Like about a hundred million other people, I saw this posted on Facebook this week.
Then I saw this today.
I like the second one WAY better. Especially this part:
Being a mom doesn’t make you into some separate class of hero fembot who never yells at her family and is the ideal worker. Whether you work or not, you are still going to be pretty much the same person you were before you had kids. You probably have less time, sure. But when I had a staff job before I had kids, I ate lunch at my desk and rarely went out for coffee, too.
First off, I hate the mommy wars. I don’t have time to spend it debating who is a better mom. And I’m not going to say we’re all doing great — because sometimes we aren’t. But we’re probably all really trying, usually, and sometimes good enough is good enough.
I ran with a girlfriend this morning who was talking about how bad she felt one day when she forgot her daughter’s shoes, and her kindergartner had to wear her snow boots all day. She feels horrible about it — ALL probably working-mom guilt — and kept beating herself up for why she forgot. And then she said, “But I remembered 25 other things that morning!”
Parenting is tough — whether you’re home all day or at a job all day.
I never wanted kids. And then I thought, well, when I do have them, I want to work and have a stay at home husband. My husband works 3 days a week, so, in some ways, I do have that. And I kind of hate it. Not enough for me to stay at home, but you know.
I was not loving the working mom life on Monday, when I was faced with the daycare call of a sick kid, and the work life reality of having zero backup at work … how long could they keep my daughter dosed with ibuprofen before I had to come get her? I felt really good about myself leaving a sick kid all day, just so I could try to make it to a meeting I have at the end of every day.
Finally, I just couldn’t take it, and was able to leave a little early (I should note: ALL this pressure was from myself — my employer was fine when I busted in and said I had to go).
We spent the evening at an urgent care, and got a diagnosis of pneumonia. Sorry I left you at daycare for 6 hours with pneumonia. I did the same thing to your brother once, so you know, you’re even and can bond about it in therapy one day.
And while I agree, NO parent wants a sick kid, I will also agree that when Viv came to lay on the couch with me Monday night — way past her bedtime but still buzzing from a nebulizer treatment — I just moved the blanket over and scooted over and held her while we watched the Olympics together for a while. And yes, I did love those extra snuggles.
Not because I’m full of guilt for working — but because it feels good to know that a cuddle sometimes just helps, you know? (Not good enough to enlist professional cuddlers, however.)
We spent about an hour at urgent care. Another hour at the pharmacy. An hour at home eating dinner an hour later than usual, and silently thanking the dog for not peeing in the house after being cooped up two extra hours. And then a bedtime that was 3 hours later than usual.
The next day I got up and went to work, just like anybody else.
It doesn’t make me a superhero. I’m so far from perfect, as a parent and as a boss and as a coworker and wife. Some days I feel like I’m barely hanging on. The other day Viv sighed loudly and said, “Why do I always have so much stuff to do?” And it made me laugh and cry at the same time.
Is it sad that I have an eye doctor appointment today and am REALLY excited to sit in the waiting room and maybe read a People magazine? I might even go early. And if I’m there and see a stay-at-home mom dragging her brood to the eye doctor, which sounds like hell on earth to me (and I say this after spending an hour at the pharmacy, where when they wanted to know my last name, I almost said “Postal. P-O-S-T-A-L. Give me my freaking prescription! No, the kids do not want a sucker. It’s 6:30 p.m. and they need dinner!), I promise to smile at her and take whatever sticky random toy her kid might try to hand a stranger.
Because being a mom is freaking exhausting. Who has time to fight each other?