The neverending battle rages on between SAHMs and WMs … but where are all the WAHMs?

I spent some time last night reading a hot debate over on Mommyish.com. The subject? Do stay-at-home-moms actually “work” — as in, is it considered a job?

The feathers biting comments were flying! This debate never seems to get old, when it comes to Mommy wars.

The stay-at-home-moms argued that it is a real job, because they take care of their kids/homes ALL day, whereas the working moms just do it at night and on the weekend. The working moms snapped back that they still have to do all of the housework/cooking/errands — they just have 40 fewer hours a week to do it in.

I thought, before I officially decided not to return to full-time work — and, instead, freelance at home — that I would technically be a stay-at-home mom. Sure, I would do some work, but REALLY, I would be staying at home.

I was very wrong.

I am not a stay-at-home mom. The only people who *think* I am a SAHM are people who have no idea how much work I do. I work whenever Baby Boy goes down for a nap (morning and afternoon). I work when he goes to bed at night. I answer work emails occassionally when he’s awake, and sometimes have to take important work calls while he’s awake.

In short: I work!
I’m a WAHM (work-at-home mom).

When I think about being an ACTUAL stay-at-home mom, I think of all the free time I would have. Whenever Baby Boy napped, I could do whatever I wanted. I could scrapbook again (it’s been about six months). I could read for fun (it’s reeeeally hard to find time to keep up with my book club). I could research recipes on the internet or *GASP* take my time and bake something. I could tend to my neglected nails. I could actually straighten or curl my hair. Oh, the possibilities!

Still, I am not technically a “working mom.”
I am a “work-at-home mom.”

I’m not in the office 40+ hours a week. I only work 3-4 hours a day, but I DO work six or seven days a week. I get to wear yoga pants and tank tops while I work. I eat every meal with my son, at home. We play games and read books and sing songs, all during the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. when “working moms” are at an office.

It is stressful sometimes, trying to fit all my work into those small windows of time when Baby Boy is sleeping. Yes, my work-day is shorter than if I were full-time at an office. But it is also much harder to concentrate when your baby is crying over the monitor. It is hard to quickly respond to an important email when your toddler is trying to climb up you.

If I wasn’t working as a freelance writer, and my whole existence was staying at home with Baby Boy and looking after the house, I would not say I worked. Caring for my son and doing laundry are not a job. They are what you do as a parent/adult.

Moms who work 40 hours a week as an engineer or a dentist don’t also add, “But I work part-time as a Mommy at home on evenings and weekends.”

That’s because being a mom is great.
It is a gift.
But it is not a job.

I find there are not many WAHMs out there, so I often feel like no one else is in the same situation as me. This leads to feeling like a hippie/slacker compared to my WM friends, and a corporate stress-case in front of SAHMs.

I am somewhere in between.

Being a work-at-home mom means I DO have a job, but I also have the more important role of being at home with my son. And for that, I am incredibly grateful.

Now can’t we all just get along?

So what do you think?

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