Let me begin by saying this – SAHMs: good on you for making the choice to spend valuable time with your baby(ies)! And working moms: bloody well done for managing to do both. It’s a choice some people get to make, independent of financial constraints. For others, it’s something that has to be done, in order to best provide for a child. For another group, (in which I like to include myself) it’s a choice made to remain sane. To be able to have the best of both worlds, when the right balance of work and home life is achieved.

I happened upon this comment on a Facebook profile. I won’t call this person a friend – I am not even “friends” with her on Facebook. I think if we were, I would have berated her there and then. But, she doesn’t know I’ve read her post so I don’t see fit to do it there. Besides, I seriously think she must be one of the most stupid people I have ever come across.

Let me put this into perspective.  The status update that started this was about needing to find work as both her and her partner were out of it (work) and are obviously not able to provide for their child. She mentions the fact that she “needs to find work” but that she wants to spend more time being a mom to her child.

Um, I honestly cannot see why one can’t do both? Are we regressing to a bygone era, where women could be either a mother OR a business-woman, and not both?

Anyway, she goes on to ask what her friends did when they had their babies, and the general consensus was either that each person had in fact gone back to work or had started a work-from-home business, because the financial strain on their partner was just too much. Anyway, what follows was her comment that literally put me over the edge:

Just in case you can’t read this,

“Thx for the info and support ladies… i dont feel so bad now i guess, knowing that im not the only new mum that wants to stay at home with her first child instead of fobbing the poor bambino onto a creche or day mother… most of the woman who are friends of either my brother and/or my sister, or some that I know from previous companies I worked for, had their kids in creche by the time they turned 6months latest. Like they couldnt wait to get back to work and leave the parenting thing to the professionals you know??

We must be old school then, for WANTING to stay at home and raise our kids. I prefer it actually. I dont see how a stranger can re-inforce that bond that grows between a mother and child when they are still young, you know? The kids grow up and become adults and (consequently) strangers to their parents then, isnt it? no connection,. no bond, no love. how awful. I cant imagine a day away from my lil boogaloo…”

She honestly believes that “most” woman have their kids in creche by 6 months, because they couldn’t wait to leave the parenting thing to the professionals? That kids grow up, not knowing their parents, with no bond or connection because the parent(s) worked? WHAT THE … ?!

As a mom who gave the SAHM thing a go for one month, resigning from a job because I missed my baby boy SO much and felt that the only way I could be a “good” mother was by staying at home with him, this comment makes me sick. Yes, at first I thought that was the only way I could be a good enough mother to Luca, because I didn’t know any better. Because I was (am) a first time mom. I soon found out that I couldn’t be at home all day long, with no mental stimulation other than Facebook and the odd blog post, sporadic visits to the gym and anxiously awaiting my friends’ due dates, so that I would have other new moms to hang out with. I got cabin fever within the first few weeks of being at home. I had NO financial independence, having to rely on David for anything from petrol money to “pocket money”. I felt useless, that I no longer contributed to society and that my relationship with my husband had also started to change, because for 7 years before I’d had Luca, I had contributed to household expenses and paid my way when it came to things that I wanted. I didn’t choose to go back to work because I couldn’t wait to hand over all responsibility to “the professionals”, but because I wanted to be able to earn a living in order to provide the very best for my child. I was also desperate to have a pedicure, without having to ask my husband for R200!  Sue me! I want to have some semblance of LBB (life before baby) in order to still be ME, in order to be the best mom that I [now] know that I can be.

In conclusion – single moms, married moms, working moms, stay at home moms: each one is a hero, never given enough credit. We all do what we have to do, in each individual circumstance. Don’t berate a mother because she works or because she stays at home, whatever. We all do the very best we can as mothers. We cherish each and every moment we have with our babies. And I don’t know about you, but every now and then I also cherish an hour on my own, with a talented young woman removing dead skin from the soles of my feet, so that I can also feel that much better about myself.

That is all.


32 thoughts on “Seriously?!

  1. I love how you sum it up – we are all heroes! I love your message too – that we shouldn’t judge, because that’s way too easy and simplistic. See you at the salon… 🙂

  2. Nicki for president. 🙂 You dont have any bond with your kid if when you get home you dont make kiddy time. other than that the kid gets more of the stimulation they need with the teachers.

    Also – don’t know bout u, but i was the errand girl when i worked part time (the closest i’ve been to SAHM) last year?

