OK, I know all about the whole "working mother" vs "stay at home mother" controversy. I have been on both sides of this argument, and I am taking a stand. I officially announce that, for me, staying at home is a lot harder. I know I may get some people annoyed, but, as I said, I have seen both sides of this coin.
Let's take, for example, your boss. I have had some really crappy bosses, including the one who was functionally illiterate and asked me to write all of her correspondence so no one would know about her poor skills. She also made comments about how great it was to walk around with all of her male managers because they were so good looking. There was the one who told me that, even though we didn't get paid but minimum wage, working for such a great company was its own reward (doesn't pay the rent, sister). Then there was the one I worked like a dog for during a whole pregnancy, including a whole heap of really physical stuff, only to get FIRED three weeks into my maternity leave for reasons I still don't fully understand - nor really care about, actually. But, really, who in the hell fires someone on maternity leave?!
So, suffice it to say, I have worked for some serious losers - none of whom read this blog (so it's not any of YOU!). As bad as they were, they weren't as tough as my current bosses, my children. And here's why:
- Your boss has never hit you. Yesterday, I was hit with shoes, little fists, a plastic baseball bat, and a plastic bowl. I was also kicked in the nose.
- Your boss does not sleep in your bed. I cannot remember the last time I did not wake up to find a kid in between Toad and me.
- Your boss makes their own meals and snacks. I am the sole provider of all food related items to a household of 5 people and 3 animals. They would all starve if not for me, except perhaps my husband who can indeed microwave a hot dog.
- Your boss gives you a set work schedule with federally mandated days off. I know you may work long hours as my husband does, but there are days when you don't have to go. And generally speaking, there are stretches of time when you are "off." This does not happen to me. My job starts when the first kid is up, usually by 6 or 6:30 am, and it ends, well, I'm not sure when it ends. Usually I am caring for a child for about 15 hours straight. It's not always the same child, mind you, but still. If the baby takes a nap, I get about a 30 minute break. When they are all asleep, I do household stuff for an hour or two. There are no days off, no weekends off, and my bosses come with us on vacation.
- No matter how mean your boss is, you can call in sick. If I am hospitalized, perhaps, my husband may be able to take the day off. We do not use this option for colds, flus, etc.
- Your boss lets you get a lunch break. If you are really lucky, you get to do this away from your office and with other people. I usually eat lunch around 2:00 or when my hands start shaking, whichever comes first. It is never in a restaurant and must always be shared with one of my bosses. I remember my working lunches and what a relief it was just to get away for a little while!
- You may have to figuratively kiss your boss's butt every now and then, but I know for a fact you don't actually have to wipe it. 'Nuff said about that.
When I was working, my kids were in daycare. It was hard, and I really missed them. However, I had conversations with adults, had a little down time every day and filled our time together with as much fun as I could. In the meantime, at daycare, they were potty trained, weaned from a bottle, learned stuff, and got really tired! I remember the stress of trying to do it all while working. But, now, the stress is even worse. I'm not sure why, really. All I know is, this is definitely the hardest job I've ever had.
That said, although my bosses are all really demanding, they all kissed me goodnight last night and told me they love me. And, this week, I got my very first unsolicited kiss and hug from P3. In the end, the pay may stink, but the rewards are still pretty good. I am glad I am able to be here for them, day in and day out. I am proud of the little people they are becoming and know I am a huge part of it. But, if you see me walking around town looking a little frazzled, why not invite me out to lunch?!