I can remember it like it was yesterday. I had one of my usual busy days at work and I was trying to get home so we could head over to a pool party. On this particular day I was feeling more stressed out than normal, for no particular reason.
We arrived at the pool party right before dinner and much to everyone’s dismay the grill wasn’t working. Luckily, swimming in the pool distracted everyone for some time. But after Lily had her fill of swimming & the grill snafu still unsolved I was beginning to have a very cranky toddler on my hands.
Lily started whining that she was hungry and I quickly found myself digging through my purse for snacks and I came up empty handed. Then she began to pout and I began to panic when and older woman came up to her with a plate of snacks saying to me “Us women, we are all in this together.”
Her words still echo in my mind today. Such a simple concept but for some reason it stuck with me. Of course it was that simple, we are all in this together and why wouldn’t we help each other out?
I wondered if she could see the shock on my face when she not only continued to occupy Lily’s hungry pleas with snacks but make small talk with me. She asked me what I did for work and she told me that she had been a stay-at-home mom and piano teacher.
Typically when you talk to someone who is older and was a stay-at-home mom you brace yourself for them to hop on their soapbox and tell you how great being a stay-at-home mom is but she never did. She left me wondering how she was able not to judge me for making a different choice than her own. She left me wondering if I could choose not to judge others for making a different choice than my own.
All I’ve ever known is a 9-to-5 work schedule. That is until recently, when our little cupcake business outgrew just my spare time. Now I am managing a business (and possibly launching another one but that is a story for another time) & staying home with my daughter. I don’t know what it’s called, but I’m okay If you call me a stay-at-home mom, which if I’m being honest was a term that I was pretty scared of for awhile.
Don’t ask me why, there’s no real reason. It was just that I was comfortable being a “working mom” & I did pretty good at it. I think subconsciously I had adopted some sort of negative attitude about being a stay-at-home mom. Maybe it was because sometimes people felt the need to tell me that I shouldn’t be working, that I should be home with my kid, maybe it was guilt from myself. The only thing I do know is that I was wrong in having adopted that negative attitude.
There is no easy choice. As women we are blessed with the opportunity to be mothers and with that comes so much responsibility. The stay-at-home mom might not realize that the working mom dreams of being able to stay home with her kids but can’t afford to & has to go to work to keep the lights on. The stay-at-home mom doesn’t know how hard it is to have to take care the house after you get home from working a full day. She doesn’t know the guilt the working mom feels every time they are late picking their kid up from daycare or how they hate having to go to work when their kid is just having one of those days when they just need their mom.
The working mom doesn’t know how it feels to be a stay-at-home mom who doesn’t get paid for her overtime. While the working mom gets accolades and bonuses for her hard work the stay at home mom gets to try & put cranky kids down for a nap. The stay-at-home mom doesn’t get sick days, vacation time or even breaks for that matter. The working mom doesn’t know how hard it is to do something that some people deem old fashion. She doesn’t know that some days are isolating, just being home with your kids.
So my new year’s resolution (that I hope you’ll join me in) is a simple thought, that us women are all in this together. That we won’t judge each other. That instead, we will help each other to succeed in our roles as mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and friends. And when we see each other struggling we will stop to help however we can.