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A Letter from a Working Mother to a Stay-At-Home Mother, and vice versa

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Dear Stay-At-Home Mum

Some people have been questioning what you do at home all day. I know what you do. I know because I’m a mum and for a while I did it too. 

I know you do unpaid work, often thankless work, which starts the moment you wake up, and doesn’t even end when you go to sleep. I know you work weekends and nights, with no discernible end to your day or working week. I know the rewards are joyous but few.

I know that you seldom have a hot cup of coffee or tea. I know that your attention is always divided, often diverted from a moment to moment basis, and you cannot ever count on completing a task in the one go. I know that you probably don’t get any down time when you’re on your own at home, unless you have a single child who still naps in the daytime.

I know the challenges you deal with daily, usually with no peer support or backup. The toddler tantrums, the toilet training accidents, the food battles, the food on the floor, the crayons on the wall, the sibling rivalry, the baby that never seems to stop crying. I know how the work seems incessant, like an endless cycle – you shop for food, prepare it, cook it, attempt to feed it to your children, clean it off the floor, wash the dishes, and repeat in three hours.

I know you fantasise about having an hour to yourself to eat your lunch in peace, or about having an afternoon nap. I know you sometimes wonder if it’s all worth it, and feel envious of your friends who are having coffee breaks at work. I know that sometimes when your partner gets home in the evening after his work is done, he wants to put his feet up exactly when you need a break the most, and this can bring you to tears. 

I know that you are misunderstood by so many who do not appreciate the difficulties of caring for small children on your own, all day, and refer to you as joining the “latte set”. They imagine you spend your day sipping coffee while your children play quietly. I know you miss your financial independence. I know you feel amused and sometimes annoyed when others proclaim “TGIF!” because to you every day is the same – there is no Friday, no break from your job. I know that many people do not understand that you work – you simply work an unpaid job at home.

SAHM, I don’t know how you do it. I admire your infinite patience, your ability to face each day cheerfully and bring joy into your children’s lives even when they wear you down. I admire your dedication to being a constant presence in your children’s lives even if it isn’t always easy. I admire the way you work without expecting any reward – no promotions, no fame, no salary. I know you want your children to feel important and loved, and SAHM, you do this the best.

I just wanted you to know that I understand. We’re both mothers. And I know.

Love from the trenches

Working Mum

 

Dear Working Mum

I know you sometimes get judged by others for leaving your children in the care of others to work. Some people imply that you don’t love your children as much as us SAHMs do, and that it’s best for children to be at home with their mothers.

How can they say this about you? I know you love your children just as much as any other mother. I know that going back to work was no easy decision. You weighed up the pros and cons, long before you conceived a baby. It has always been one of the most important decisions of your life. You thought about this even while you were in high school and were choosing subjects for Grade 11.

I see you everywhere. You are the doctor I take my children to when they are sick. You’re my child’s allergist, the one who diagnosed her peanut allergy. You’re the physiotherapist who treated my husband’s back. You’re the accountant who does our tax returns. My son’s primary school teacher. The director of our childcare centre. My daughter’s gymnastics teacher. The real estate agent who sold our house. What sort of world would it be if you hadn’t been there for us? If you had succumbed to the pressures of those who insisted a mother’s place had to be in the home?

I know you weigh up every job to see if it will suit your family. I know you wake up an hour before everyone else does, just so you can get some exercise done or some quiet time. I know that you have attended meetings after being up all night with your toddler. I know that when you come home in the evening, your “second shift” begins. The nay-sayers don’t understand that you run a household AND hold a job. You come home, cook dinner, bath your children and read them stories. You tuck them in and kiss them goodnight. You pay the bills, do the grocery shopping, the laundry, the dishes, just like every other mother does.

I know that you often feel guilty about having any more time away from your children so you sacrifice your leisure time. I know you can’t bring yourself to take a “day off” for yourself when your children are at daycare. I know you accept that work is your “time off” for now. I know that when you are at work you don’t waste a single minute. I know you eat your lunch at your desk, you don’t go out for coffee, and you show complete dedication and concentration to your job. You chose to be there after all. You want to be there.

