This is a difficult post for me to write, one that I have thought about a lot the past few days. I have really pondered if I should even write it, but after feedback from many other moms, I know that I need to write this.
A little background.
Last week, I was at the nail salon that I frequently visit, getting a relaxing pedicure. There was a girl, approximately 19 years old, beside me and her mom was on the other side of her. They were chit-chatting when all of the sudden the girl says: “I can’t stand Trump. Did you know that he wants to give stay at home moms a tax break? How stupid! They don’t even pay anything in taxes; they don’t get paid and they shouldn’t because they don’t do anything!”.
My blood was boiling. Was this girl serious? Did she just say that to HER mom? Now, before you go clicking off the page, this isn't a political post at all, because regardless of where you stand politically, all moms deserve respect.
My emotions almost got the best of me in the moment (haven't we all been there)?
I wanted to say: "Honey, you are so clueless" and to her mom: "You should be ashamed of yourself for allowing your daughter to speak that way".
Sure, we don't get paid to do our jobs as moms, but recent studies show that stay at home moms should be earning a salary of $115,000. Far from worthless from a monetary standpoint.
Tax break? Most days, I'd love to just take a 30 minute break. What about a lunch? What's that? Things that are both legally mandated for those working 'regular' jobs. So, yeah, a tax break would be nice.
We don't do anything? Let's chat for a minute. Most days, my day starts at 5 am and ends around 11 pm. I get up at least twice a night with my 1 year old. My day is spent working from home (yes, a 'real' job), cleaning our home, caring for my son (i.e. feeding, bathing, playing), cooking dinner, grocery shopping, and maintaining an organized home-just to name a few of the things in a usual day.
Now, before you think I'm complaining, I'm not. I am so thankful each day that I am able to stay at home with our son. I wouldn't trade the long days and sometimes longer nights for anything. I have so much admiration and respect for working mothers, because, guess what? They have to do the 'nothing' that I do all day, after they have worked outside of their home all day.
Here's what really upset me about her entire attitude: the entitlement. The attitude that she was better than me and every other stay at home mom. The attitude that we are beneath her.
As moms, we've all been there. Working or stay at home. You've gotten those looks when you tell people you take your child to daycare or you are 'just' a stay at home mom. We've all gotten the questions:
"What DO you do all day?"
"Well, are you ok with someone else raising your child?"
And I'm tired of it. There is no wrong or right answer to the debate of working vs. staying at home. The only right answer is: do what is best for you and your family. Do what YOU CAN do. Being a mother is the most difficult, yet rewarding job on the planet.
The mom shaming has to stop, even if you aren't a mom...ESPECIALLY if you aren't a mom. You have no idea what we go through. You have no idea what it is to have your heart literally walking around outside of your body. You don't know how long that mom struggled to have children. You have no idea if her husband just left her and she HAS to work, even though she longs to be at home. You don't know.
To the girl who thinks that ALL mothers are worthless...because, really, that's what she was saying. I hope that when you have children, you follow your heart and your instincts. I hope that you get to stay at home, if you want and if you want to work-I hope you do that as well. Mainly, I hope that you look back and kick yourself for your statements the other night--because, you never know who hears what you say and the impact you will have on them.