6 In Motherhood

All Moms Work…Kindof

You know those motherhood accounts we all follow on Instagram, that post memes of quotes or phrases? Well, I recently came across one that said, in big, bold letters – All Moms Work.

And at first I didn’t think much of it. But then it started to get under my skin. And then I did what I shouldn’t have done and I read.the.comments. (Never, I repeat, NEVER, under any circumstance, read the comments below a piece of content you are already annoyed with.)

So one of the comments said something to the effect of, “Thank you for posting this! This has bothered me for years. Why do we have to imply that one group of moms work while the other doesn’t?” And I think I literally said out loud, “Because they do!”

Now hear me out. I understand and get what the original post was trying to convey. And I am all for not fueling the “mommy wars” fire and the never ending battle between “working moms” and “stay at home moms.” We all know that the image was simply trying to convey the idea that all moms work in one capacity or another, and that being a mom in and of itself is the hardest job in the world. Staying home all day should absolutely be considered a full time job, and being home all day with littles ones, dare I say, might just be more difficult than being in an office all day with adults! Yes, all moms work…kind of.

What I’m most frustrated with is how this is another example of society’s way of leaning into everyone’s “feelings”, to ensure that no feelings are hurt, everyone is equal in every single possible way, and that everything is politically correct down to the littlest punctuation used. How dare anything be as obvious as black or white anymore? There is now a grey area for every little issue, and if you aren’t fully aligned with the grey area, then get out.

What the post does to me, is belittle the fact that working moms, in their purest definition, work much differently than stay at home moms work. In fact, now don’t throw tomatoes at me, they WORK. It takes away from the fact that “working moms” are away from their kids all day, working at their career, for a higher authority other than themselves, literally work-ing, doing a job that is completely outside the realm of motherhood. I’m not sure what the confusion here is. What else are we supposed to call a working mom, then? If we don’t refer to it as, her work? Yes, stay at home moms work too, metaphorically. In fact, again, yes, all moms work their butts off to raise their tiny little humans. But, stay at home moms literally do not work in the same way that working moms work. A working mom, by every sense of the word, is a mom who IN ADDITION TO being a full time mom (don’t get me started on that argument) has a separate JOB (aka her WORK) that she also attends to every day. I’m so sick of social media spreading the idea that stay at home moms and working moms are on the exact same plane. It’s like comparing apples to oranges and doesn’t even need to be done in the first place because it does.not.matter.

A stay at home mom and a working mom, are both moms. They are both full-time mothers to their children, regardless of if they maintain a career at the same time. However, there is simply no comparison between a stay at home mom’s “work” and a working mom’s “work” because one LITERALLY does something the other doesn’t. A stay at home mom who does not also maintain a career (aka work), does not work. That’s why it’s called being a stay at home mom. And a working mom, who does also maintain a career, does not stay at home with her children. That’s why it’s called being a working mom. A stay at home mom cannot fully understand what it’s like to be a full-time working mom, in the same way that a full-time working mom cannot fully understand what it’s like to stay home full time. It’s just different. One is not better than the other. One is not less than the other. One does not come with more praise than the other. One is not more difficult or easier than the other. And while they both work, they work in different ways, and the title of “working mom” should be reserved for those women who actually work. The simple fact that you are a mother automatically implies that your job is to be a mother. But it’s not the same thing as an actual job. If you tell me a SAHM who stays home all day, works in the same way a working mom who goes into the office 40+ hours a week works, we may need to agree to disagree on that one.

I think it’s a matter of both sides simply not understanding the other. I’m sure every stay at home mom I know who reads this will probably roll their eyes in defense and say, “What do you mean I don’t work?! I keep my kids alive all day, and take care of the house, and our schedules, and transport them to and from everything and on and on!” Yes. 100% you work hard everyday and your children could be considered your job! But, you’re not a working mom. You’re just not. If you’re not employed by an employer, pay taxes as an employee, answer to a boss (or are your own boss), have someone else’s business goals dictate your day, take conferences calls or meetings, answer emails all day, see clients, see patients, whatever your career means, you’re not working. At least in the sense of the term “working mom.” For some reason, it’s easy for the stay at home mom side to become offended and say, “I work too!” but it doesn’t exactly go in the other direction. A working mom can’t say, “I stay home!” Because they don’t….they work. And that’s just how it is. So can we all please stop being so offended by the term “working mom?” What’s next? I put band aids on my kids and take their temperature, so can I also call myself a doctor? I teach my kids things, can I add teacher to my resume? My husband pays our bills, I guess I could call him our accountant?