I know how discerning you are about who is looking after your children, and that many long daycare centres offer excellent care. I know you only leave your children in a place where you confident they are loved and well looked after. I know that you spend many days caring for your children at home when they are sick, and sacrifice your pay. I know that you secretly enjoy these days, and revel in being able to be with your children.

I know that sometimes you feel guilty about not being there all the time. But WM, I know this. You are setting a wonderful example to your children. You are showing them that a woman can have a career, contribute in some way outside the home, and still be a loving mother. You are showing your daughters that they can do anything they want to do in life. You are displaying strength, endurance, dedication, tenacity, and you do it with so much joy and love.

I just wanted you to know I understand. Because we’re both mothers.

Love from the trenches

Stay-At-Home Mum

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Carolyn is a medical doctor and researcher. She blogs about health and her journey to discover the Nirvana of work-family balance. She has a toddler and a three-year-old and a wonderful husband, and returned to full-time work/study in February 2014. In her “spare time” she enjoys running and the occasional eating of cupcakes.

Photo credit: picjumbo.com

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320 comments on “A Letter from a Working Mother to a Stay-At-Home Mother, and vice versa

  1. runa
    February 11, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    I am a working mum of two kids, a baby girl of 2 and a son of 10 yrs. This letter left me in tears.

  2. John
    February 12, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Did you ladies break any vertebrae patting yourselves on the back that hard? Grow up and get over yourselves. Being a SAHM can be hard, being a working mom can be hard. Being a SAHD can be hard, being a working dad can be hard. Just being a woman doesn’t make you special by default, but somehow most women assume that anything they do is harder/better/more valuable.

  3. Joanne Dullaghan
    February 12, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Very safe nice views from both sides but I think it would have been more interesting if you did a third letter including the single working mum. She who’s struggles and guilt are multiplied 10 fold, as she is the only parent. The only adult at home to bring in a income, pay bills, help with homework, laundry, cooking, cleaning, bathing, taking the kids to football, swimming,karate etc the list is endless! The mum who’s colleagues look at with disapproval when she has to leave to collect her sick child from school. She who may be over looked for promotion as she can rarely start early or stay late. She who’s eyes well with tears when friends send a picture of :) one her kids ‘come dine with me days’ that she couldn’t attend due to work. She who is doing an amazing job with no support from others because she wants a better life for her beautiful children. Motherhood is hard no matter who you are or the back ground you come from but lets keep doing for the kids.

  4. Bhavana
    February 12, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Hi,

    I am a WM, and I could not have agreed more :)
    All the guilt of leaving my child in somebody else’s care will stay with me as long as I live. But what I ensure for sure is spending quality time with my baby once we get back home. And that only lessens the guilt, never takes it off.

    Every morning, I wakeup thinking if what I am doing is right, and then move on to work. I hope one day, some day in 20 years, even if no one else, but my baby comes to me and tells me, mom you raised me well, that would be enough for this life :) Period!

  5. rodeliz deocampo
    February 12, 2014 at 2:01 am

    my husband always nug me.. cause i don’t have work, i can’t make my own money. i’m only just a simple mother and wife. he told me that i don’t have ambition in life. because of that we argue everyday, i don’t know what to do and who can take good care of my kids while i’m not at home. wish i have work home so i can saw them everyday.

  6. Forum
    February 12, 2014 at 2:06 am

    Very beautifully thought and written, Carolyn … brings across latent feelings of many women – mothers or not… Thanks

  7. Leena sajnani vashishtha
    February 12, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Hi carolyn
    you nicely understand both mother’s feeling , mother cant be wrong she is always so loving when it comes to her children whether it is WM or SAHM.Being a WM working so late, strugging to get time for children, health problems,irritation and lot so many issues has to face so better not to work until and unless it is very much needed but nowadays being a WM is fashion and with this thought i really not appreciate WM’s , left your child at day care or with maid is really not accepatable , this is the moment will never come again in your life and this is the best trophy to be the mother so enjoy every moment with your grown up child be with him in his each n every single need and you surely paid back to this sacrifice :)
    njoi being SAHM..!!

