SAHM vs. WOHM. An Inner War. - BITCHIN' SISTERS

SAHM vs. WOHM. An Inner War.

13 Feb

In the wake of yet another article about the SAHM vs. Working Mom, (I wonder if this widespread insecurity will ever end?) I felt compelled to share my own personal experience.

Until recently, and since my first child was four months old, I had worked full, full-time. Meaning that I had a full-time career that often required me to work more than a typical full-time schedule. I was my Blackberry’s bitch. Morning noon and night, twenty-four seven, that little fucker would vibrate, beep and flash that heart palpitation inducing red light, demanding attention. It told me to jump and I asked how high. I held many an after hours work call, locked in my closet. After my child was asleep, I logged back on to answer inane questions from demanding higher ups.

 

"I'm a very important asshole! And I will not be ignored!"

“I’m a very important asshole! And I will not be ignored!”

 

I worked from home one day a week and had just that one day to spend quality time with my child and also get EVERYTHING else done. For a while, it worked. I was the master of juggling it all. I even threw in writing a book and finishing my master’s degree. <Flips hair.>

Before:

This is what I felt like after child #1.

This is what I felt like after child #1.

 

After the birth of my second child four years ago, things got a lot more difficult to juggle.

After:

This is after. Except, I typically forgot to put on pants.

This is what I felt like after child #2. Except, I typically forgot to put on pants.

 

When I worked outside of the home, there were times when I would just barely make it to daycare on time before they closed. I distinctly remember bathing my kids one night while still wearing my work clothes. Have you ever tried to do anything other than sit in a pencil skirt? Zactly.

I felt like I sucked at everything. If I was winning at work, my family felt the repercussions. If I was winning at home, someone at work was inevitably pissed off that I was “distracted.” You know how those “pesky family demands” can be. My apologies for continuing the human race.

There were times that I felt like the kids and I got the worst of each other. Leaving them bright eyed and stain-free, only to greet them at dinner time when all Holy Hell had broken loose. Seriously, what is it about 5:00 pm that makes us all lose our shit?

 

Is it bedtime yet?

It’s five o’clock somewhere.

 

At the end of 2013, I left my full-time career (temporarily) and decided to take some time “off” to be home with my kids. I’ve been a SAHM for exactly 44 days. I’ve been a mom for exactly 6 years, 10 months and six days. But who’s counting?

Being home is so very different than working outside of the home. My first week home, I vacuumed everyday. I made ridiculously awesome meals. And I don’t even cook. I organized those closets and pantries that had years of accumulated clutter and cobwebs. I matched socks. Like five hundred pairs. But, I just threw most of them away.

My kids and I did everything that I felt like SAH moms did.

 

"Wake-up!

“Wake-up! It’s time for play date/kite making/Gymboree/Gaelic flashcards/origami/skating lessons…”

 

My son was all “Dude, slow down. You’re giving me anxiety. Let’s just chill and build tons of stuff with Legos and then I’ll laugh at my own penis again.” And I was all “Awesome. This is so much more fun than work.”

I calmed down a bit by week 2 and was absolutely amazed at the amount of time we had. Mornings were slightly less rushed. I remembered to put on (yoga) pants. No seriously, that’s all I wear these days. Things just seemed calmer. That said, I soon found that I wasn’t any less “busy” than I had been when I was working outside of the home. And that things weren’t any less “hard.”

Most days, I feel like I am always cleaning. Always. The dishes and laundry seem to multiply, or maybe I just feel more pressure to do these household chores. I also swore that I would get super fit when I stopped working my job. I’ve actually gained ten pounds. Meh.

Some days, when my husband gets home, I realize that I haven’t spoken to an adult all day. From the moment that he walks through the door, I follow him around, excitedly talking a mile a minute. Pumped to have someone to talk to about things unrelated to poop, Box Tops and Transformers.

 

"oh you have to go to the bathroom. That's okay I'll just talk to you through the door. I missed you today. Are you taking a shower?"

“Oh, you have to go to the bathroom? That’s okay I’ll just talk to you through the door. I missed you today. Are you taking a shower?”

 

The mom guilt didn’t go away when I stopped working outside of the home. The stress just morphed, changing form. Only this time there’s no combat pay. There are still worries, sleepless nights and those ordinary little things that turn big with motherhood. I realized that SAH moms have it hard too. That moms struggle every day. Period.

The one thing that didn’t change one bit was how much I love my kids and how much they love me. How important they were and still are to me, regardless of where I was working. And vice versa.

So after working outside of the home and staying home, I’ve decided that we place this war on ourselves. Both have it’s pros and cons.  But those are our issues. Not other people’s.

So, you may be waiting to hear if I think either of the two is harder, better or some other revelation. Well, I’m sorry to say that there isn’t one. They’re both hard if you’re doing it right the best that you can. They’re both wonderful and scary, and at times challenging. Sometimes all the time challenging. Sometimes you want to run away and get an apartment. Or maybe that’s just me. If it is, let’s just pretend I didn’t say that.

 

Welcome to my apartment. There are no children or men  allowed and there is unlimited wine and chocolate.

“Welcome to my apartment. There are no children or men allowed and there is unlimited wine and chocolate. Please take your shoes off.”

 

Some moments, I dream of putting on a power suit and attending an important meeting. Others, I dread the thought of being back in a meeting discussing organizational development and other “things.”

