I think one of the points I tried to make with my post was that I AM doing both. Right now. I am a WAHM as well as a WOHM. I pretty much lead a double life and in my personal opinion, staying home is EASY compared to the work world and that they’re NOT the same. I do not negate at all that they are both hard. I KNOW THEY’RE HARD. But they’re NOT the same.
The ‘real’ part came from Daphne’s comment about how we don’t have ‘real’ jobs. But to be honest – if it pays the bills: it’s a job. We all know that. I wasn’t clear about my use of the word ‘real’ and I’m sorry for that.
So I typically stay away from the Momversation videos because I get so riled up about things they talk about. I know that’s their goal, but I just get so frustrated and angry about them I have to stop watching; but the other day Miss Zoot made a pointed entry about a recent Momversation episode that got my Working Mom panties all bunched up. Kim’s post had me cheering, nodding, and agreeing with every point she made. Go read it – I’ll wait.
Have you watched the Momversation about being a “working mom”? Go.
Working moms. I scoff at the Internet’s idea of a working mom. Sorry Internets, but I do.
I have been a working mom for the better part of three years; and by working I mean dragging my ass out of bed at 4:45am to get showered and dressed, waking my child(ren), getting breakfast going, dropping off at daycare and sitting in traffic ALL to get to the office by 7:30am.
I work through an eight and a half hour day of telephone calls, emails, meetings, reports, proposals, arguments, disagreements while someone with a higher authority, a boss, dictates my time.
After those eight and a half hours, I get in my car to sit in traffic, pick up my kids at daycare, get dinner going, oversee bath time, read stories and put my children to bed.
I see my children for a total of – at the MOST – three hours a day – and most of that time is spent doing chores like the cooking and bathing. I very rarely have the luxury of sitting down and actually interacting with them.
Let’s talk about being a REAL working mom shall we? Not this fluff about working from home because I’ve been there too. I’ve too worked from home, designing, freelance writing, and trying to manage my house at the same time. I was doing what I could to keep us afloat while home with my children.
There is no comparison. None. I don’t care how high up on the blogging ladder you are: working from home is not even in the same realm as being a Working Mother.
Sure, it’s stressful trying to have that conference call when your child is begging for you to change the channel or get them a drink. It’s stressful for the others on the call too. Trust me. I know. I know it’s tough to pump out that overdue article when your child has a fever and just wants to be held. I. Know.
I would take that “stress” over the possibility of losing my job because the kids have been sick and after first three weeks back to work I have already taken about a week of that in sick days. I’d take that loud and boisterous child in a middle of a conference call over being hauled into the boss’ office to be told that ‘I am not carrying my weight around here’ and reminded that times are tough at the moment and it’s important to learn to BALANCE MY HOME AND WORK LIFE.
Balancing work life and home life while working from home? It’s a fuckin’ joke.
There. I said it.
Daphne even acknowledged the fact that the Momversation was “not talking about ‘real’ work.” Maggie said that she’s “not cut out for that” (meaning the working, daycare, rushed lifestyle). Momversation wasn’t talking about the real stresses of being a WORKING MOM, but why the fuck not? Please don’t elude to the idea of discussing the stresses of being a working mom while only talking those whom are at home, locked away in a room while the kids fend for themselves while mommy makes her video.
I applaud you ladies for showering and putting on make-up to stage your videos for Momversation, I know how hard that can be too – to just have a moment to yourself to shower; but please, don’t for a minute think I feel bad for you.
I know it’s tough to find someone to take care of your child while you escape to Starbucks with your MacBook to get that article done or complete the finishing touches on a design for a client. I KNOW.
But, do you “Working Moms” know how hard it is to fight with your spouse about whose turn it is to stay home from work to mind a sick child? Do you know how hard it is to get a call from the daycare centre in the middle of your first day back in the office and have to tell the boss that you’re leaving? Or how about when you have to leave your premature baby in the hospital to go back to work then rush back to the hospital to spend as much time with them as you possibly can? Not to mention dropping off your 11 month old at the daycare centre knowing that the teachers there will likely witness your child’s first steps before you do.
I know I may alienate some of my work-at home-mom friends by writing this, but those that are truly my friends will understand where I am coming from. I know it’s not easy being a mom. I know it’s not easy working from home. I know it’s not easy having a job that takes us from our family, but please, let’s not pretend that they’re the same thing.