The Great Debate

Let me start by saying that I am about as qualified to debate this topic as I am to perform heart surgery. That is, stay-at-home versus working mom. My experience is limited to a 30lb furry two-year-old and three years teaching day care.

But lack of experience has never stopped me from forming an opinion.

A dear friend of mine (we'll call her Sally) is a working mom, not by choice. She was venting to a group of friends over lunch about her exhausting existence. And the useless ass she married. Different post.

Here's the short version. A stay-at-home mom (we'll call her Shirley), apparently on the defensive (or her period), went bat shit. Complete with the stated facts that Sally "is selfish" to work and her children "will suffer emotional instability" as a result. Oh, and that Shirley's job is "no different" and "just as hard" as Sally's.

I would have pummeled Shirley and her pissed in her wine. But enough about that crazy bitch.

Raising kids is life's hardest job, regardless of your situation. But it is in fact, different. Very different...to be a stay-at-home versus a working mom.

The reason? With some exceptions, being a stay-at-home mom is a choice. If you stay at home with your children, it's likely because your husband does well enough or you're willing to adopt a different lifestyle to do so. It might not make the child rearing any easier, but it is a choice.

It is also true that many women make the choice to work, but they usually aren't the ones you hear complaining. More often, if you're a working mom it's because you're the breadwinner or simply need the combined income to live.

I'm not here to argue whether women should be at home with their kids or in the working world, given the choice. Different strokes for different folks. I think it depends on the person. I respect the hell out of both sides, and honestly don't know where I'll end up when that choice becomes a personal one. Here's hoping it is a choice when the time comes.

My opinion, or shall I say judgment call, is on the majority--the stay-at-home moms who make that choice, and the working moms who have no choice. As in the case of Sally & Shirley.

Drum roll please. It is harder to be a working mom than it is a stay-at-home mom (per the majority definition above). The word "hard" is relative, but all other things equal the trophy goes to working moms.

And thus, as a gentle reminder to you whiny stay-at-home moms like Shirley, you made the choice. The world at large (including your husband) is bored of hearing how hard your life is. Despite my personal lack of experience, I can assure you that "hard" is relative. You won't really know what it means until that husband who pays for your lifestyle loses his job or leaves you. Because you won't stop whining.

Because I must be fair, if you're a whiny working mom who made that choice you shut the hell up, too. Stop judging the stay-at-home moms you think are lazy pigs.

Fortunately, I believe the stay-at-home and working moms of the whiny variety are few and far between, at least in my circles. Women should be supporting one another, not competing. But these whiny women, they are out there. Every day on Facebook.

I'll leave all the mothers, stay-at-home or working, with this thought. Somewhere, there is another woman who can't have children. Across the world, down the street, at your lunch table, who would do anything to be in your position, whatever that may be.

So count your blessings and quit your bitching. Remember that. Shirley.

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