  8. dr sana
    February 12, 2014 at 2:18 am

    Hi this was really fabulous and I can so relate to both… as I was a SAHM but then my husband expired in an accident.. I have been working 9-5 since.. both situations are tough as SaHM I had given up my medicine career and years of studying… but all is worth for family… and now doing both for kids…

  9. Winnie
    February 12, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Hi Carolyn,
    I clicked on this link that popped up on my FB, which led to your letters whilst trying to pay bills (yes I detoured and peeked at my FB), prepare and check the kids’ school bags and homework and lunches whilst organising them for bed, all after a long as a GP. I work on alternate days so I am a working mum one day and a SAHM the next. Sometimes I feel like I’m just running around trying to put out fires and never getting ahead. Just wanted to say this really touched me and I even shed a tear. Thanks.

  10. Vicky
    February 12, 2014 at 2:44 am

    Thank you! This has made me well up because it is so true. I have been on both sides and you have expressed very eloquently the different issues that stay at home/working mums (and dads) experience. I think the real beauty though is us appreciating and respecting the choices that we each make.

  11. admin
    February 12, 2014 at 2:51 am

    This post was about empathy.

    The only whining I hear is from you.

  12. admin
    February 12, 2014 at 2:53 am

    Dear Joanne

    Single mums face a while new set of challenges which I cannot begin to imagine. I am sorry I couldn’t post about being a single mum, as this was from my point of view and I’m not one. Thanks for sharing :) all the best

  13. sarita
    February 12, 2014 at 3:09 am

    Absolutely bang on! We need to appreciate each others unique gifts, in or out of the home…I feel validated beyond words and it has been sooooo timely :)

  14. Nick
    February 12, 2014 at 3:24 am

    Forgive me, but these letters read like you’re trying to justify two perfectly valid approaches to parenthood. Why?

    Kids aren’t harmed by spending weekdays in proper childcare. Children are harmed by poor parenting, be it full time or just outside working hours.

    If a mum needs or wants to work then there is NO reason why she shouldn’t, and her partner should be there at the end of his day to help pick up the load – they’re his kids too and he can’t be allowed to opt out of parenting just because he’s a bit tired. Most dads now, I believe, would agree with me.

    “A woman’s place is in the home” (my father’s view, sadly) is now at last forty years out of date and was an attitude perpetuated for the convenience of the “working man” who wanted to finish work and have his dinner ready when he walked through the door at 5.45. It’s not like that now, and if it is that way in your house then I suggest you make some immediate changes.

    If a mum has the option and is happy to stay at home while her children are little then that’s lovely and, in this financial climate, something of a luxury. But it isn’t always the easy option, especially for someone who has had a career and has enjoyed working and all the independence and emotional benefit that it brings. Perhaps the cost of childcare means there’s no financial sense in working just to pay for it. Perhaps the plan is for another career later, or to pick up where she left off. It’s all valid, it’s all individual choice and none of it needs to be defended.

    Don’t ever feel guilty about the choices you make which balance your needs with your kids’ – you’re entitled to a life as well. You love your children, you’ll be the best parent you can for as much of the time as you can and they will turn out at least as well as you, if not better for having a happy, healthy role model as a parent.

    Support each other, ladies, and demand the same from your men.

  15. Lora
    February 12, 2014 at 3:29 am

    Address articles like this to Parents, please? Stop presuming that the Mother is always the primary carer, it’s at the root of much of the stress that society places on mothers, whether stay at home or working.

    There are plenty of men who make exactly the same choices, and excluding them from articles like this does nobody any good!

  16. Tony
    February 12, 2014 at 3:32 am

    Apart from the odd troglodytic remark (you know who you are, John), magnificently put. I have two (now adult) children and, although I had a fairly demanding job, involving absences overseas, I knew exactly who had the hardest task – it wasn’t me. My wife chose to stay at home until she felt it was the right time to resume some sort of work/home balance. We could just about afford it, but who in their right mind feels they have the right to condemn others’ choices. I really feel for the writer whose husband thinks his wife lacks ambition for being “only a wife and mother”, and choosing to care for HIS children. The only choice she got wrong was him.

