Stay-at-Home Mom vs Working Mom

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Leila
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Stay-at-Home Mom vs Working Mom

Postby Leila » 02 Aug 2015, 11:53

Day 4: STAY AT HOME MOM, SYSTEM WORKING MOM - Part 1
http://mscarolyne.blogspot.ch/2015/07/d ... rking.html

There have been countless opinions/perceptions in our world in regards to being a stay at home ‘working’ mom or a system working mom. A while back, I encountered posts on social media targeting either group of women or both. The comments themselves were made out of self-defense whereby, either of the woman defends her status of ‘work’ as of more or less value than the others’. This debates went on and on and I could see just how much of an emotional turmoil this point did trigger within the mothers. The system working mom perceives her nature of work/responsibility as very challenging because they must work both in the system during the day and be a mother to the children at home in the evenings and most of these mothers have the common assumption that, a stay at home mom has so much time on her hands to do pretty much what she wants and caring for the kids is not of so much value mainly because there is no reward in the form of an income at the end of the day. Another common perception is that, stay at home moms are lazy because they do not work in the system to become ‘independent’ women because in this equation, the man/husband takes care of all the financial needs of the household and everyone in it. Another perception is that, a stay at home mom is a waste of potential of who/what the woman/mother could have become if only she worked in the system.

Meanwhile, the stay at home mom perceives the system working mom as unfortunate in that, she has to leave her kids under the care and supervision of another person which in itself may be consequential to the child especially if the caregivers are not really as passionate in caring for the child as the own mother can. A stay at home mom at times thinks/perceives that, it is irresponsible of a system working mom to put career and money as first priority and mothering/parenting in the lesser priority category.

So there’s obviously this internal and external fight/conflicts among stay at home moms and system working moms. But does it really have to be a war? Does parenting have to be about competition on whose responsibilities are more valuable or should it be about the support of another being/child in the best way possible? What is being a mother then all about? What circumstances have we accepted and allowed both within and without that have shaped the very perceptions about raising children/being parents/moms/mothers? How can we as mothers stand up and step out of these self-created illusions as the perceptions/opinions/judgments we have created towards ourselves and towards each other as the responsibilities that entail being the best possible example for your child to emulate? How can we assist and support each other through sharing and uplifting each other instead of fighting through comparison and competition?

Let me open up these points further by going through some typical examples of a system working mom and a stay at home mom:

My mother was a system working mom, from what I see now, one of the reasons that she did this was because she had us 4 kids (later 5) and she had to fulfill the responsibilities of being a single parent to us. She had to ensure that, all our basic needs were met and the only way she could do this was by getting much more education and thus land a better job in the system to afford paying for all our needs. Most of the times she was not physically with us as she at some point had to go abroad to study for three years and once she came back, she got a job where we could just see her and spend time with her just one day a week. This was because her job was quite far away in the city and we at this time lived in a small town, so commuting daily to her would have been a big hustle as well as expensive. So clearly here, it was practical that my mother made such choices, it was commonsensical, the system she worked in gave her no other option to ease her separation
from her children until much much later when the government gave her a government house that was much more affordable and so we were able to move to the city. So here, from this memory that I have just shared, it is obvious that, my mother, as a system working mom had to fulfill all the financial obligations that come with having not only just 1 child but 4 (later 5) children. There was no one or nothing else that gave us monetary support at this time. So, her responsibilities of mothering us were done by someone else i.e. my relatives, teachers and maids. It was not an easy upbringing with adults that had no clue on what parenting entails. These were the people that we were supposed to learn from/emulate as children, the people that we learnt from, I learnt from. People that had no education experience or background of what being a mother entails and so there was an exceptional amount of abuse physically/mentally/emotionally. The caregivers always threatened not to tell my mother, or bribed us with candy if we don’t tell of the abuse, and so we never told.
So in this example, it was obvious that my mother needed to work in order that she earns some income/money to fulfill our basic needs. Here her role as a mother was not more or less, just different because in her circumstances, as a single mom, she had to, so if I judge/perceive her as having been uncaring, irresponsible and a bad mother for neglecting/leaving us under the care of others and not physically being there for us/with us, I would be self-dishonest. This are exactly some of the judgments/perceptions that are passed on to system working mothers.



