Full-Time Working Moms Deserve Our Respect

Full-Time Working Moms Deserve Our Respect

Being a mom is hard. Being a mom that works full-time is harder.
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With Mother's Day being last week, I, like many others, was exposed to what felt like hundreds of articles that dealt with motherhood, what it means to be a mom, and why we should be thankful for our moms. One, however, caught my eye in this flood of Mother's Day pieces. It was a piece written about how stay-at-home moms do just as much as moms who work. This is something that I strongly disagree with.

First off, I want to make it clear that I believe that all moms, no matter what they do for a living, are valuable, admirable, and probably a bit superhuman. Every mom possesses so much strength for all that they have to do, and I have nothing but respect for that. I also recognize that stay-at-home mothers do a lot of work of their own, and it's not easy running a household. No matter if a mother works full-time, part-time, or not at all, being a mom is the biggest and most difficult job of all.

I do have a problem with stay-at-home moms claiming to have it just as hard as moms who work full-time, though. I do realize that some stay-at-home moms feel the need to battle any stereotypes surrounding them, but I find it completely ridiculous that they think they work at the same level as a mom who is working full-time because they just aren't. It has nothing to do with their ability to be a mother, but stay-at-home moms just should not be able to claim that they are just as busy as working moms. Because it should be clear that a mom who works full-time has to do everything that a stay-at-home mom does, but she also has to work eight hours a day as well.

I know that I'm biased because I have a mom that has worked full-time my whole life, despite having two children to look after. My mom works well over forty hours a week, yet she still does the grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, and basically is constantly ensuring that the entire family and household isn't falling apart. Everything that a stay-at-home mom does, but she doesn't have all day to do it. She gets home from a long day at the office, but she knows that she doesn't have just that one job. She has her other job, her job as a mother, that never stops. She has to sacrifice her weekends to running errands rather than relaxing, even though she only has these two days off.

My mom has told me that it would have been nice to be a stay-at-home mom or even a mom that works part-time. She would have loved to have dedicated herself to her children every hour of every day. She admits that because of her job, she has missed some things in her children's lives that she wishes she could have been there for. But in my family, as is true for many families, her not working just wasn't a possibility.

Though I know my mom didn't exactly want the life of a full-time working mom, I am incredibly proud of her for being on that path all the same. I see how hard my mom works at both of her jobs - the one that she gets paid for and the one as a mother that she doesn't - and I see a role model. If I do have children of my own someday, I know that I will never stop working. From having a full-time working mom, I know that it is 100% possible to be an amazing mom and have a career at the same.

Being a mom is indeed a job in itself. But don't try to convince me that being a mom and not working is just as difficult as being a mom and working over forty hours a week. No matter what argument is presented, my beliefs on this topic will never be changed. Full-time working moms deserve our respect for everything that they do.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Mom And Dad, Your Differences Made Me Who I Am

They are two halves of the person I aspire to be — a thoughtful person, committed to excellence in each of her areas of passion, who is hungry to build upon the extensive base of experiences that she has acquired to date.

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My parents, the most important factors in shaping who I am, are a mosaic of juxtaposed perspectives, a tribute to the notion that "opposites attract." Dad once tried to explain their differences in the language of the Myers-Briggs personality inventory; his introversion versus Mom's extraversion, his thinking to her feeling, etc. Labels aside, the consequence of living with their differences was balance and an ability to place equal value on both breadth and depth in any aspect of life.

Nothing underscored competing for parental influences in our household better than the typical dinner conversation around the events of the school day. I'd usually lead with news of some test result. Mom would be quick to congratulate my good work while deflecting the conversation toward upcoming social events or some drama involving my friends. Dad preferred to discuss the specific problems I missed, even if 97% were correct.

Over time, I came to realize that Mom's seemingly dismissive attitude toward academic achievement was not meant to minimize its importance. To her, what went on in the world of human relationships beyond the classroom, was equally important. Similarly, Dad's insistence on reviewing every incorrect problem was not indicative of some ridiculously high standard of achievement. Instead, it was his way of communicating the value of always striving to be better and the importance of treating every mistake as an opportunity to learn.

Extracurriculars, like sports, were also illustrative of this household dichotomy. Mom would encourage me to join as many different activities as possible, just to give them a try. In the heart of the club spring soccer season, she'd sign me up for golf lessons, a charity 5K run, or volunteer my time to tutor a neighbor's friend. Dad cared more about mastery of specific sports. Quick to point out areas for improvement, he pushed me to excel through relentless practice and total commitment.

It was often difficult to reconcile Mom's push for diversification and Dad's push for focus, but I eventually realized that each was acting in what they perceived to be in my best interests. Mom wasn't tired of sitting on wet, soggy sidelines, she wanted me to have a broad range of experiences so I could find my true passions. Her mantra was that you couldn't know unless you try. Dad didn't push me to constantly practice because he expected me to get a soccer scholarship. Rather he wanted me to understand the work that it takes to achieve excellence.

Much to Dad's vexation, Mom often scheduled activities that interfered with practice times. We'd routinely go on vacation a few days early or to take a night off to see a play. Summer vacations were sacred and trumped any other commitments. The day school was out we would leave for the east coast and not return until just before school began. Lengthy absences meant leaving all commitments behind, including summer training seasons.

Dad never overtly opposed Mom's summer plans, but I knew he was troubled by them. Excellence required a commitment that was not compatible with being absent for several months each year. Mom was not against sports or the commitment they required, but she placed supreme value on the exposures and experiences that a summer of travel could offer.

Over time, I learned to live fully in each of my parents' worlds. When it was time to study or practice, I gave everything I had. Equally, I joined Mom's adventures, with eager eyes and a full heart. I learned that there is not just one way to be raised or a single way to approach a situation. I was never made to choose between competing views in my household, I was challenged to fully embrace each. My parents' perspectives are less conflicting and more complimentary.

They are two halves of the person I aspire to be — a thoughtful person, committed to excellence in each of her areas of passion, who is hungry to build upon the extensive base of experiences that she has acquired to date. I hope to be as deep as I am broad, to be extremely flexible, and to be comfortable in the gray areas between the black and the white. Like my Mom, I engage the world around me and am fed by its energy, and like my Dad, I am introspective and fully at home in the world of ideas.

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