Monday, October 3, 2011


I went to see the new movie "How Does She Do It" last night."  It was a cute movie but not earth shatteringly funny.  The one thing that annoyed me was the unflattering comparison of working versus nonworking mothers yet again.  Having been on both sides of this discussion I must say, there is NO easy way of being a mom.  No matter if you work outside the home, or in the home, it is still work.  Work we signed up for voluntarily but none the less, real physical labor.

If you work outside the home then all the work to be accomplished at home still has to get done.  Children have to be taken to and from school, fed and hopefully, if they remembered to bring the laundry down, in clean clothes.  School projects have to be supervised, tests studied for, and extracurricular activities managed.  And they need to have your time along the way for kissed boo boos, bedtime stories or real conversations about their day and life stresses.  Then, you have to do your job so you can come home and put in your other eight hour day.  Hectic, stressful and not easy.  It helps if you have a job you love like the movie's character but either way the job pays bills so it has to be done and done well.  Your day, your time, is not your own.  Conflicting schedules have to be juggled all the while praying like mad that you don't drop a single ball or they might all fall down.

If you are a stay at home mom the juggling game is still the same, it is just the details that change.  Because you are at home others assume that you are available to help out at church, school, and at a moment's notice pick up items forgotten by other members of the family.  It is assumed that your house will be spotless, your meals will be home cooked, your children perfectly dressed and school projects wonderful because of your availability.  But of course real life intervenes and on a regular basis throws all schedules out of whack.  Extracurricular activities take on a life of their own, shoes go in gutters, children lick the floors and walls of their school come home sick, volunteer projects get out of hand and just as quickly as the working mom, your day, your time, is not your own.  All the balls are in the air and if one falls the rest quickly follow. 

Why do we do this to ourselves?  Are we as women all crazy gluttons for punishment?  I don't think so.  Recently a innocent comment about sports got me to thinking about women and how we behave.  "Oh yeah, your a woman so you think with your heart, not your head."  This referred to a woman's support for a particular team because her husband liked the team.  I think that statement defines women.

We do think with our hearts.  It is with out hearts that we desire to become mothers, give up our bodies, vices, sleep and the ability to accomplish more than one errand without running to the ladies room. It is with our hearts that we nurture our children, protect them, love our spouses, and maintain family relationships and friendships.  When we take on that big project at work or decide to home school a child who is struggling, we do so because we are looking at the big picture.  This project will provide for my family, this child needs more help.  We are not organizing a flow chart in our heads and deciding if we can fit it in the schedule.  We pick up that extra ball and toss it in the air because our heart calls us to help, to love, to be of service for others.  Love cannot be decided with the head.  And we love fiercely.

Working outside of the home, working in the home, it is all based on love.  And that is why we should support each other as passionately as we support out families.  Because we are all juggling.  We are all doing the best that we can in a crazy, hectic world that often expects the unrealistic from mere human beings.  We are all struggling with the same basic issues and lying awake at night, making lists and double checking that nothing has been dropped.  Good luck this week with juggling your schedules and commitments and take an extra moment to be nice to another mom.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't think the subject of working and non-working mothers has been approached with such poignancy. Being a mother is a full-time job on any given day. The rewards are priceless and we understand that message in your writings. More, please.......

Carole Ann