{FAMILY} Working Moms: Why The Labelling Needs To Stop

I recently came across this article proclaiming that “being a stay-at-home mother is not a job” and it caught my attention. Underneath the link, the Facebook feed was flooded with angry words from moms of all backgrounds, disgusted by the message behind the post, and horrified by comparisons such as this one:

“No, Stay-at-Home-Mothers, choosing to create your own little person upon whom you’ll spend all your time and energy is a hobby. It is a time-consuming, sanity-deteriorating, life-altering hobby — a lot like a heroin addiction, but with more Thirty-One bags.” Source

And I get it, maybe comparing the choice to stay at home with your children to that of a heroin addiction is a little over the top, but I don’t think that was the point of the article.

I’ve stayed at home with my children, I’ve worked at a full-time in-office career, and I’m now working for my own business as a work-at-home mom. I’ve had hands-on experience as a mom who falls into each of these lifestyle choices, and I can honestly say that no “working mom” life is easier or more challenging than the others.

The truth is: being a mom is hard. Leaving your children in childcare to spend the day at a gruelling office job is a difficult decision and comes with many daily challenges. Deciding to stay at home with your little ones full time is a trying lifestyle and a true test of patience and stamina, and attempting to make a living by running a business at home with little ones at your feet is exhausting and challenging as well.

working mom

For some reason, society -and especially moms, get caught up in the terminology. Moms are categorized as SAHM (stay-at-home mom), WAHM (work-at-home mom), or career mom, as though having a specific “mom label” denotes a certain level of superiority or accomplishment. Statements are constantly made implying that one lifestyle is harder than another, and feelings get hurt when a mom who works outside of the home is referred to as a “working mom” (because being a SAHM mom is work too!).

But you guys, this is not a competition. This is life. We have all made our own decisions as to how to navigate through the journey of motherhood, and there are no right or wrong decisions. We are all doing the best that we can with what we’ve got and we need to stop being over-sensitive, competitive, and insecure about our decisions.

I don’t think that the author of the aforementioned article is trying to poke fun at the stay-at-home parenting lifestyle, I think she is just trying to dissolve the feelings of invalidation that many of the moms in her circle are experiencing – with perhaps a touch of sass. I think it’s ok to share our own perspectives because we are each having our own unique experience as ‘mom’. We should embrace each other’s perspectives, learn from each other’s stories, and support each other’s decisions. Because in the end, regardless of our employment status, we are all moms.

Stop the mom wars and start opening your minds to the possibility that we are all winners. Be happy in your own skin and don’t worry so much about the words of others – stop focusing on the labels.

 

Same Love

“Do you know why this is my favourite lalaloopsy? Because she’s different from all the rest. You know mommy, sometimes you think you want to be the same as everyone else, but after awhile you realize that you just want to be yourself. Because being different is better.”

– Emma, 5

My daughter has always been surrounded by diversity – I have Dutch parents with a Jewish foster brother, a Jamaican foster sister, and two caucasian stepsiblings. I myself am biracial with adopted caucasian parents. She has friends with two moms and two dads. Some with only one parent, many multiracial. And all of these families are full of love. “Modern families” are the new norm in her world.

Because we have always been surrounded by so much diversity, I sometimes forget that there are people in this world who are not accepting of others’ differences. Who do not support same-sex marriages, multiracial adoptions, or families of divorce. And when I am reminded of this reality, it saddens me to my core.

It’s probably for this reason that I was so moved by the song/video by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis called “Same Love”. Check it out below and try not to cry…

Please choose your words wisely when you’re around your kids.
Please teach them to be accepting of everyone, no matter how different they might seem.
Please teach your children that unique is beautiful.
Because underneath, it’s all the same love.