  17. Sharv
    February 12, 2014 at 3:40 am

    I love the way you have presented both sides – some things only a mother can understand! I am a working mom and it’s so hard to leave your kid and step out every single day…I have to stay working due to financial obligations for my family. It’s so unfortunate when people think it’s become “fashionable” to leave your kid and work – that is simply cruel. I have cried so many times at work, sorely missing my baby. Of course I dont want to be apologetic for my choices or justify why I made them, but a simple word of understanding and encouragement can go a long way sometimes…

  18. Genia
    February 12, 2014 at 3:40 am

    I love the letters… Very right on!

    And to John… You are an ass… You must be your mother´s shame and your wife´s rusty nail under her feet.

  19. janet trent
    February 12, 2014 at 3:43 am

    As a non working grandmother who helps with her grankids as her daughter goes to work, I can see both sides on this post. However ive also been asked many times by my peers ( I am 60) why I “dont work” and how lucky I am, makes me so mad. I have been until recently taking my 4 grankids to school picking them up and helping with homework cooking for them and lots of other child related things. I did this because my daughter had 2 jobs, she has now thankfully only one and can spend more time with her children. So I was judged for not working even though my days were filled, as the quote goes “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Every mother has a ” job” to do.

  20. Vanessa
    February 12, 2014 at 3:58 am

    I think you overlooked the fact that some moms *have* to work to supplement the family income; enabling their children to grow up in the community and home they envisioned for them when they were zygotes. I love my career in education, but I love my children more and miss raising them myself every day. I can only hope that giving them everything but me (during school hours that is) will be the best result in the end.

  21. Sally
    February 12, 2014 at 4:10 am

    I’m a SAHM and on top of that I’m also studying for a degree, run a community group and a paranormal research team. My youngest is nine but higher-functioning autistic so work (unfortunately) isn’t even an option for me as at any moment, I’ll have to drop everything and go to the school. One thing I admit I absolutely hate is when someone says “well it’s not like you do anything at home” – most of which comes from my own family.

    I applaud both types of parents, but I think the only critique I’d make is that men do this kind of thing too. Albeit far smaller numbers, but they certainly do.

    I’m actually astonished I managed to sit down long enough to type something lol

  22. Mother of 5 boys
    February 12, 2014 at 4:25 am

    Dear Johnny,
    Not knowing you are married or not or if you are a father but I just said a prayer for all the women out there that are married to men like you. You must have very low self esteem.
    Being a parent is the hardest and most rewarding thing a person can do with there life….
    I an raising 5 sons praying there is no Johnny among them.

  23. Julia
    February 12, 2014 at 4:32 am

    Thank you for writing this. It really touched my heard.

  24. j.farmer
    February 12, 2014 at 4:38 am

    i totally agree with both letters, but what about all the single fathers out there. the ones that have custody of their child or children. the one that works a ten hour shift or more. comes home cooks, helps with homework. get the child to take a bath or shower, washes, dries and lays their close out for school. i am not complaining, i love my little girl with all my heart and thank the Lord everyday for her. i just think that single dads need to be recognized for their commitment as well. we give just like mothers do but hardly ever do i see a comment for all the hard work and love a single dad gives for their children.

  25. Ali
    February 12, 2014 at 5:40 am

    Yes parenting is a choice and it comes with incredible joy. But no mom thinks about the times when you give your all and your child just walks all over you. The part I hate most is the discipline. I just want to be a nice mom and reason but toddlers don’t reason teenagers don’t reason! The only time they do if after some serious discipline but it only last a while them you gotta get them back in place again. Too bad they never stay there. Motherhood is a lot harder than I imagined it and no I don’t regret any of my children I just wish they would always cooperate! It is demanding enough. That wears me out the most. I’m not of fan of spanking but sometimes well you’ve tried everything else. I’m not complaining. I’m venting.

  26. Marie
    February 12, 2014 at 5:40 am

    This just made me cry! I work 4 days a week in my “day job” and own my own business whilst craing for my 3 daughters. Im judged for being a “part timer” by colleagues and judged by friends and family for “leaving my children”, I often feel I cant win but you know what? I LOVE my life, I chose it this way and I hope im setting a god example to my wonderful daughters. Thank you so much for this, not sure why im stil crying :p)

  27. Amrita
    February 12, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Hi Carolyn,

    Thanks for writing such a nice blog. You have touched many a raw nerve. I am a working mum but I work from home. Overall, the pressure always stays with us mums, whether we are stay at homes or working ones. Keep writing…..at least such blogs come as a breeze of fresh air and offers a nice read.