User avatar
Leila
Posts: 2040
Joined: 14 Jun 2011, 21:45
Location: South Africa
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Re: Stay-at-Home Mom vs Working Mom

Postby Leila » 02 Aug 2015, 11:54

Day 5: STAY AT HOME MOM, SYSTEM WORKING MOM - Part 2
http://mscarolyne.blogspot.ch/2015/07/d ... rking.html

Another example I would like to share here involves myself. I have been a stay at home mom and for much of this time, I know how many times I have been criticized/judged/perceived in relation to my role of a stay at home mom. The first point here I’d like to share out is that of being perceived as lazy and doing nothing because, apparently, caring/looking after a child, children is perceived as ‘no job, doing nothing’. Some people have gone to the extent of telling me, ‘but you are a stay at home mom, what do you do with all your time the whole day?, you should use all that time to enjoy yourself, have some ‘me’ time, like, to pretty yourself up’, or a statement like, ‘why do you need help with household or the kids since you are a stay at home mom, other mothers do everything by themselves’ which is an obvious way of implying that as a stay at home, I do nothing and hence should have so much time to do whatever it is that I want which is quite ironic at times as it has been implied that, I must do everything by myself as a stay at home mom because I have time (but am lazy). This here is a false perception, an interpretation of my reality as a stay at home mom that is not based on the reality of the responsibilities I have every single day of taking care of my children. In any case here, I would say that, this perception is nothing but the opposite of what I face/do every single day, I have no time to focus on other activities that don’t revolve around taking care of my children. I can create time to fulfill a certain task that is NEEDED but other than that, my commitment is towards my children, they come first in every decision I make, iv to make sure that what I say, do, is what’s best for the children and in actuality, this leaves little room for ‘me time’ as others may perceive.

Another thing I’d like to point out here is something that my mother shared with me some time back. She told me, not to be the kind of mother she was towards me/us towards my children. She mentioned that, I have the opportunity of doing better, meaning, being there fully for my children and not only this, but also to educate myself on what it entails to raise a child/children, how who we are shapes the entirety of who/what the child will live/express/become and therefore, as a parent I must change who I am within and without to stand within both word and deed as an example of what’s best for all, and as are children who
copy everything the parent/adult does, they then can copy/emulate a living/an expression of themselves in consideration of what’s best for all. I shall elaborate this point in blogs to come. Surely, the caregivers we were left under had no clue on how to raise children and so, I’d say, they raised us the best way they knew how, a way they also were raised by their parents. This may have been their ‘best’ way of doing it, but what I must elaborate here is that, most of the childhood memories I have are filled with fear/petrification of the adults back then, almost, if not all, I learnt was based on fear. My childhood was quite a tough one, filled with immense physical, mental and emotional abuse. Who I am today was shaped by going through a lot of abuse, I do not blame my caregivers/the adults or my mother as they all did not know any better, this is the only way they knew how to ‘parent’ as what they learnt from their parents, so how I shaped myself has been coming through now that I am a parent. This also I shall share in blogs to come and the process I have walked, still walking to change the patterns that I copied from my caregivers, patterns that should not be copied by my children and the future generations. So here I stand, everyday pushing myself to investigate all patterns that I accepted and allowed to shape who I am today as a parent and change myself by stopping this patterns and re-creating myself as an


expression that my children can emulate within the principle of what's best for all. So as I grew up, I ‘swore’ to myself that, I never want my children to go through what I went through, I remember saying to myself that, if I don’t have the opportunity of being a stay at home mom, then, I will not consider having children. The reason being, under caregivers, there are just mothering instincts that a caregiver cannot express to another person’s child , there are some parts/needs in a child’s life that only a mother can fulfill and in the best way possible, these needs are mainly dependent on the deep physical connection between a mother and a child. An example would be, when either of my children is sick, mothers do know that, night time is usually the time when sickness skyrockets be it fever, coughing etc., this time, I’m usually fully alert on what’s happening to my child at aphysical level. I wake up often to check on them not because I’m forced to, but because I want to and they need this support. To another, this may be a bother or may not be executed in the best way possible as support for the child. This does not make responsibilities towards my children any more or less than those of an system/office working mom.

So here really, I find it absolutely unnecessary to judge a mother or condemn her in how much she participated in her child’s life, rather than judging, condemning, the approach I would use and have used is to try and understand why a mother makes the choices she does in regards to her child(ren) and then from there, assist and support in the ways that I can, this way, as mothers, we would be much more effective in how we fulfill our responsibilities in regards to our children without having to bear the burden of harsh judgments/perceptions from each other which in turn influence the potential of who we can become in terms of parenting. Wouldn’t it be best for us to stop judging, condemning, persecuting, diminishing each other’s responsibilities towards our children and instead focus on understanding each other, the decisions we make and from within the understanding assist and support each other through ideas, suggestions etc. on how we can be better/best mothers to our children? This comparison and competition of stay at home moms and system working moms is completely unnecessary because, the one who comes/should come first in our decisions is what’s best for our children and not whose job is more demanding, more valuable or who does more than the other.

The last point I would like to share here is in regards to what I recently realized I have been accepting and allowing that has been sending me into reaction mode instead of taking responsibility through changing. This in my next blog.




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