I have held three different mommy "positions" in my almost 11 years as a mom; the stay-at-home-mom (for a too-short 9 months), a full-time office working mom and currently, I am a work-at-home mom. I work out of necessity, and I assure you that those out-of-home working moms are thinking that the scenario of a WAHM goes a little something like this; wake up to the sounds of the birds chirping on a beautiful sunny morning, slip soundlessly into the kitchen and make a fresh pot of coffee, take a few sips, breathe in the air, go lovingly wake up the children and send them off on the bus while you don your fuzzy bunny slippers, sip some more coffee and work peacefully for the next X amount of hours. Please girls this is yet another misconception that the world of movies and books have given all of us. Don't get me wrong at all; I love working from home most of the time. There are the perks such as the most obvious, being home for your children and watching over them like hawks to make sure they stay on the straight-and-narrow (whatever version of that yours may be) and not having to get dressed (and in my case, not putting on a bra) and making your own schedule and blah-blah-blah. There are the cons for sure; no paid sick days, no vacation days, no 401(k), making sure you pay your taxes, and I could go on. Seriously, I'll stay at home then deal with office snarkiness any day.
However, I do invite you into my world for a second of how this particular day has since started. It is 4:00 a.m. and I am having a bought of insomnia. Okay, another perk of the WAHM, I can go downstairs and work while the house is asleep. I slip quietly down the stairs so as not to wake the house until I misjudge the last step and go slamming myself against the wall in an attempt to not twist my ankle. I pause, hold my breath, listen -- I've dodge a bullet. No one woke up so I head to my office where I start up my lap top and get my gear going when I realize oh what the hell, I need tech support. Did I happen to mention it's 4:00 a.m. and you know there is no tech support at 4:00 a.m. It is what it is and I fart around the internet for an hour before I drag myself back upstairs where I don't promptly fall back to sleep because now I'm thinking about having to deal with tech support and how irritating those people are. I suppose I fall back to sleep around 6:00 and when the alarm goes off I feel worse than if I had just stayed awake.
It's time to get those kids up, and I can assure you that I do not sit on the edge of the bed and lovingly caress the hair out of my daughter's face. I shake her and tell her we're late. I'm surprised I don't get greeted with a grunt this morning. Maybe this day won't be so bad after all. It's 7:15 and I have the kids in the car and on the way to drop the big girl off at school when I feel my eyes crossing and I start to wonder how I'm going to make it through everything else I have to do today, and then a thought pops into my head. I'm pretty lucky I think as I could be having to do all of this and get to work on time. I'm suddenly feeling bad for all these cars on the road as most of them must be heading into work on this rainy day. I'm jarred out of my thoughts to my oldest belting out words to a song I know from spin class and I start singing along; "So here's my number, call me maybe..." I look in the other cars and I see no one bee-bopping to their own little pop number at 7:30 in the morning.
I'm rejuvenated and know that I'll at least make it through the tech support nightmare. In fact, I'm positive I'll make it through my entire day, with a countless number of coffee breaks and hopefully not many meltdowns (by me, not the toddler). In the end, it doesn't matter what we do to pay the bills because all that counts is that we are doing the best we can with the cards we have been dealt. I do not believe one has a "better" or "easier" job than the other. We all have the same thankless, non-paying job and we do what we have to do to make our children's lives that much better than our own childhood because, after all, we are all striving for the same thing; the smiles of our children.
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