I'm so over mommy wars. I feel like it's been debated on to death, with every argument deconstructed and shredded to pieces. I'd like to think a lot of people are more enlightened now, knowing that parents make choices for their families and such choices just have to be respected and even supported. There really is no need to make each other's burdens even more unbearable by being overly critical or judgmental.
Unfortunately however, acceptance of another's choice doesn't necessarily mean fully understanding the implications of such choices.
I'm a SAHM and I still find that though people have generally tired of questioning my choice, there are still some out there who are clueless about how my regular days look like.
Yes, I'm talking to you, employed mom friend! We're actually not that close and yet somehow you assume a lot about me and are just too eager to fill my days with YOUR concerns.
Though I don't clock in and out like you do, my days are no less stressful. And though I may not deal with bosses and clients, I still have structured days, with a schedule I try to keep and a perpetually self-replenishing to-do list.
So, do me a favor (for a change!) and take this list to heart. For the sake of our budding friendship and my sanity, please stop asking me for these favors:
|Image by: Donald Lee Pardue|
1. Babysitting / Caregiving
Last time I checked, we are not related and I'm definitely not your kids' godmother. Therefore, please stop asking me to babysit for you or pick up your kids from school when you're running late. Worse, it's just not cool when you ask me to watch your kids when they're home sick. I'm sure the world won't end if you take time off of work. Better yet, hire a sitter or a nanny. I have my own kid to worry about and frankly, I don't need your kids' germs in my household.
Don't expect me to always be available for you when you call, in need of hour-long therapy sessions. I hate that you just assume I always have free time, just because I'm home. I will not drop everything I have scheduled for the day just so I can listen to your problems.
3. Receptionist Duties
I'm not a dog that does nothing but look out my window, so please don't ask me to adjust my schedule so I can spend my day looking out for the postman or the UPS & FedEx guy to receive your package. I'm sure they'll be fine and can wait for you when you finally get home.
4. Channeling Martha Stewart
When we're being our charitable and 'involved parent' selves by showing up for volunteer duties in our kids' school, don't patronize me and say, "Oh you're the SAHM! I'm sure you can head the project and create something crafty!" Stop begging me to choose the more complicated volunteer assignments just so you can always get away with simply donating store-bought supplies. Just because I'm a SAHM doesn't mean I'm Martha freakin' Stewart, capable of Pinterest-worthy projects.
5. Fitness Training
I commend you for still wanting to exercise by the end of your work day. Bravo! But kindly leave me out if it, okay? I promise you I'm not the best gym or exercise buddy you can find. Besides, what makes you think I haven't already put in the time time earlier? More importantly, what makes you think I still have the energy after all the physical, mental and emotional labor I've put in all day taking care of my home and family?
I wish you knew that not all of us SAHMs are domestic goddesses, highly maternal and kid-loving, social beings that can always be available for you. And most of all I wish you knew that frankly, we rarely have the time, nor the energy to spare. I know we're amazing (and so are you, by the way!). But let me make it clear that I'm not under your payroll and that real friends are always equals.