Frugal Foodie Mama: What's With the Score Sheets, Mamas?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What's With the Score Sheets, Mamas?

Let me be frank... I saw this particular meme above pinned when I opened my Pinterest account a couple of weeks ago.  It was also accompanied by an insulting comment towards stay-at-home mothers from the pinner.  It constituted an immediate unfollow from me of the pinner in question. Why? Because, A. As a stay-at-home mother, I was extremely insulted.  And, B. If you want to perpetuate the mommy wars with your not so clever meme, then I don't need to be following your Pinterest account.  

Honestly, I don't get it.  

There was one point in my role as a mother that I worked part-time and went to college full-time (the first 3 years of my son's life).   I spent the first 4 months of my son's life as a stay-at-home mom.  I enjoyed every minute of it, but I was anxious to get back to my college degree and my job.  When my son was almost 10 months old, I became a stay-at-home mom again for a little over 2 months.  It was never my intention to do that again, but my then husband was transferred to a new job in a bigger city and we didn't know anyone well enough  to trust them to watch our son.  It was just easier for me to stay at home with him.  But I didn't enjoy it.  I longed to be back at school, back at work.  During that short summer, I vowed that I was not stay-at-home mom material.

Then I became a single mother.  For 8 1/2 years.  I HAD to work full-time.  I didn't have an option to stay at home.  Not that I wanted to then either.  I enjoyed my teaching career.

I got remarried almost 2 years ago.  We struggled with secondary infertility for the first year, and then we became pregnant with our sweet baby girl who is now 10 months old.  My priorities changed and my thoughts and feelings on being a stay-at-home mother changed drastically too.  I couldn't imagine NOT being at home now.  I honestly have a very difficult time seeing myself returning to the workplace.  Maybe 3 or 4 years down the road, but definitely not now.

Would I say that any of my stages/phases of motherhood were/are more difficult or challenging or rewarding than the others?  Yes and no.  But at each of those times in my "career" as a mother, I was happy with how I was mothering.  I am sure that the mother I was during my son's toddlerhood might scoff seeing the "domesticated" stay-at-home mama I am now.  She would probably roll her eyes, and ask me what about my college degree and my teaching career.  I get it.  I do.  
But why the judgment, mamas?  
We are all mothers.  We are all doing the best we can as mothers.  
None of us have it "easy".  But since when has parenting been easy??

I have been the full-time working mother at one time.  I have been the single mother at one time.  And I have been the stay-at-home mother at other times.  
All of them have presented their fair share of frustrations, of feelings of being undervalued and taken for granted, and of guilt.
They have also each gave me immense feelings of pride, of admiration for what I accomplished each day, of what I taught my children in my various mothering roles, and of genuine, undiminished love.

So, can we just lay off the whole "my role as a mother is harder than your role as a mother is" debate?  We each have our challenges, our complaints, and our "perks" whether we stay at home, work part-time, or work full time outside the home.  There is no score sheet here, mamas.  No one-upping.  



  1. Well said! I have also alternated between staying at home and working full or part time over the years. It's always been busy, challenging and rewarding... never easy... regardless of whether I was working outside the home or not.

    Toss the score sheets.

    ¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
    (¸.·´ (¸.·`¤... Jennifer

  2. I worked full time for my girls' first 15 months. It was difficult and exhausting, but we had expendable income to do lots of fun things. We didn't have to worry about bills. Now I stay home with my gals. I am happier and more relaxed and I love it. Now we also have to pinch pennies. There is no extra money to go to the salon, go out with friends, buy new clothes or go on vacation. These things create a fair amount of anxiety. There is no perfect scenario.

    I agree. We need to stop comparing and judging. We also need to focus much more on the best parts of motherhood and less on the crappy parts. We owe it to our kids!

  3. Very well said, indead! I worked either part time or full time up until 2 years ago. My oldest is 21 and my youngest is 10. It was hard not being able to be home with them and working {what felt like} all the time! Honestly, I am just as busy now, as a SAHM, as I was when I had a full time job! I don't get the comparing tit-for-tat that goes on. Everyone has their own degree of struggles and strengths when it comes to motherhood {or any other profession for that matter!}. As long as we are doing our best, that's what really matters.