  3. Seriously! In what age does she live? Did we not come to a place where we don’t judge the other for our choices?
    I would have loved to be a SAHM, but I also think that my baby is not worse off in a day care. Quite to the contrary. She gets social stimulation and interaction and 100% of mom’s love when I go and fetch her!

  4.! are you kidding??? what a CHOP thing to say! like you, i choose to be at work for the balance. my daughter is still at home – we are fortunate enough to have trained our nanny, and 2 days a week she’s at a grandparent. then i must be a horrendous mommy too. gosh. i’m a little stunned at that comment. really i am. and as nervous / emotional as i am to be leaving my child at a daycare in the future, i know that at the same time it will be best for her, from a social point of view.
    sorry – but that comment blows. seriously.

  5. Wow, I felt like I had flashed back to 1950 and was compelled for a split second to get hubby a g&T and his slippers :/

    We live in an age where equal opportunity is so important. So many women have made such huge sacrifices for us to be able to go into the work place and hold our own and often out earn our male counter parts.

    For some, for various reasons, being a SAHM is not an option. For me, and call me callous, it is a choice.

    I have three children who I love more than anything, but staying home and giving my all to baby’s bowel movements, soccer practice and ballet classes would KILL me.

    I need my job, or more specifically my career to be me. I would be miserable and totally understimulated staying at home. My job gives me what I need to be HAPPY and a happy mom is a good mom.

    Rather work and value the time you have with your kids than end up resenting them because they will grow up and they will leave and then what? Scrap booking until you have some grand children?

    I chose to be a working mom. Frankly that does not make me less of a mom. If anything it makes me a well rounded, happy person who is a good role model to my own daughter.

  6. When I read this I was like WOAH – REALLY?

    But unfortunately, having been a mom for 9 years now and in many forums on parenting this view is not new and its not changing!

    Women feel like this. They think those of us who return to work do so easily, without guilt or looking back.

    It is sad but true!

    I did got back to work with both children a little earlier than I could have – I needed to get out the house – not away from my kids but out of the house and around adult people!

    And honestly your child cant develop anything if you dont have money coming in for food :-/ Tad short sighted that but I hope she manages to put enough pressure on her partner to support her desire to stay home!

  7. Awesome post Nicki. This subject amazes me, this and childbirth….I just cant understand why woman cannot just support each other rather than judge!

  8. I am a single mom and… no, let me start by saying that I never wanted kids. When I found out I was pregnant (already 18 weeks and no longer a spring chicken myself!!) I was devestated – I thought my life was over. I cried for weeks about visions of having to drag a snotty, sticky, screaming child around with me…

    My son was born on a gloriously sunny tuesday morning in October… and, as expected, my life changed in ways that I did not even imagine possible. All for the better though!

    I love my Paul more than all the tea and chocolate in the world!! Unfortunately, being on unpaid maternity leave for 4 months almost crippled my financially and, I admit, I am one of those moms that had to palm her son off to strangers when he was a mere 4 months old. Did I want to? ARE YOU CRAZY?? I would give anything to be able to spend more time with my boy!!

    However, I have no choice but to work full-time. On the bright side of this coin, it does enable me to give expression to my intellectual and creative needs – and to afford the odd cute Naartjie outfit. And, happy mom = happy baby!

    Thank goodness that I found a school with teachers that love my son as if he was their own. And, yes, of course it has impacted on the bond between us – it is stronger! I wish that stupid mom that wrote that stupid blog could just once see his little face when I arrive to collect him… radiant, pure happiness!! And I can guarantee you that this child will never become a stranger – what an absurd thought!

    People make decisions that work for their circumstances. Often it is not what they want to do, but what they have to do.

    It is so unfair to judge.

  9. I’m SO SO SO SO SO with you Nicki!! Because I’m a “want my cake and eat it” kind of girl too but I believe that because I work I am a better mother than what I would have been had I been a SAHM. Once again, not knocking being a SAHM, I love the idea of it, I just know its not right for me.
    Motherhood is difficult enough as it is without having to put up with such judgmental bull shit.

  10. Such a ‘mom-eats-mom-world’… Same with natural birth and breast feeding! You get judged about “how you gave birth” and “how long you breast fed for”… Judged when you go back to work – and feed’em to the professionals… who by the way eats children and brainwashes them to become cast outs who will never, ever really know their parents (bhawhawhahwhawhahwhahwhawhaw!!!!!)

