Posted by Fitz

I have a terrible confession to make. 

In my naievete as a married woman sans children, I used to think that stay at home moms had it easy.  They could play all day, make healthy food, work out, get things like Christmas Cards done before December 22nd, and nurture their marriage beyond belief.  Why wouldn’t they be able to do these things?  They didn’t go to work every day, after all.  They weren’t pressured to meet unrealistic deadlines, or deal with performance problems, or manage the politics that pervade any corporate environment.  Right?  Right??

Wrong!  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  My year as a stay at home mom was a strong contender for the hardest year of my life.  The job never ends, your client is as unpredictable as the weather, and you put constant pressure on yourself to measure up to some ideal that is likely unattainable.   Oh, and let’s not forget the things I mentioned above:

  • Stay at home moms might not have to “go” to work every day, but they are AT work from the minute their eyes open until the minute they close.  There’s no break-taking unless you get lucky at naptime, no office gossip, and no slacking off if you’re particularly tired.   
  • Your whole day is sometimes consumed with dealing with performance problems – and it’s not a one-and-done conversation, it’s an entire performance of “Please don’t throw your food on the floor” and “We don’t eat the Play-Doh” that could very well have  multiple encores.
  • Managing politics?  Sure, they’re bad enough in the workplace, but try the playground.  The other moms are constantly checking each other out:  Who’s wearing what?  Who’s disciplining their child that way?  Who hasn’t been to Weight Watchers recently?   Who is feeding their kids the multi-colored Goldfish or non-organic cheese or – gasp! – a COOKIE? 

I admire stay at home moms more than I admire anyone else at the current moment. They are my version of super heroes.  I’m not ashamed to say that I’m not cut out for the job, and I love to work, so that’s the best for me.  But wow, to have the strength, patience, and fortitude of a stay at home mom?  I wouldn’t mind a little bit of that!