When I was a working mom, I was green with envy when I would log on to Facebook and see my stay at home mom friends having such a good time with their child on a random day at 2PM. Play dates with friends, going to the park, and most importantly, spending 24/7 with your child just seemed like the most absolute perfect lifestyle while I was working my 9-5. I had visions that if I was a stay at home mom, I would have so much free time to do all these cool arts and craft projects I’ve been eyeing on Pinterest, be caught up on all house work and spend many afternoons doing mommy and me activities with playgroups.
Well I’m here to tell you, the grass isn’t always greener.
When my second son was born, I left my job to be a stay at home mom to my micropreemie Liam. While I was sad to leave my job, I started having all the visions of that picture perfect stay at home mom. I convinced myself that all of our fights over dirty dishes, piles of laundry and dusty floors were all suddenly resolved. I would have all this time to be caught up on everything AND I got to stay at home and take care of my new baby!
I realized very quickly that I couldn’t get everything done in one day that I thought I could. The dishes starting piling up and the laundry began to make piles on the couch just like before. How is this happening? I had much more TIME to do all of these things, so how is it that I’m staying up just as late, if not later, than I did when I worked? Where did all the hours in the day go?
The dream and the reality of my stay at home mom experience has varied greatly. Instead of play dates, I was going to doctor appointments. And all that time I thought I had to clean the house, I was busy pumping and cleaning the parts and bottles. Also, let’s not forget the whole part of taking care of both of my kids and carpool lines twice a day. In many ways, being a stay at home mom is harder than when I worked. I feel like we are always on the go, and it’s hard to get everything done in 24 hours. I now have fond memories of when I worked and being able to go to lunch with my friend on my break, being able to go to the bathroom by myself, and solo car rides while listening to my favorite non children appropriate music.
While being a stay at home mom has been fantastic these past two years, I’ve also realized the reality is much harder than I once envisioned. When I was a working mom, that was also challenging. Balancing a full time job and trying to be on top of all household duties and your kid was quite the juggling act.
I’ve come to the conclusion that one isn’t easier than the other and that both have their own perks and disadvantages. However, one thing is for certain that each job deserves the same respect. Stay at home moms and working moms have the hardest job ever: being a mother. So next time you think your mom friend has it easier you may want to reconsider.