There was an interesting article written in the Huffington Post this week that my little sister, Carrie posted on our Facebook feed. It was an article written from the perspective of a stay at home mom voicing her frustration of how raising your children full time is not considered a real job. After reading it, I knew my phone was about to ring. Within an hour of the post, my twin sister, Alison called me very upset, and understandably so. How could this woman insinuate that career moms surf the net and take two hour lunch breaks? Although I do agree that the article did have somewhat of a hostile tone, I gently suggested that she probably wasn’t trying to discredit career moms, but rather validate the job of a stay at home mom. But it did bring up an interesting question of who works harder- the stay at home mom or the career mom?
I would say that to most people I would be considered a career mom! I spent a large portion of my life educating myself and training to become a doctor. But if you ask me, I am absolutely a stay at home mom, who has an occasional love affair with medicine. Being an ER Physician, my schedule is never consistent. On average, I am scheduled for 8 to 10 twelve hours shifts per month. Because of my work schedule, there are times where I will spend weeks at home with my children and then there are times where I spend the majority of the week at the hospital. This has allowed me the unique oppurtunity to be able to see life from both sides of the battle field as a stay at home mom and a career mom. So, which one is harder?
It depends when you ask me! There are weeks when I am knee high in dirty diapers, class mom responsibilities, and grocery store lists dreaming of being in the ER dealing with other people’s children and secretly enjoying that it isn’t my child throwing a temper tantrum. Then of course there are times when I have 20 patients waiting to been seen and I am eating the saltine crackers that are designated for patients to tie me over until I can take a lunch break that never comes, wishing I was home in my pajamas playing paw patrol with my children. There is no right answer. I think no matter what type of parent you are, you are going to have great days and very challenging days.
A lot of stay at home moms look at career moms and think that they are career obsessed and their priority isn’t their children. And then of course there are career moms who view stay at home moms as women who sit home, watching TV all day long. Two ideas which couldn’t be further from the truth. I am surrounded by amazing women, some who have built impressive careers and are completely obsessed with their children and spend their “lunch break” coordinating the perfect play dates and taking on school projects that they certainly don’t have time to do, and stay at home moms who haven’t spent more than 30 minutes to themselves since their child was born, and don’t remember the last time they put on makeup, or bought something for themselves. Whether you are a stay at home or have a career, the minute you decided to become a parent, you sign up for a full time career including overtime without pay, short or no lunch breaks, and limited bathroom breaks. I don’t think there is a parent who doesn’t think it is the best job in the world! Why does one have to be harder than the other? I do them both and I can tell you first hand sometimes being a stay at home mom is harder and sometimes being at work is more challenging. Like with every journey, you are faced with great frustration but with wonderful rewards! Everyone has their own journey filled with their own set of unique obstacles. We shouldn’t be auguring about who works harder, but rather come together and support one another. The reality is that we all have the same end goal, to create a new generation of children where cyber bullying and hate crimes are a thing of the past and tolerance for others is the the new normal. The only way to accomplish this is to lead by example and be more tolerant of each other. It is so easy today to hide behind a computer, declare yourself an expert, pass judgment on others, and promote hate. Let’s break the trend! As my sisters will be the first to tell you, I always say positive energy leads to positive things.
See you next Wednesday!