I had a lovely visit with my best friend from childhood last week. It was great to re-connect, and as with all true friendships, it picked up where it left off after not having seen each other in five years. I admire her for being a stay-at-home mom. She has raised two happy and active kids. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t know how stay-at-home moms do it. It is an exhausting task to be at the beck and call of young children. They are all-consuming and frankly, I can see how it could be a bit soul-destroying sometimes (and I only have one to contend with!).
She has a large group of friends here in Toronto, so there was a BBQ held in her honour, giving everyone an opportunity to see her during her brief stay. I was quite taken aback when a couple of other mothers made what I felt to be rather snide comments on her SAHM status. I know they were not intended to be malicious. But I guess I was surprised – and disappointed – that some of today’s working moms look down on SAHMs. I found myself jumping to her defense.
I’ve always sensed an air of superiority among full-time working moms (and perhaps I even exuded it when I was one – I hope not!): this sense that they were somehow better or stronger because they worked outside the home to provide, and they were domestic goddesses to boot (I definitely was not that when I was working full-time!). They might have been burnt out, but they were better people because they “did it all”. “You’re lucky, you get to stay home all day.” “How does it feel to be retired?” You know what? I’m sure any SAHM would trade a day of so-called domestic bliss any time for a day of “work”. Yes, it’s work, but you don’t have to get it done with nagging and whiny toddlers who demand and need your full attention. Sure, you might have to deal with a nagging and whiny boss, but tell me you’d rather be mopping spit-up off your shirt, cleaning up after projectile poop, playing short-order cook and coordinating a complicated chauffering schedule. And at least you can have an adult conversation – that’s sanity.
When even women show some lack of regard for the value of SAHMs and what they provide for society… well, I feel like our sisterhood is a bit broken. Moms should be supporting moms.