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.