Dear Unsung Heroes:
I would like to begin by saying I truly believe the majority of us chicks are doing the best we can within whatever situation we find ourselves. The “mom” job is the toughest in the world and there ain’t nobody with all the answers.
Any-shmoo, some background.
I joined the ranks of the morning-noon-night shift moms full-time back in 2003 with the birth of my second kiddo, Jack. At the time it was actually a hand-wringing decision to quit my 20-hour a week job. I actually really enjoyed my job and working part-time seemed the best of both worlds. But, like most families, my hubs and I weighed the pros and cons of two kids in daycare and decided that it made more sense to take the risk of me screwing up both kids full-time than to pay the professionals to raise them correctly.
Fast forward seven loooooooooooong years.
A couple of months ago I toyed with the idea of picking up a seasonal shift with a gourmet food and gift company. The idea of schlepping fruit baskets to folks was strangely appealing. I went through the application, then interview process and KA-POW! I was seasonally employed.
I broke the news like this:
Me: Jer, so you know I have that new job.
Me: That means you’re going to have to pick up around here for me. Y’know. Get the kids ready for school. On the school bus. With backpacks. With shoes. And coats. And lunches. Right?
Me: I mean, you understand that means you’ll have to have everything ready? By 8:00am? Get them out the door. To school. With their backpacks. And shoes. And coats. And lunches.
Jer: Yep. No problem. I’ll have it under control.
Considering for years I’ve been the point person for initialing folders, calculating reading minutes, cutting crusts off peanut butter sandwiches, honoring yogurt preferences, remembering fruit, styling completely uninterested children, finding left shoes, checking for clean teeth, brushing through snarled hair and rushing kiddos out the front door, my hubs did an outstanding job filling in as a substitute.
But what I had forgotten about my “time off” from the morning routine was all that was waiting for me upon my return from the salt mines.
Although my foray into the working world was but a brief one, I was wholeheartedly reminded how hard it can be to try and do it all. On my last day of work I drove home furiously, ran in the front door, locked it behind me and fell against it clutching my purse to my chest vowing to never leave the comforts of my sweet-albeit-filthy home again. After taking a few hundred collective breaths I took off my coat, set my purse down and started cleaning up the remains of that frantic morning all-the-while thanking God for my life.
So, Working Moms, I salute you! Your job is not an easy one and so many of you do it with such finesse and expertise you unknowingly convinced me I could step right in with as much grace.
I was wrong.
Please know there are a whole bunch of us who support your efforts and look up to you as Unsung Heroes!
Mindy, thank you so much for your post. It’s beyond refreshing to read those words coming from a stay at home mom. To be truly honest, I feel truly irate listening to stay at home moms complain about how hard and difficult their days are raising their kids. And yes I wholeheartedly agree raising kids is no joke and just getting a shower is about as lux as it gets most days… but then when I hear them continue complaining by saying they work just as much if not harder than a mom who works outside th home? Those comments just push me over the edge! I spent 3 yrs as a stay at home mom of 3 boys and the last 7 yrs as a working mother. I work 35 hrs a week at my job and still manage to complete the same amount of dishes, laundry, vacuuming, etc as a stay at home mom. In fact my house is even cleaner than my friends who are stay at home moms who have less number of children than I do. I have full respect for the amount of work it takes to be a stay at home mother, and I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you saying the same for a working mom.