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:
“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.