Family Life

Working mum pens AMAZING open letter to stay-at-home mums

One working mum has written a wonderful open letter to stay at home mums – and it’s the perfect demonstration of the respect and support we need to give each other, no matter what our choices may be.

It’s the common debate: SAHM versus working mum – what’s best for kids, what’s harder work, what’s easier?

And therein lies the problem; the versus part. There should be no versus, no competition, no judgment. Both options have their ups and downs, their positives and negatives.

And this is exactly what mum-of-two Shannon Bennett wanted to get across with the open letter on her blog Memoirs of a Working Mom.

And we reckon she did, perfectly.

Dear Stay at Home Mom,

Our lives are completely different. I work in an office; you work at home. My work includes meetings, emails, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint {So. Much. PowerPoint). Your work includes diapers, meals that end up on the floor, endless toy messes, and entertaining tiny dictators. I spend my days wishing I were with my kids. You spend yours enjoying yours {and battling them, too} but longing for adult interaction – sometimes feeling isolated and alone.

Sometimes, I get to eat breakfast and lunch {not every day, but most days}. Most days, you are so busy chasing littles that you either forget to eat or just don’t have the time. I get to shower every day – not always the case for you. I sit in traffic every evening, anxious to see my family; you wait anxiously for someone to rescue you so that you can pee alone.

You see, SAHM, while we may not have much in common, I get it. I get that being a SAHM is a calling and that your life has great meaning and purpose. I get why you cringe every time someone asks, What do you do all day? I get that you sometimes want so badly to feel like you’re more than “just” a SAHM {the word “just” shouldn’t ever be used in that sentence, by the way}. I get that you never know what to say when people ask why you chose to stay home with your kids because you’re afraid your answer will offend us working moms. I get it. I get you.

I get that you endure judgment if you spend your “free” time on social media instead of doing laundry. I get why you’re on your cell phone at the park, in desperate need of a break while your kids run off their energy – and I get that people on the internet are mean when you do this and make assumptions about your parenting. I get why you count down the minutes until bedtime so that you can finally have some time for yourself {I do this, too, SAHM}.

I get why going to the grocery store is part of your job and is such a struggle – I see you trying so hard to get what you need and get the heck out of there before someone erupts into a public meltdown. I get it. I’ll be sure to stop, give you an understanding smile, and tell you that you’re doing it right, SAHM.

I also get that society puts ridiculous standards on us women; if we stay home we’re wasting our potential but if we work outside of the home we’re neglecting our kids. Both ideas are crap. You made the right choice for your family, SAHM.

I get that your job doesn’t come with tangible pay or vacation time. I get that you feel guilty for needing time away for yourself. I get that there’s no such thing as a “sick day.”

I get that your job is hard.

SAHM, you’re not just a babysitter. You’re a world builder armed in yoga pants, dirty t-shirts, and a messy bun. The work you do day-in and day-out shapes and builds the world of the little ones you’re raising. Their reality is the one you create for them every day. And that’s hard, serious, meaningful work.

Our lives may be very different but we have more in common than you think. We both love our babies, want the best for them, and give them all of our best selves. Motherhood is hard, regardless of where/how we do it.

Next time you’re feeling alone, SAHM, know that while I may be on the 18th floor of a downtown high-rise office building, I get you. I respect you.

So go on and build that world, SAHM.

The days are long but the years are short.

You’re doing a great job.

SHARE if you think Shannon's letter is as wonderful as we do! 

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