There are always debates over who has it harder, the working mom or the stay-at-home mom? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news--but it's a tie as far as I'm concerned. I don't think it's about what's harder; in fact, it's not a competition at all. The reality is, both are equally as hard and equally as rewarding.
I'm Jess and I'm a stay-at-home, working mom. What that means is I work from home while being a mom. I'm not here to tell you that I really know what both sides are like, yada yada yada. In fact, I'm here to just share a few things I've learned, some tips and tricks that get me through the day and how I've realized that both stay-at-home moms and working moms are blessed beyond measure and stronger than ever.
The first thing we need to realize is that being a mom in general is one of the hardest jobs in the world. It’s also one of the biggest blessings, but it’s by no means an easy task. We’re suddenly in charge of a little human life! We’re responsible for raising them right, providing for them, protecting them and all the while managing everything else we have going on in our lives. No wonder we are all so often referred to as “Super Mom”. It’s a hard job, but the little snuggles, sweet smiles and the unconditional love you have for that baby of yours makes it all worth it.
Now, five things I’ve learned that I believe will be helpful for working moms and stay-at home moms alike …
- Just let things go. Sing it with me. Seriously though, forget the laundry. Forget the dishes and forget all the toys piled everywhere in your living room. If these things have to get pushed to tomorrow, do not let yourself stress about it. They just really don’t matter in the scheme of things. I think we all have this false perception that everyone’s houses are all perfectly clean and put together all the time and then we put pressure on ourselves to do the same. WRONG. I mean are you kidding? You should see my house right now; it’s far from perfect. That’s life though. Things will be messy probably 75% of the time. So embrace it and keep your worrying for the important things. Keep in mind that no one is judging you for the imperfect state of your home because anyone with little ones at home will understand (and their house probably looks exactly the same).
- Embrace the little moments. Remind yourself of this one often because it’s going to be gone before you know it. It goes for both working and stay-at-home moms. I think we so often worry about what needs to get done that we forget to enjoy the now, the moments and all the memories happening everyday. No matter how much time you spend in the house each day, we all get frustrated, overwhelmed and down in the dumps (as we should sometimes), but let’s not forget to soak in every hug, giggle and request to sit on your lap. So let’s just slow down. Let’s capture all the pictures, enjoy every bath time and just take five minutes to snuggle with our babes and remember the memories we are currently making.
- DRINK CAFFEINE. What?...Yeah, I said it. Even if you’re not a coffee drinker, sometimes you need something, anything with caffeine. Try Zipfizz, Dr. Pepper (my personal fav), Strawberry Acai from Starbucks or if you like coffee, go for that. Sometimes you just need that extra energy and it’s okay, do it. We can’t always be Super Mom completely on our own.
- Remember yourself. I think this is the one that we so often overlook. For stay-at-home moms our lives tend to completely revolve around our babies’ schedules and for working moms we tend to devote any spare minute to spending time with our children. We take care of every single person around us that we forget about our own well-being. We forget that we actually matter too and that it’s okay to have your husband watch the baby for 20 minutes so that you can shower and brush your hair. You don’t have to do everything. In fact, the more you make yourself feel like you have to do everything, the more miserable you’ll be. Take you time, go out with girlfriends, go on date nights, get your nails done and take a nap. IT’S OKAY TO TAKE A NAP.
- Ask for help. Sometimes you need help. Actually, you ALWAYS can use a little bit of help, and it doesn’t make you seem weak or like you can’t handle things on your own by asking. In fact, it will only make you a better parent and will keep you from getting overwhelmed. Just, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If you need a night off, ask a family member to come over to watch the kids. If you don’t have the energy to make dinner, call Pizza Hut for a little extra help. You get the point, ASK FOR HELP. Your friends and family will always be willing to lend a hand and will appreciate the extra time they get to spend with the little ones.
I think the biggest thing we all need to realize is that life is not a competition, Motherhood is not a competition. We should all be supporting each other, cheering one another on and taking one day at a time.