  28. Arianna
    February 12, 2014 at 6:00 am

    I don’t get all the negativity coming from John… Doesn’t really fit in such a lovely post! I am not a mom yet but when the time comes, I will be a WAH one and I feel really blessed although I know it comes with its own challenges.

  29. janet f
    February 12, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Having been a sahm I know it’s a different workd now. However I object a little to your working mom letter. Many if not most working moms are not doctors or lawyers with” careers”, they are also the house cleaners, receptionists and cashiers. Most don’t have the luxury of being a sahm because they need to provide health care, groceries and rent. Many are the sole support and single parents. I don’t think I could have handled it. And sahms need to appreciate those points and be thankful for the luxury they have that many working mons would give anything to enjoy.

  30. john'smom
    February 12, 2014 at 6:14 am

    Dear John,

    You’re an ass.

    Love,
    All the women of the world

  31. Jeff
    February 12, 2014 at 6:20 am

    One seriously missing perspective. The SAHD. WE are the minority.

    While the piece is amazing and I know watching my wife deal with being bread earner and mum (I have been on work related medical leave for 3 years) and in being involved in my daughter’s kindy as Parent’s Group president, what many woman go through.

    However I would love to know what the these woman would right to a stay at home dad!

  32. Alex
    February 12, 2014 at 6:47 am

    I have to say being a working mother is difficult…it feels like your letting down your children but the other thing… and men have feelings too. Empathy isn’t a one way street. The post is all about oh oh I’ve got it so difficult, I feel you. While the male version, is: take it like a man, don’t complain if you got problems. I’m sure the reaction would be so different if it was a working mother supporting a stay at home dad… drum roll: “Parasitic slob”.. Now your blessed to be a mother, remember that, but it doesn’t make the men in your lives insignificant cause your mothers, remember that as well.

  33. Melanie
    February 12, 2014 at 6:54 am

    My only issue with the second letter is that not all working mothers have a choice to work or stay at home. Single working mom’s like myself would be homeless and starving if we didn’t work.

  34. Sarayu
    February 12, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Here it clearly shows both are sympathizing each other thinking the other one is sad. If whatever we do is solely because we LOVE doing that then the problem of being sad never arises. You ENJOY doing what you are doing without trying to impress anyone. If you could watch this link then you learn to appreciate the life as it is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvzkqWBxxi4
    Take care of yourself and always try to spread joy to everyone around you.
    If we are not able to help anyone atleast we can help sread joy and love.

  35. Laurie
    February 12, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Quite interesting to see both perspectives, but as a full time working mother (not one that gets the summers off like teachers do) I would be willing to bet my bank account that the woman that wrote this is a stay at home mom. Seemed like the SAHM was more understood than the WM. No mention of the emotional toll it takes on us full time working mothers when we have to work late consecutive nights and barely see our babies for a week when at the end of the day we end up sleeping in a bedroom right down the hall from them. It’s true, we do give up on the things we would enjoy as individuals. But when you have two days a week to spend with your children, sometimes you DON’T want to share them, especially with a stay at home mom that just lounges around while all the kids play. I’d much rather not lounge around and have one on one time alone with my daughter. There’s a happy medium for everything but when you aren’t spending the days at home with your kids (hard work or not), we miss out on so much. I would love to stay home if I could but parenting is not always a choice. Sometimes you have to just do what you have to do to. You have to work and let your child learn and be guided by another, and it sucks, but I am forever thankful for my Mom and her help. I did enjoy reading these notes however I would like reading them even more if an actual WM wrote a note back to the SAHM, and not where the same person wrote both. It’s general logic….you can’t truly know what something’s like unless its actually happening to you. Thanks for the read.

