Friday, November 4, 2011

Why can't moms just get along??

A friend of mine very recently posted a blog that really got me thinking about this topic.  It doesn't seem to matter what choices you make as a mother, there's gonna be mothers that want to criticize you.  I suppose this is true of a lot more things in life than just motherhood.  But somehow, at least to me, motherhood is different, set apart as it were.  Being a mom has totally awakened the inner "mother bear" in me that was forever in hibernation mode prior to having my son.  Most moms really think their decisions through & make what they feel is the absolute best choice for their child/children.  Every family & family situation is so different from each other that it's truly impossible for someone else to make those judgments & criticisms.  As a mother we bring to motherhood all of our past experiences & knowledge gained as well as trying to learn as we go the best we can.  I often hear people saying something about a choice a mother made & I stop to think "what if it was me they were talking about?"  I am far from perfect & have definitely made my share of mistakes in my life & I'm sure I have plenty more to make in the days I have left on earth.  But I definitely think things through before making a decision & I definitely try to make the best decision for my child.  And so whenever I hear someone making a critical comment about a mother I almost always throw in my 2 cents & say something along the lines of "I'm sure she's doing what she feels is best for her child" & that does usually end the negative conversation.

I know for me I am aware of being criticized for being a SAHM.  I am sure I have received other criticisms as a mother, but not to my face (& really, how is that right?  to be willing to say things behind someone's back, yet not to their face?  The more time goes on the more that issue deeply bothers me & I refuse to do it).  Anyways, I've heard plenty about me being a SAHM--that I wasted so much time & money on my college education, that financially we'd be doing better if I was working, the list goes on & on.  And it's really no one's business, it doesn't even affect anyone except my little family.  But hubby & I discussed it & we both felt it was the best for Lil J if I stay at home with him.

And I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dr. James Dobson & he stresses over & over that parents should do whatever it takes to have a child be able to stay at home with a parent at least until they are 2.  He says it has a huge impact on their future relationship with their parents as well as their overall development.

But of course not everyone is able to stay at home with the kids no matter what they do.  And there are even mothers who don't want to stay at home.  And there are even mothers who also work out of the home (talk about tough!!).  And I know plenty of families where one parent works day shift & the other works night shift & that way the child is never left with anyone other than it's parents.  There are so many options.

My heart always hurts for mothers who HAVE to work yet don't to.  I always try to comfort them by reminding them that at least they get a break & get to socialize with adults.  I mean, if I had to guess I would say the work at home moms have it the toughest.  But second to that would be the stay at home mom.  I LOVE being a stay at home mom but it is very challenging at times.  There is NEVER a true break.  And when sharing this with working moms I have even been criticized by other stay at home moms for saying such a thing.  Mind you, there's quite a trend nowadays to call yourself a stay at home mom yet have a maid & put your child in day care.  And then there's people who drop their child off with a relative or friend or day care for every little thing they need to do.  THAT would definitely make being a SAHM easier if you ask me.  But that also means you don't have any business judging or criticizing SAHMs that don't have maids & don't have sitters.

I, personally, have to drag my kid on every single errand.  And it is TOUGH, let me tell you.  He doesn't always behave & I have to work around napping schedules, etc.  Grocery shopping is the absolute worst.  I have to make 2-5 stops & I do them as fast as I can, & then when I get home I have to put it all away.  And the whole time I have to keep an eye on his attitude & prevent a total meltdown.  I usually leave the house at 9am & get home at 1 & am not done putting it all away until 3.  It is so exhausting!  I have to clean my whole house while keeping him entertained, I have to cook (I know lots of people eat out or eat take out or fast food, etc--but I actually cook, most of it from scratch mind you), & I have to try to get errands ran when needed.  I even drag my kid with me when I go to the doctor--does anyone know how hard that is????  The only time I actually got a sitter was for ultrasounds & MRIs that I had done.  So I would really like someone to spend a week in my shoes before they choose to criticize me.

Alright, so today's blog was a bit of a rant, I haven't done one of those in quite a while.


Danielle-Marie said...

Before I became a mother myself, I was pretty quick to judge other moms. For instance, the two years olds with a bottle, a four year old with a soother. I was one of the "eye rollers." Well, here I am with a two year old with a bottle. There are many different types of mothers out there, and if I've taken anything from my own experience as a mom it's that my way may be right for my children, but it could be all wrong for someone else's. Who am I to judge? I am a SAHM too, as you already know. I don't have college education so I don't work because my job wages would only pay for my children to be placed in daycare. The way I see it, I'd rather be home with them at this stage anyways. I don't ALWAYS want to be a SAHM but these are the years and so for now, I'm really liking being at home with the kids. And in your case, yeah, maybe you'd be bringing more money into your home but you'd be working shift work so between work and TRYING to catch up on sleep you'd be missing all this time with J.'s not worth the extra money. For the mothers who do work, that's awesome. I know they face serious challenges having to do so. Getting everybody up early and fed and dressed and off to school/daycare, then you get home, make dinner, do homework, bathes, try to get some housework done, and it's off to bed. I seriously acknowledge how difficult that must be. But as a SAHM (who once thought SAHM have it easy) I can honestly say, our "job" is just as difficult. I feel a lot more pressure to keep my house pristine and make great meals now than I did when I was working. Like you I have to take my kids on every little errand I run. I don't have a license and I live in Canada so imagine how fun it is to have to bundle my kids up just to go grab a bag of milk. I do all the housework, I take the kids to all their appointments and with me to my own. All while working around naps and mealtimes. And on limited sleep too because my husband doesn't get up with the kids at night (nor should he since he's working). It's definitely not easy. With that said, it's all completely worth it to me and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm fortunate to get a babysitter probably about twice a month to have a fun night with Ryan and that's good enough for me :)

Frau Guten Tag said...

Enjoy your date nights! I typically get one per year, for our anniversary

Danielle-Marie said...

Aww :( if I lived nearby I would definitely be happy to babysit so you could have more.

Frau Guten Tag said...

Awww thank you!!!

Unknown said...

Frau, you sound so much like me! Oh, and we only get 1 date night a year too. Our anniversary!