Ay ay ay. I digress. I hope someone out there at least understands what I am trying to say.

Moms, you are all awesome, and are all deserving of medals. But, a working mom is called a working mom for a reason, and there is no reason to take that away. Please respect the fact that being a working mom in today’s society is difficult enough.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Erica S
    July 24, 2019 at 7:58 am

    Favorite part of this: Aca-scuse me – literally laughed out loud.

    On a more serious note, I couldn’t agree more. I resigned from my job to be a SAHM with my first and then realized it wasn’t what was best for me and went back when she was 14 months. It was so much work being home, but it was also so much work to go back to work. Finding the balance took months and I don’t think we ever really figured it out. Now I’m home on maternity with my second and go back to work in October and I know finding any sort of balance is going to be so difficult. Love how honest and relatable you are.
    Balance seems a lot harder/different when you’re a mom who also has work obligations.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    July 24, 2019 at 9:44 am

    The full-time mom thing really bothers me a lot more than the work thing. It’s pretty insulting and rude for a SAHM to say they are a full-time mom, as if someone who doesn’t stay at home is not also a full-time mom. I *never* consider myself “off the clock” from being a mom even during the day when I’m at my office. And you don’t see anyone ever saying that a dad who leaves for work every day is a “part-time” dad. It just doesn’t make any sense. I do see how the phrase “working mom” can seem to imply that a SAHM doesn’t work, and I understand how that might make someone feel bad. Because staying at home and taking care of kids all day is 100% work. I wish there were a good way to make the distinction without making people feel like what they do is not valued or “counts.” That said, having a job, a boss, deadlines, a paycheck—that’s all a completely separate set of stresses and responsibilities *on top of* groceries and dinner and housekeeping and doctor checkups that all moms have to do, and sometimes I just really wish I was able to just focus on my family’s needs and not also have to care about dealing with coworkers and work responsibilities at my office job. Because the latter is not what I ultimately care about the most when it comes down to it.
    Amanda recently posted…The Mimmo Caddy: Solving the “My Car is a Hot Mess” ProblemMy Profile

  • Reply
    Diana
    July 24, 2019 at 10:45 am

    AMEN!!! 1000% yes!! Loved this post and totally agree. The grass is always greener and raising kids is flat out hard no matter if you’re a stay at home mom or a working mom – you are still 100% a full-time mom, trying to be the best mom you can be and it’s hard! Just because you stay at home with your kids, no mom thinks you get to sit around and relax all day – us working mom’s get full day weekends with our kids and know this isn’t the case – but sorry, you just aren’t a working mom. Phew! Rant over 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie
    July 24, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    I can’t say enough about this post. Not sure where to start, but I’m a Mom all day, every day. I just have a full time career as well and five direct reports that I feel like a mother to sometimes! It’s hard, but it’s definitely different.

  • Reply
    Vanessa
    July 25, 2019 at 11:59 am

    I’ve been in both situations, neither one is a walk in the park. haha
    Vanessa recently posted…Target Mom: How to Easily Style One Summer Dress Three Different WaysMy Profile

  • Reply
    Hilary
    July 25, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    All of this. I spent three and a half months home with my son and just went back to my job. Being a mom is a ton of work and being solely responsible for your child is a ton of work. But my son does not care about my timesheet or whether I am filing a motion to exclude evidence at trial or what the reasonable value of a lawsuit is. My son wants to be held and fed and to play with his musical caterpillar toy. It’s not the same. It’s not better and it’s not worse. And when I am at work I am still mom, taking pumping breaks and trying not to tear up as I look at pictures of him to get through the day and moving meetings so I can make the four month pediatrician appointment. Then when I am home I am still a lawyer who, on top of keeping the house stocked with groceries and doing laundry and feeding and holding and playing with my son, is outlining closing arguments and drafting mediation briefs. It’s not better and it’s not worse but it is not the same!

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