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the mommyhood memos: all moms work hard

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

all moms work hard

Work-from-home moms, stay-at-home moms, work-outside-of-home moms… Who has it easier? Which job is best? What is the most noble?

The better question is… How can you even ask those questions?!

Moms work hard.

All moms.

No exceptions.

I think the term “working mom” is deceiving, because, let’s face it, whether you get a pay stub or not, mothers work tirelessly at what they do.

And as much as I understand people’s well-meaning question, I loath being asked, “Do you work?”

Of course I work! I’m a mother!

For me personally, it goes a little something like this: Yes, I’m a stay-at-home mom… But I’m also a work-from-home mom and a working mom. It’s just that my time is divided up in those three categories much more like 75%, 10%, and 15% at the moment. So I basically just say I'm a SAHM. That's the simple answer.

But even though most of my time is spent at home looking after my baby these days… I am working as hard as I’ve ever worked in my life, some days harder. (And I’ve always been a very hard worker.) 

So yeah, “Do you work?” Silly question!

I’ll say it again… All moms work.

For some of us that means putting on our heels and catching the subway to a high rise office building or slinging on some goggles and scraping junk off someone’s teeth.

For others it means setting up our laptop on the kitchen table while Sesame Street blares in the background or fielding an important phone call while pushing a child on the swings at the park.

And for others it means pacing around the house (drenched in sweat and baby drool) trying to simultaneously settle a teething infant and keep the toddler from climbing into the microwave... all the while counting down the minutes until the next coffee break. (Oh wait, this one doesn’t come with coffee breaks.)

But as different as those scenarios are, it’s all very hard work.

It’s all valid. It’s all legitimate. It’s all necessary. It’s all important.

So why then do we so easily get caught up in comparing ourselves to other moms?

Every “working” mom has upsides and downsides to her position. If she’s at home, she might wish she had more adult interaction. If she works away from home, she might wish she had more time with the kids. If she works from home she might wish for both!

It’s easy to look with longing at someone else’s position and think they have it so much easier/simpler/more exciting, etc.

You know that statement, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”? Let me give you a reality check on that one:

The grass is greenest where you water it.

Wherever you’re at in your journey as a mom—whether you’re loving it and wouldn’t trade it for the world, or longing for the day when you can return to work or be home with the kids—we’ve got to keep setting goals for how we grow and develop in our work as we head into the future. We must make sure that we’re watering our own grass and making the most of our own working “position”.

And just to keep our facts straight:

  1. All moms work hard.
  2. There are challenges that come with work, no matter if we work at home or away.
  3. There are rewards that come with work, whether home or away.
  4. As women in Western society we are privileged with the choice to do what we feel is best for our families and ourselves, and this usually goes without being challenged. We are released to be as empowered as we want to be.
  5. Our kids will grow up and turn out just fine as long as we’re doing our best and making our work choices with the whole family (including mom!) in mind.
  6. All moms want to feel validated in the work they do.
  7. Moms everywhere need to feel appreciated for their hard work and sacrifices of love.
So this series – Moms Who Work – is all about featuring women from a variety of working positions, learning from one another, supporting one another, and celebrating the fact that we all work hard to develop our families and shape the future.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s coming during this series:

  • How to be a SAHM Without Losing Your Marbles
  • Mom on a Wire: Finding Balance and Sanity in a Household with Two Working Parents
  • The Best and Worst of… Being a Work-Outside-of-Home, Stay-at-Home, or Work-From-Home Mom (Reader Feedback)
  • How I Became a Pediatrician Turned Stay-at-Home Mom
  • The Pros and Cons of Being a Work-At-Home Mom
  • From Work to Home or Home to Work: The Transition Process (Reader Feedback)
  • Back to Work: How to Prepare for the Transition when Maternity Leave Ends
  • Motherhood is Hard Work: A Single Mom’s Perspective
  • A Dad's Vlog on Moms Who Work
  • 8 Tips for Running a Business as a Work-at-Home Mom
  • The University of Mom: A Studying Mom’s Perspective
  • Hey Honey, How About You Stay Home with the Baby While I Go Back to Work?
  • What You Wish Others Knew About Being a Mom in Your Shoes (Reader Feedback)
  • I Wanna be a Rock Star When I Grow Up
And because I’m only one mom with one perspective, I’ve got a whole range of guest posters lined up who are contributing many of these amazing articles. You will love hearing from them, and no doubt will be inspired, motivated, challenged, and affirmed in your own role as a “working” mom… whatever your situation may be.

