I was in the playground today and was chatting with some SAHMs (Stay at home mums). I mentioned that I worked and one straight away replied ‘I’m sorry to hear that’.
Jesus. Don’t hold back. I was stunned and a little unsure of how to react. I still am unsure of how to react.
They looked at me as if I was a poor woman that was forced back to work by her husband with eyes of pity and sympathy. I blurted out awkwardly that I wanted to go back to work to get my mind working again – although it is a challenge to manage work and home life. They just looked at me with more pity.
This is a new thing for me and something I never anticipated. When did working with young children mean that you were not ‘well off’ or ‘your husband forced back to work’? When was it not a choice?
When was it like a football match with sides? Where instead of beating each other on the field we beat each other up with judgement. Does there really need to be sides?
Do we need to judge and battle with each other on which side is the best?
I work with many working mums who enjoy the challenge (and the break away… ooops did I say that!). However its not to say it is the “better side” to be on. When I’m juggling a screaming sick child and having to do a conference call that is NOT fun. When juggling is all you seem to do to keep all fires burning that is NOT fun. But when you have a win at work you feel on top of the world and ready to throw yourself when you get home into to being the best mum in the world that is when it is fun.
We should be ‘pro-choice’. It is an individual’s choice to choose whether to work or stay at home. I know some women that are better mothers by working and some that are better mothers to stay at home.
However I suppose the morale of this story is don’t jump to conclusions around a person’s situation and their choice to go back to work can be far from a purely financial one – although if it is, this post is not about making judgement on that either!
I’m about to jump the fence again and go back to being a SAHM mum later this year which I am looking for to and have no gripes or issues trying the ‘other world again’ and hey I might stay. But what I won’t do is judge other mothers. It is hard enough at the best of times – we need to be on the same side not on opposite sides of the field.
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