  36. Esther
    February 12, 2014 at 7:08 am

    To John: Actually, being women DOES make us special. I assume you are an adult male with some degree of education so that I need not explain that we are those who carry and birth the children from our own bodies, some of us even feed them from these bodies. And after that part is said and done, we have to undertake the really challenging task of raising the people we made. Sometimes we have a partner and sometimes that partner is male. Partners can definitely lighten the load somewhat. However, society and stigma–as evidenced by your wonderfully bitter remarks– places this burden of child care squarely on our shoulders. We are, of course, flawed creatures just like men, and one of these huge flaws is that we often turn on one another, the SAHers vs. the working moms, born mainly of our own insecurities. I believe this post attempts to reveal this unnecessary turn. Many of the readers get that. And then along comes John, who is missing the point. Good for you, John. You are obviously so skilled at your job (and parenting? are you even a parent or just a guy with an opinion?) that you have time to come on here and try to pop this bubble of mutual understanding. Me, I’m busy, but I am happy to make time to reply to you. And to invite you, if you still face mounds of free time after reading this, to make yourself useful instead. Perhaps there’s some laundry to be done or food to be purchased and prepared or a child to be read to or a job to do or all of these at once? Get to it, bud.

  37. Alison
    February 12, 2014 at 7:59 am

    I’m at stay at home mom, this made me cry- so beautiful! I wonder why sham must always be portrayed as soft and loving, while WMs are often portrayed as strong, independent, goal setters…I may be ultra sensitive since I often consider my leave from grad school a scary thing because my future as a mental health counselor is up in the air as I fall deeper in love with my new role as a sham. But because I may not have a career outside the home will my daughter not learn from me dedication, hard work, the importance of financial dependence, what a strong woman is? This post kind of reinforced that shams cannot be that kind of role model. It is up to me and her dad to instill all these things, andi. Know we will, but I still don’t like feeling pinholed by society.

  38. Summagal
    February 12, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Here is my reply to this lady’s letters: Hi there. Interesting read. I am a “working mother”, a term I resent b/c I have friends who are SAHM who I also call working mothers. Their work happens to be in the home. Here’s my issue…In the letter to the working mother, there are lines that say, “You chose to be there after all. You want to be there.” That couldn’t be further from the truth from many of us two-income families. As a career mom, those lines stung a bit. While I do work outside the home, I would rather be a stay at home mom. I do not have a choice in the matter. Yes, yes, I know we are not victims and we all “choose” what we do every day. I get that I choose to work, blah blah. But not in the same tone that the phrases imply. Those phrases imply that I would “rather” be at work. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I love my job, but I love my children more. I choose to work at my job b/c of what it allows me to provide for my children; healthcare, good education, etc. So, the next time someone writes a letter to a working mom, it would be best that they really understand the motives behind many of the working mothers out there. Most of us cry every day when we have to leave our children in the care of someone else. Most of us would trade places in a minute.

  39. Rumela
    February 12, 2014 at 8:18 am

    I rarely ever use the term WM – I always refer to her as the WOHM (working outside home mom). A mother is always working – be it at home or outside!

  40. Emma
    February 12, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Thank you
    As a mother to 14month old, working since he was 6 months, the letter from a SAHM made me cry. I honestly don’t think I could be a SAHM because its so hard. I love my time with my little boy, but working ‘2 shifts’ is a challenge when work doesn’t always stay at work.

  41. andrea
    February 12, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Can we start switching “mom” to “parent” ? It shouldn’t change things too much for the females, but it would be more inclusive to males who face the same issues.

  42. Brandi
    February 12, 2014 at 8:33 am

    The only thing that is missing is that some of us don’t choose to work. I would love to stay home, but my son’s father succumbed to mental illness when he was two and it’s all me now. I’ve been solely and responsible for my son for seven years without any goverment aid. I have endured bankruptcy, foreclosure, and more. But I make sure my son is safe, healthy, and happy. I don’t because I want to, I work because I have to.

  43. Mike
    February 12, 2014 at 9:00 am

    These letters make it sound like men do nothing for their kids or household. Talk about sexist. The working mom works and runs the household, does the laundry. I guess I was raised in a different family. My dad did just as much if that as my mom. Plus coached all three kids in three different sports and worked full time.

  44. Caitlin
    February 12, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I am a working mom of 2 young girls. My oldest will be 2 March 25th and my second was born January 16th, 2014. I am currently on maternity leave and I am really struggling with the fact I have to go back to work soon. I am not ready to leave my babies. I work a childcare center. My older daughter comes with me to work but even though she’s there I don’t see her all day. I can’t bring my new baby with me because I can’t afford both of them there. I wish I could stay home with them.

