On the weekend, Number One had a birthday party to go to and as I stood there, all by myself in one corner, trying to be involved with my kids who were clearly not interested in hanging out with me I wondered if I was doing the right thing by being a working mom. There were clusters of moms seated around the tables who were involved in easy chatter, familiar with each other and their kids; I suppose a result of them meeting regularly during school picks and drops and of course getting to know each other at the birthday parties.
Of course the immediate bell that rang in my head was the one that always crops up first ‘GUILTY AS CHARGED’ and then I oscillated between the possibility that my kids would not ever have any friends because I did not bond with other moms and the sheer relief I felt at not having to do the soccer mom/party run every day!
I feel that going to work creates a sense of discipline in my family and makes my kids more independent. Do I miss not having as much time with them as I would if I was a stay at home mom? Of course I do, BUT I feel I am a better mom because I have time away from them. I come back focused on them; spend time doing activities which are creative and constructive, tell stories which they have not heard before and they are actually EXCITED to see me rather than take me for granted. Similarly, my time with them is precious and my tolerance levels, my patience levels are much more controlled as a result.
What is tough though is that still, even in today’s day and age there is a clear divide between working and stay at home moms. When we come face to face, you can see us eyeing each other up and down, judging the other’s methods, comparing notes on whose child is reaching those milestones first, whose is the happiest, whose is the most secure. Working moms have their justification and so do stay at home moms and every mother loves their child so why can’t we all just learn to get along?!! How wonderful it would be if stay at home moms supported working moms in by taking the initiative to organise playdates and so on and if working moms in turn helped out on weekends by giving stay at home moms a well deserved break! As moms we all have our sense of guilt, the nagging fear that we are not doing enough or sometimes doing too much. Why not stick together as the sisterhood we are and raise these kids together!