Tuesday, October 29, 2013

SHAM vs. Working Mom's

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.’ Sophia Loren
Of all the many uncertainties in this life of motherhood, the ONE thing I am certain of is EVERYONE has an opinion. It starts from the day you announce ‘I’m expecting!’ and I’m fairly certain it never ends. Here are some topics where I’ve experienced massive opinions…

·         Breastfeeding

·         Co-Sleeping

·         Potty Training

·         When to start Kindergarten

·         Video games

·         Food
 Why do we care what other people think? What works for you might not for me and vice versa.

I read an essay today that sparked my attention on the matter of motherhood. The Working vs. the SHAM. I am not a stranger to this topic as a full time working mom since Jayden was 6-8 months old. My sisters have both been SHAM’s, and sometimes working either from home or in the evening to be home with the kids. I feel like have a good idea of the pros and cons to each, but like  Glennon talks about in the essay, there is always room for doubt and for that Mommy Guilt to come out. Then in addition to the Mommy Guilt we play on ourselves, others go ahead and kick us while we are down. Sometimes they do it unintentional and sometimes very intentional.
Being a Mom is one of the hardest things I’ve ever attempted. I can’t really say hardest thing I've ever done since I’m far from done. Despite the hardship, I hope I am NEVER done being a mother to my boys.

My boys have made many sacrifices for my career over the years, many of mornings the boys are up at 6 am or before, cereal from a box or granola bar on the go. If you see a kid sleeping at their desk, it’s probably mine from exhaustion. I’ve missed first steps, sent my kids to daycare with fevers when all they’ve wanted to do is snuggle with Mom. I also set a great example and lie about how many nights we read on Jayden's homework. I mean who in their right mind is reading 5 nights a week 20 minutes a pop with their 7 yr old? Why should I punish him, when really we don't do it every night because sometimes I get home, we have dinner, bath and then it's bed time. There have been days when I’ve chosen work over kids. A lot actually, it’s not something I’m proud of but it’s something I’ve done and do. I’d also like to mention there are days when I’ve chosen home over work and those are the best days. I wonder if I would cherish them as much if I had them every day. I think not, I think I might take them for granted and maybe not love it as much as I do in this way.
I can only hope they look back one day and can say ‘Our mom cared. She cared about my Dad and about us. Our mom was a motivated person who did hard things that we all.. at  one point benefited from, and she worked hard for our family. She held down a full time job, maintained the house, supporting us and she showed up when we needed her too. We got to do fun things and have fun things as a family and Mom hardly ever said NO.’
Will they say these things? You never know. But I’m not sure what they’d say these things if I didn’t work and chose to be a stay at home Mom either.
I also know that working mom’s think SHAMs don’t care enough about themselves and that SHAMs sometimes think working mom’s don’t care about their kids. You know, I choose to think that each person is an individual, not representing the entire group. Sometimes I feel jealous of my sister who gets to stay home and other days we talk on the phone and I’m so thankful I’m driving to WORK and not staying home.
I have many great examples in my life, friends and family who have worked full time, part time or stayed at home. The one who I call upon a lot is my own Mom. She’s worked full time since I was very little and her career was growing in my adolescence, yes there were times she missed out on softball games or taking me to school. Her absence also taught me a great deal, even when she thought she wasn’t teaching at all is when I learned the most.
She taught me to fight for what I believe in, to work hard and be committed. That it’s ok to have a family AND a career, to choose the most importants and delegate where you can. She showed me what it looks like to love what you do and be respected. Her teaching hasn’t stopped over the years, just taken a different role. In my 32 years, she still is providing me an example. When I call in tears on my way to work and think I’ve ruined my kids for good, she’s able to talk me off the ledge. She reminds me of our strong relationship today, and how it was possible to have that even with her working when I was little.
I don’t have all the answers, or truly ANY answers. What I have is my experiences and to the Mom’s out there, let’s spend a little less time judging each other and our individual choices and start supporting one another to help make the choice a success!
If you work 10,20,30,60 hours a week or if you stay at home and work 24-7, remember as long as we love our kids, show them we love them and just plain show up – it’s a success. Celebrate it.

1 comment:

Shauna said...

Thanks for sharing that essay. I really enjoyed it. There are days that I am torn as well. I think no matter what situation we're in, the other may look more appealing. A friend posted this on facebook the other day and it's been popping into my mind every time my son frustrates me.
M. Russell Ballard “Be the very best and act the very best you can. God will give you strength beyond your own. He did not place you on earth to fail, and your efforts as parents will not be counted as failure UNLESS YOU GIVE UP.

We can do this!

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