In the wake of a controversial chart comparing working moms to stay-at-home moms going viral, a mother who has experienced both sides passionately contested the idea that one choice holds superiority over the other.
It has been years since anyone in my proximity used the phrase “mommy wars.” Perhaps it’s because my children are now older or because I’ve stopped paying as much attention.
It appears like a truce or cease-fire has been declared between “working moms” (WMs), “stay-at-home moms” (SAHMs), “work-at-home moms” (WAHMs), and everyone else.
This parenting stuff is difficult. There is no single “best” or universal approach to family life. Nonetheless, the iconic viral message from the Facebook page “The Transformed Wife” seems to circulate the Internet on occasion. The graphic, which is separated into two sections—one for working women and one for stay-at-home moms—strongly implies that working moms are harmful to their children and that the only way to parent is to spend the entire day in the living room.
The entire chart is absurd on multiple levels. Therefore, we dissected it point-by-point to demonstrate once more that family is what we make of it.
Point 1: “Everyday Away from Home Hours” vs. “Home All Day Long”
I have been a working mother and a stay-at-home mother. As a WM, I completed all my editing and writing tasks from the comfort of my couch. I was present when my children awoke and when they returned home. I could visit them over lunch breaks and bring neglected tasks and sneakers as necessary.
As a stay-at-home mother, I was constantly on the move. I spent more time at home as a WM than I ever did as a SAHM, whether I was helping at the school, coordinating events, or bringing my children on outings. Regardless of our employment, we are all busy moms.
Point 2: ‘Children With Others’ vs. ‘Children With Her’
Unless a mother is homeschooling her children and they never have playdates, the youngsters eventually leave the household. It is beneficial for youngsters to be sociable, to interact with others, and to understand that their moms are not the only people who can care for them. The world is vast, and I do not know a single SAHM or WM who does not occasionally enjoy time away from her children.
Point 3: ‘Comes Home Exhausted’ versus ‘Rests While Her Children Nap’
This is an absolute scream. Even during the years, I spent at home with my children, I never slept during their naps. There is always laundry to fold, calls to return, dishes to empty, paperwork to do, permission slips to sign, etc. Working or not, parents’ to-do lists are never-ending.
Point 4: ‘Dinner Is Typically Fast Food or Microwaved’ vs. ‘Dinner Is Homemade, Healthy, and Delicious’
Some mothers prepare food. A few mothers don’t. Some SAHM are so fatigued at the end of the day from caring for their children that they decide to order pizza (more power to them), while some WM spend Sunday preparing meals for the week so that it’s as simple as tossing a casserole in the oven to have a home-cooked meal. The position of a person’s career has no influence on whether or not they like to cook for their family.
Point 5: ‘Reads to Children Before Bed’ vs. ‘Reads to Children, Plays Games, Disciplines, and Teaches About Jesus All Day Long’
Putting aside the fact that families adhere to various religions and that not all parents seek to teach their children about Jesus all day, being a working mother does not stop a person from doing more with their children than reading a bedtime story.
I believe it is safe to assert that all mothers discipline their children. It is the name of the game, regardless of whether or not you work in an office. And stay-at-home mothers are not superwomen. Additionally, we experience fatigue. People, we are all in the trenches. It is difficult on both sides.
Point 6: ‘Weekends = Cleaning House & Shopping’ vs. ‘Weekends at Beach and Park.’
Two words: housekeeper. I’m aware that not everyone can afford cleaning help, but if both parents are employed, it’s a far greater likelihood. Currently, a multitude of grocery stores offers delivery services. Therefore, it is completely feasible to return home at night to find a package of fresh produce and pantry basics on your back doorstep. Technology! Consider it! The best thing is that this frees up the weekends for the park and the beach, even for families with working parents.
Point 7: ‘Too Tired for Intimacy With Her Husband vs. Frequent Intimacy With Her Husband’
Oh, for Christ’s sake, individuals! With sex, everyone has time. It depends on the importance of the topic. I’d wager that I had more sex while I was employed. Because I felt creatively satisfied and had much to discuss with my spouse.
But that’s just my opinion. You might be unique. Your neighbor may still be unique. Who is her neighbor? She may be engaging in all sorts of sleazy behavior that you are unaware of. And the finest sex may be between two adults who feel supported in their duties, regardless of how those roles manifest.
In conclusion, her life is disintegrating:
She Does Not Feel Like a Good Wife or Mother. Her Husband and Children Salute Her as Blessed
No one is fortunate who does not feel fortunate. I have been (and known) numerous stay-at-home mothers who lack creative fulfillment. Their domestic life also suffers. I’ve also known a few WMs who struggle to achieve balance and wish they could.
I’ve also encountered the opposite. My working buddy noticed this and remarked that her two children call her “badass.” Could it not be the case? And in the end, aren’t we all kind of badasses, on the same side, trying to do what’s right for our children and educate them on how to be kind, happy adults? Instead of propagating lies via a foolish Facebook post, let’s declare peace, lay down our arms, and assist one another. I’ll do it if you will.
Meaningful articles you might like: The Rise of the Stay-at-Home High School Parent, Making Your Home A Happier Place To Live, How to Help Kids Learn Social and Emotional Skills at Home