  45. Kathleen
    February 12, 2014 at 9:32 am

    This is poignant but it does not fully address the situation. I was for small chunks of time, a stay at home Mom. I would have rather been a stay at home Mom. But that wasn’t possible because our family needed the income. When my children were three and four my husband decided he didn’t want our relationship anymore and I became a single parent. There was no father who came home and put his feet up that made me feel like crying. I remember when my second child was born and she was a night owl, my older child slept all night, I didn’t sleep at all. The public health nurse called and I broke down in tears, “please send someone so I can get some sleep, I begged.” But they could not. Then I got very sick so they did in the end, but only because I had to have an operation. So I worked and was the Mom and did not have the luxury of a partner to assist me. Even my own family were unable to really provide support. I am now 50 and I wish to God that I had been able to be a stay at home Mom. I loved my work and still do, but I did not choose it, at all, I had no choice but to do both jobs – all the work of a stay at home Mom and all the work of a working Mom. Please give credit to the working Moms who have no choice.

  46. Kat Smith
    February 12, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Gees…John you sound like you’re not loved enough hunnie. You married? Kids? If it’s a yes..then good luck to the wife and kids sounds like she needs it. Other wise you have no idea and have more than proved it with your stupid comments!! I’m a mum and i work and love everything to do with both because i love my job and my time with my baby. I feel super human for coping with both with a smile. We are super women we can do it all wash your socks and hold a crying baby AT THE SAME TIME….multitasking is proving not to be stong attribute to the male species. All you men can cope with is work and a hissy fit if you don’t get a pint!! Jog on!!!!!

  47. NurseMeg
    February 12, 2014 at 9:51 am

    As a nurse who went back to work after my husband got laid off (twins were 7 years old), THANK YOU for the letter to working moms. I needed that!

  48. Katie
    February 12, 2014 at 10:23 am

    To Others Below Who Made Comments of Sexism:

    Did you know that there are still millions of jobs that still pay women less for the same position as a man? Being a stay at home parent is hard, regardless of gender. Being a CEO is hard regardless of gender. I don’t believe this blog was written to “pat themselves on the back” I believe it was written to acknowledge that as a stay at home parent or a working parent, it is a struggle. I come from a two income household and would love to be a SAHM, but financially that is not possible. And guess what else? I’m not uneducated and, in fact, both my husband and I have a degree. So before you start that there, check yourself. I struggle everyday with leaving my children and admire those parents who can stay home. Women bare children, women have different instincts a man can never understand, we experience birth and pregnancy completely different than a man. So leaving our children at home all day or in a school or daycare, is a different emotional struggle for us. For you sir, to judge how we feel as a stay at home mom and to say so much that we disregard our partners or those fellow stay at home dad’s is self righteous. You’re not better than a woman because you do whats perceived to be a “woman’s job”. Did you sprain a vertebrae reaching so far to pat yourself on your back?

    This blog was beautiful and brought me to tears, whether you’re woman or man you’re stay at home job is admired by me. And you are a wonder-parent!

  49. Sandra B.
    February 12, 2014 at 10:24 am

    This is incredibly annoying. I work some days and stay at home others, depending on my work schedule. Just as a previous poster has said, this is also extremely difficult. This is not a letter about empathy because the letter from the SAHM presumes that working mothers always choose to be working mothers. It often is a choice between being able to pay the bills and staying at home – not a real choice. Life is hard whether you are a SAHM or a struggling college student with no children – there are just different challenges. People need to stop assuming that if someone else is having a difficult time, that is diminishes the validity of their struggles. If you really want to be empathetic, treat people with kindness all the time because you never know what they are going through.

  50. Jacqueline Lowe
    February 12, 2014 at 10:29 am

    If only we could respect each others choices and not judge each other! My decision to be a working mum has been challenged – I have been weighed and measured and found wanting by a great many other women – nobody I value the opinion of fortunately.
    I know what I have sacrificed in order to provide security for my family – there needs to be compromise we can’t have it all.
    John makes a good point – it is exactly the same thing the working dad sacrifices. We are not different species – simply different gender!

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