about 8 hours to sleep (usually less) and you have 4 hours left in the day. Four hours to cook, clean up after cooking, sweep, vacuum, mop, do dishes, wash and fold clothes, make lunch for the next day, and spend time with your child and husband before bed. Sure, you have the weekend, but they are usually reserved for groceries, errands, trying to see family or friends, church, and finally a couple of hours of sitting still and spending time with your family. While stay at home moms have to do this kind of stuff to it is there job, as they put it, to do that and keep house. So, technically, I guess I have two jobs. I welcome the relaxation of being a stay at home.
So there's my rant. Keep in mind that any combination of working and being a mom has it's pros and cons. To me a mom who works part time seems to have the most difficult time. You may work a couple of days a week and if you or your child gets sick you miss 50% or all of work that week. Not the best option and certainly viewed from a very different perspective by an employer. They probably think, "Man, she only works part time and she can't even come in to work for that." This probably leads to a quicker decision to reprimand or fire the mom. A mom who has her own business from home, say intertior design, and keeps the kids at home with her probably has the best option. She brings in income and can make her own schedule so that things are a little smoother. She still has bumps, but that seems like a pretty cool deal to me.
What type of mom are you? What frustrations do you have? We all have something that bothers us, so rant away...everyone has to vent at some point to keep an even head.

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