  4. I so totally agree! We need to hold each other up instead of tear each other down.

  5. Perfect! I have a blog half typed up very similar to this! I hate the competition between moms

  6. Well said! I can't imagine posting something cutting about working moms. We all are just doing our best for our families.

  7. well said, mama! you're right that we are all doing what we can, what we have to for our families. i work outside the home and sure it's hard to juggle, but being home part or full time has it's own challenges, too. what it really comes down to is having respect for one another. we should support one another as we want to be supported!

  8. I understand what you mean. It was a little different for me though, I was in my 26 when my husband and I married and I continued to work full time the first couple of years, when we became pregnant I knew I wanted to stay home. I had my chance as a college student and a full time professional and the most important thing to me was not how much money I was bringing home but actually just being home for all of the moments, I wanted them all and I haven't regretted my decision even once! It was hard at first but I am so blessed and thankful to my wonderful husband who supports us so I can be a SAHM.

  9. Awesome post! I made a choice to stay home when my first child was born 6 years ago. It was hard for us to go to a single paycheck- still is- but it's so worth it for me to be with my kids. I know lots of moms who work full-time, and they are amazing. But I don't think I could do it again, at least not until kids are much older.

  10. well said Carrie!!! I have been a part time working mom and a stay at home mom and I have so many of my full time working moms tell me " I don't know how you do it being a full time SAHM is the hardest thing ever" and I say to them " I don't know how you work a full time job outside of the house and be as amazing as a mom that you are in all your time outside of your job" I have nothing but respect for ALL moms no matter what " type" they are. Being a mom is the hardest yet most rewarding job there is regardless of what we do or don't do for monetary income. My paychecks are my 2 year old whispering she loves me, or my 4 year old telling me I am her best friend. Do I miss my paycheck from my full time job outside of the home - some days when we have to stretch our budget tight - but most days I wouldn't trade it for the world. Some friends have to work full time, I am lucky that I don't right now. But again I would never judge any mom, ever

  11. I agree whole heartedly, I can't believe that this debate is still even HAPPENING! It is HARD being a stay at home mom, and although I work full time, I'm not sure I can handle being a SAHM. You guys are rockstars.

    Visiting from SHarefest!

  12. Well said. Visiting from SITS. I have to say, nothing gets me going quite like the whole "my life is harder than your life" c-r-a-p. Thanks for sharing this.

  13. Amen Amen Amen, I saw your link on sits and had to have a look . We all do things for different reasons and we all have different challenges in our lives. That doesn't make any one of us better than the other. Thanks for putting your thoughts out there.

  14. I totally agree. I don't get the entire Stay at home v. Working moms drama! Everyone has their preferences. We all do what we do for different reasons and the fact that we all take care of our children the best way we can is what matters. Visiting from SITS.

  15. I absolutely agree! I saw that same meme and I too, was offended. I don't get why working mothers would need to compare themselves to stay-at-home moms (I'm in the latter camp). We are all doing our best for our children, our family.

    Stopping by from SITS!

  16. Have to agree! Why do we feel the need to compare ourselves and argue over whose role is harder or what the right decision is? We are all mothers, and we all do the best we can for our families!

    Stopping in from SITS!

  17. Because I can't count the number of times I've heard, "there's nothing harder than being a stay at home mom! It's the hardest job in the world!" and meanwhile, I manage to work 40 hours a week plus do the same things a stay at home mom does. BOTH sides make comments and feel the need to put the other side down and prove what they do is harder. Not just working moms. I have felt WAY more judgement as a working mom than I ever did when I stayed at home.

  18. I also have done the whole spectrum when it comes to being a mother. I think that they all have challenges and comparing is the apples to oranges thing. it is completely unnecessary anyway, I always wonder why we can't just empower and support each other vs challenge and ... Love your post so true.


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