Saturday, November 5, 2011
Working Mom vs. Stay At Home Mom... What Gives?
I was at a party the other night. (You know the kind... You're supposed to buy something but you really don't care because that means a night out without the kids or the hubs.) There was an annoying woman there. She's a particular type of Mom that you would know if you saw her: severe bob haircut, laughs sort of loud and awkward, thinks she's brilliant and that no one else can compare to her. Yea, well, I was having a conversation with this woman and she said (in a really harsh tone) "Do you work?". I was sort of taken aback by the question because it was really random. We weren't talking about work, we were talking about the wine and how good it was. And this annoying woman ruined my buzz by taking about work.
I responded to her "I work 4 days a week". Her response? A very short, terse "Oh". She then moved on to another woman at our table talked about how cute her shoes were for a second and said "Do you work?". Apparently, work was this woman's "thing". She wanted everyone to know that she's a working Mom. (Whoopty-damn-doo)
Here's something I just don't get. And I'll admit that as a new Mom (yes, Baby C's 15 months but I still consider myself a newbie). What is the deal with work at home Mom's being hostile to stay at home Mom's? And vice versa?
Seriously, we're all dealing with the same issues. The baby's colicy, gassy, has recurring ear infections, won't sleep in general, crabby, climbing, into everything, won't listen, won't walk, won't talk, won't eat anything but gold fish and mac & cheese.... You get my drift? We're ALL dealing with the same issues, so what's the deal with the hostility?
You stay at home Mom's are angels as far as I'm concerned. I couldn't do it. When I was home on maternity leave I never left the house, felt disorganized, discombobulated, never got out of my sweats, etc... The days that I don't work, I tend to feel the same way unless I have an overall game plan for the day. Groceries, nap, lunch, laundry, more errands, nap, prep for dinner, etc...
I'm getting side tracked here. But seriously, folks, what gives? I made a new friend at another friend's BBQ a few months ago (not the annoying woman, someone else). She and I talked about how our boys drive us nuts and about how our mother's are gone. After sharing several white wines I felt like we had the beginning of a friendship. I was excited. As an adult it's not so frequent that we are able to make friends outside of our kids school. Anyway, my new friend and I planned to do dinner with both our families soon. Then I got an email..... She invited me to a play date on a Wednesday afternoon. Ummmm..... I work Mondays through Thursdays and couldn't see burning a vaca day for a play date. I politely declined and told her that I had to work that day. I haven't heard from her since.
My Mom was a stay at home Mom and she mentioned how one woman in the car pool group would fling her hair back and say "Well, I WORK, you know", in relation to anything remotely involving the school. Can you bring something for the bake sale? "Well, I WORK, you know". Car pool pickup? "Well, I WORK, you know". Chaperone for the field trip? "Well, I WORK, you know". She always felt like saying "I get it ... you work".
Maybe that whole scenario has been the reason that I'm so tentative about mentioning my work status. My work isn't all that I am, just like being a Mom isn't all that I am. We were all women before we had kids. And now, this special journey that we're all on has given us something incredible in common. Our kids. So why can't that be the commonality? Period. Why can't we accept our Mom friends as they are... working or not... as equals?