As a part time SAHM, and a part time working mom, I hear a lot of different opinions about my home/work situation. Strong opinions. Sometimes rude opinions. (When did people start pushing their own beliefs on others as truth?!) . So I feel the need to dispel a few myths about exactly what it is I do all day.
As a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM)
I eat bon bons all day.
First of all, I don't really know what a bon bon is, but it sounds delicious. And chocolaty and gooey. I'm sure if I had them, I would love them. But I'm also equally sure that if I had something chocolaty and gooey in my house, my kids would be eating it, not me. When was the last time I actually got to eat my whole meal by myself? 4 years ago, the night before my son was born. So, rest assured that if there were any bon bons in the house, they would not be being eaten by me.
I watch soap operas all day.
Soap operas are full of sex and intrigue, mysterious illness and kidnappers with guns. Interesting to a 30-something year old with no one but toddlers to talk to all day, but not exactly kid friendly. None of these things are things I want my kids to emulate, nor even want them to know about. IF the TV is on during the day, you can guarantee it isn't even the news. It's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Word World.
My kids watch TV all day.
This one is my favorite. Because I really believe that parents lie about the amount of time their kid sits in front of the TV. I know that some days, my kids watch three or four shows (that's TWO HOURS!) of TV before I am done reading my blogs, folding the laundry and putting away the dishwasher and realize it's time for them to get up and do something. Other days, we don't even glance at the TV we are so busy. But what are my kids doing right now? Watching an episode of Team Umizoomi so I can finish writing this post. My kids watch TV, yes. They know their TV characters, yes. But not all day. Not most of the day. Not every day. But TV isn't the enemy, people. Know what is? Judging me.
I do laundry and clean all day.
This is partly true. I do do at least a load of laundry a day,and I do pick up. All day. Constantly. But I also read to my kids, and play with them. I am not in an apron, barefoot, waiting for my hard working husband to get home to his home cooked meal. I call him on the way home to ask if he can pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
As a Working Mom:
Day care is raising my kids.
This one angers me. Deeply. Would you be surprised that I hear this often? I asked a friend why she didn't want to return to work after her baby turned one, and she said "I don't want my kid to be raised by daycare."
No one is raising my kids but me and my husband. Daycare watches, and teaches, my child during the day, yes. But they don't raise him. They don't teach him our family morals and values. They don't instill in him the ethics with which we want him to be raised. They don't feed him breakfast and dinner, tuck him in at night and read him stories. Daycare doesn't buy his clothes, or any of his toys. They have him for 8 hours a day while my husband and I work.
He plays and he eats and he runs around and he makes friends and he learns. He isn't being raised. When your kids are in school, do you think it is going to be the teacher (that has him 8 hours a day) that raises him? No. It will be you, the parent, that raises him. The teacher just guides him and teaches him during the day. NO ONE raises my child but me.
Mommy's stay home while Daddy's work.
I'm not a feminist. I've never claimed to be. But, I do believe that I need to keep my job for a myriad of reasons.
One, I like my job. I like to have some place that knows me as more than Mom. I like to have something that is my own.
Two, my daughter needs to see that you don't have to quite your job just because you become a wife and Mommy. Daddies don't quit their jobs and drop everything to have a family, so why should Mommies? It may be a little bit harder, but I need to do this to show my daughter (regardless of what books may have come out recently by business women) that she doesn't have to choose between having a family and having a career. Men aren't asked to choose. Neither should women.
Three, I need my son to see the same thing. I need my son to know that women have worth in the workplace, just as much as men do. I need my son to appreciate that women are more than moms and wives, and that they too can have both a career and a family. Some day I hope his future wife thanks me.