    The thing is – if YOU are happy, baby’s happy! (obviously simplifying it a bit, but that is how I feel) The most ridiculous thing and mistake a mommy can make (in my mind) is to forget to love yourself, and live your life – whilst being the best-ever-Mom! Because, you see – our little ones will grow up, leave the house and live THEIR own lives…

    I am a (now) single Mom – so I do everything.. ALL the time.. very few breaks…

    Oh! Before I get ready to go to the dentist, finish all my editing and ticking a couple of items off my to-do-or-die list…. and then fetch my little angel from THOSE PROFESSIONALS… I do not know 1 sahm, not 1… I (and some of my friends) WORK from home.. but we WORK – and we send’em to those professionals to take care of them (which my little one LOVES!!!!) just so that we can sound half professional in the morning.. And actually get some work done. Go to meetings knowing our babies are in good hands. And do our own thing! And maybe work in a round of golf, or a pedi – or just surfing the web… gym, shop – ALONE 🙂 [although we end up with more goodies in the bag for our children in anycase!]

    PS: I LOVE THOSE PROFESSIONALS! (Thank you for taking such good care of all of our precious children)
    PPS: Well done to you, Nicky (and all the Mommies out there) for loving and caring for yourself!

  11. Seriously, she’s hiding her head in the sand.
    Once you have a baby, you are not just a mother, you are still all those other things you were pre-baby. Those things defined who you were… and to lose yourself is a travesty.

  12. wow. firstly, that chick deserves a running f*cksl*p for her 1950’s mentality. seriously??

    i was lucky enough to have the best of both worlds with my first… i could stay at home with her during the day and work at night while my mom watched her, but eventually i just wanted a normal life, to be at work when other people are working and to sleep when the sun was down so i went back to the normal workforce.

    this time round, i would LOVE to stay at home with emma and am giving it serious thought, but i am pretty damn sure that i’d go insane from cabin fever, so i’m lining up a bunch of side projects to keep me busy and hopefully contribute some money to the household because, like you said, it sucks having to ask your partner for pocket money!

  13. There is actually so much to comment on here, I just do not know where to start.

    But I am going to get a valium, grab a glass of wine and skip off to work, while I leave my “lil boogaloo…” with a complete stranger – from Zimbabwe – just to add to my low rating as a parent.

    She is right however, I do prefer to go to work and leave parenting to the professionals, and tha tis pretty much why I hire them.

    I do however wish her the best and as penance she should have EVERY day with her “lil boogaloo…” – I really do wish her EVERY day at home, pureeing her own food, toweling nappies and homeschooling to boot.

    I think she probably has the best intentions of being a good person and thus a good parent, but the problem is that she is dripping in so much condescending self-righteousness, that I do want to kick her in her uterus.

    Would that make me a bad person – but can I anyway?

  14. This woman infuriated me. I’ve been lucky enough to be a SAHM for 3 years but would never, ever judge another mother for wanting to go back to work. I fact, I will be returning to work in a week – not because I want to leave my child to the care of another, but because I can no longer ignore the depletion of self that being a SAHM entails. Instead of wanting to abandon our kids, I’m sure that many working Moms would recognise the guilt I am feeling about going back to work – mostly because one can receive so much judgement about it from people like this. But I know that going back to work will make me a Better mother. Not just because of the extra cash on hand, but because a happy, healthy and stimulated woman makes a better mom. How can we expect to give Of ourselves if we don’t give To ourselves.

  15. Hey Nix! Thanks for this, now I feel less guilty for taking that 6 month freelance contract. I’ve been working from home for over 20 months, and had the odd opportunity to freelance at big companies. Now, after freelancing at a company for 2 months, they’ve decided to keep me on for another 6 months and maybe permanent. (on a freelance salary)

    The reason why I feel so guilty, is that my mom’s been picking my son up from school, does his homework with him, feeds him lunch etc. I want to do all of that for him, but I also want to be able to buy him Lego, have a pedi, go for lunch with my friends and do all those things that I’ve been missing out on because I didn’t have enough money.

    Sometimes, we need to break away from that guilt trip we put our selves through and realise that what Eli said is true: happy mom = happy kid = happy husband!

  16. Pingback: What’s been going on? « Life with Luca

  17. Well said….each responsible woman should be respected, applauded, accepted and supported in the role she takes in raising her children. I cannot fathom the mudslining that goes around between women around this issue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s