My hope is that you will feel valued and appreciated through this series. Because moms work hard… You work hard.

Dear mommy-friends, I am so excited to kick off this series today with highlighting the fact that moms work hard! What do you think? Do moms work hard? Do you sometimes feel unappreciated or misunderstood in your work? Do you want your perspective on “work” to be broadened by other perspectives? Are you as excited as I am to be hearing from these ladies (and a dude!)?? What have you been doing to “water your grass” lately??? Oh, so many questions…

glad to be a working mom,

Have you registered your blog here yet?

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
do not reproduce without written permission

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At September 7, 2010 at 12:12 AM , Blogger Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) said...

Wonderful series Adriel! Yes, all Moms work hard, no matter what. I really love that: "the grass is greener where you water it". I'm really looking forward to reading all these wonderful posts and celebrating Moms everywhere!

At September 7, 2010 at 12:24 AM , Blogger hannah said...

What a great affirmation! All moms do work hard, and I would add that no matter if you're a SAHM, WAHM, working mom, or some combination of all three, the work is never done. There is always more to be done and more to plan for!

At September 7, 2010 at 12:44 AM , Blogger Melinda said...

What a fabulous series! I work from home -- both as a mom and as a writer. Trying to do one or another is hard enough. Trying to do both simultaneously has nearly broken me at times. And working full-time as a mom and as an employee outside the home -- I don't know how moms do it.

I'm really looking forward to reading the different experiences and perspectives of your guest posters!

At September 7, 2010 at 1:05 AM , Blogger Mandy said...

Can't wait to hear from all of the guest posters and their perspectives. And you're so right about Mom comparison... everyone does it. It's important to realize we all have pros and cons and to be understanding of everyone! Love this series.

At September 7, 2010 at 9:59 AM , Anonymous michelle said...

i like this x

At September 7, 2010 at 10:42 AM , Blogger Kerry McCullough said...

I couldn't have said it better. I only work from home 8 hours per week, but I still resent the question about working or not- because I always feel the need to justify myself somehow. It's ridiculous because moms are always busy and working their butts off no matter what!

At September 7, 2010 at 11:03 AM , Blogger Camille said...

Can't wait for the posts this week! I'm a Work outside the home Mommy and have found the same as you have described here - EVERY mom is a "working" mom in some category of the definition. And we all wish we could be on the opposite spectrum than where we are.

Great idea for features!

At September 7, 2010 at 12:30 PM , Blogger Big Fat Mama said...

Great idea! I'll look forward to reading this seris. I think whether mothers work or don't work at the end of the day the feelings mothers feel are probably much the same!

At September 7, 2010 at 2:08 PM , Blogger Ana said...

I will be looking forward to these posts! I love how you simply stated "All moms work!" because it is sooo true! I envy the mothers who get to go to work sometimes, but then again, I really enjoy being at home and learning what my son has to teach me. God is good to give opportunities to all Mommies--stay at home, work at home, work out of the home. We're all still "mommy"--and that is what's awesome :)

At September 7, 2010 at 2:30 PM , Blogger Eastlyn and co. said...

I traded the term "SAHM" a long time ago for OTGM (on the go Mom). Rarely was I "at home" when my kids were little: there were swim lessions, story time at the library, trips to the museum or zoo, etc...I am so glad you put it out there so plainly: ALL MOMS WORK HARD, period! I agree that people should do what's best for them and their situation. Sometimes it's easier said than done, but we should not judge others according to what works best for ourselves.

At September 8, 2010 at 2:01 AM , Blogger flyrish said...

Such a great idea, Adriel! Really looking forward to reading all of the posts. And thank you for letting me participate!

At September 8, 2010 at 8:19 AM , Blogger Rachael said...

I have worked at making a conscious effort to never say I don't work. When someone asks what I do, instead I say "I don't work outside the home". Because what I do IS work! And it's not easy. This series sounds great, looking forward to reading more.

At September 9, 2010 at 11:52 AM , Blogger Cameron said...

I love it that you're doing this series!! I definitely think all moms work. I've now spent 8 months as a SAHM & about 2 weeks as a working mom & they are both tough gigs! It's work either way, but it's rewarding either way & it's important either way! I'm excited to read all these posts!!

At September 11, 2010 at 1:29 PM , Blogger MrsErvin said...

Thank you so much for this. I have never read your blog before, but a friend posted this link on hers. I have been home with my babies for the better part of 4 years. I now have to find work and am finding it very emotionally difficult. I can not tell you how much this post just lightened my burden. Thank you again, and I look forward to the rest to come.


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