The truth is that all of this is temporary. For me and you. Soon enough I’ll be back at work…though I am only looking at options that are less nervous breakdown inducing. But, whether you’re home full-time or not, these days are fleeting. God knows there are enough older family members and memes on Social Media to remind us of that.

 

"Now remember, enjoy EVERY moment because one day, your children will be grown and you can't get that time back and you'll no longer have a reason to live so enjoy it...are you enjoying it?"

“Now remember, enjoy EVERY moment because one day, your children will be grown and you can’t get that time back and you’ll no longer have a reason to live so enjoy it…are you enjoying it? You don’t look like you’re living in the moment.”

 

Here are some tips on things that you should never say to mothers, expecting women or anyone else really. You’re welcome:

Don’t say to a WOHM: “It’s soo important to be home with your children.” Just don’t. It’s probably the worst thing that you can say to a mother. Aside from, “Dude, you SUCK at this whole motherhood thing.” Not all mothers can stay home. There’s these things called bills that need payin’. And P.S. you can still raise your children and work. It’s not like WOH moms abandon their kids in the jungle to fend for themselves.

For realz

Fo realz

 

And get this, not all mothers want to stay home. Some find it fulfilling to have a career and a family. Me? I’d love a balance of the two. And a personal chef. And a pool boy. Pool optional.

Don’t say to a SAHM: “Don’t you feel bad that you’re wasting that degree?” Education is never a waste. And that’s just a douchey thing to say. It’s like saying to a woman who chose to not have children, “Don’t you feel bad about wasting that uterus?” It’s a good way to get yourself on a hit list.

 

Fo shizzle.

Fo shizzle.

 

So mother on, Bitches. Whether you’re home or working elsewhere, wearing yoga pants or a pencil skirt, you rock. Just ask your kids.

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12 Responses to “SAHM vs. WOHM. An Inner War.”

  1. Kellie February 13, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    Thank God I’m not the only one that experiences “what is it about 5:00 pm that makes us all lose our shit?”. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Acsa Harper February 13, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    This made me laugh out loud!! I totally agree, when my husband walks in from work I follow him around talking non stop. I’m surprised he hasn’t smack me yet. Lol
    I love being a SAHM but there are times where I want to get ready and go to work and then I realize I can’t nap at work hahaha.
    I could never look at a working mom and tell her what she’s doing is wrong that would be awful. I wish these bitchy mama wars would end, we need to stick together and support one another.
    This ain’t high-school ladies!

  3. Pratima February 13, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    This is so awesome. I feel like “the mommy wars” are just some media hype creation. All the moms I know are very supportive of each other. I also don’t know that many people.

  4. Working mom February 13, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    I am a single mom of 2. I work full time (or more) at both jobs. I would be willing to share that apartment with you!

  5. beth reed February 13, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    Don’t say to a WOHM: “It’s soo important to be home with your children.” Just don’t. It’s probably the worst thing that you can say to a mother. Aside from, “Dude, you SUCK at this whole motherhood thing.” Not all mothers can stay home. There’s these things called bills that need payin’. And P.S. you can still raise your children and work. It’s not like WOH moms abandon their kids in the jungle to fend for themselves.

    I LOVE THIS STATEMENT!!! I am a working mom and have a husband. I choose to go back to work for a variety of reasons but NONE one time did I say… I am going to work because I don’t love my kids, I won’t miss my kids, etc. When a stay at home mom says they are staying home because they love their kids more than their job??? It just seems very disrespectful to working women. All you need to state is you are making a career change and taking a different position. Not because you love your children more… trust me just because you stay at home doesn’t make you a better parent or mom that loves their child more than a mother that has decided to work outside of the home.

  6. Momma February 13, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    Well said. Easy for me to say, ‘been there done that’, but it taint easy and unfortunately not easy to look back on the day to day responsibilities on both sides of Rte 58 (where I mentally switched hats to and from home). So that’s why God curses…I mean blesses you with grand children…so you can give back to your children while they relive the war.
    Proud of you BSs.

  7. Anne February 13, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Hi! Great article! I stopped working outside of the home 7 years ago when I had my first child. Now I have three and I love what I do although it is the most challenging job I’ve ever had. I would never claim to love my kids more than anyone else and I thank God everyday that I am able to be with them as much as I am. No matter if its 10 hours or 10 minutes that we are physically with our kids each day the important thing to them is that we are “there” for them. You can be with them all day but still be too busy, being busy that you never talk to and listen to them. The most important work that a mother does is often during that time when you’re building LEGOs.

  8. Robin February 13, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    I love yall.

  9. fisayo thompson February 14, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    waoh, you jus took all d words right ut of my mouth. iv been in both situations and none is more important than the other, u just cant make out enough time for yourself either way. im presently a working mom and not finding it funny, my memory is not working optimay because of constant lack of sleep. im mom to 2 kids 2yrs and 3 months. onthe other hand, when was a stay at home mom, i stil couldnt get enough time, chores were never ending. i coulnt wait to resume work and now back to work, i wish i could have a day at home. kudos to all moms out there.

  10. Kate February 17, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    I love you guys. Everything you write is spot on and hilarious!!

  11. Charmaine February 20, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    So well written. And said from a mom who has been in both trenches! Loved this one. Love your blog, too. Absolutely no other blog out there makes me ( and my husband) laugh so hard!!!! Please keep writing, the world desperately needs humor like yours!

  12. Christy February 22, 2014 at 2:56 am #

    I’ve been on both sides…perfectly put! XO

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