Oh, the mommy wars

Howdy, friends.

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!”

Exactly.

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.

Why indeed.

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?

Happy running.

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One Response to Oh, the mommy wars

  1. Amy says:

    We do what we have to for the children. I can remember a time, not too long ago, when I drove an hour to get to work, worked 12 hours, and then another hour home, only to have to pick the kids up at the sitter’s and prepare meals for the next day, cuz guess what? I was doing the same 14 hours tomorrow. So make meals, ( I liked to be sure they were eating well, and things they liked) shower and bed. That was my life. I saw the kids for maybe 2 hours a day Mon-Fri.

    This was not my choice. Well maybe it was. I had left their dad, that was my choice, so perhaps the long hours might have been a choice! Regardless….. I did this thankless job so I could provide for the children. They were not happy about me being gone all day, but the sad reality was there was nothing I could do about it! I am able to work, so I should work. I was not using the children as a way to rely on the system. There is no honor in that! Though when Friday came and I was dragging my butt, I sometimes wished I could just be someone who relied on the system!

    It is not always easy, and some days you really wonder if you have it in you to do another day, but you dig deep, sometimes really deep.. and find the strength and courage to do just one more day… To think about the whole week was just too much for my exhausted body!

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