A week and a day ago was Gia’s parent teacher conference. And something happened that always does- she was shocked to find out I work. It is something that never ceases to amaze me. And yet, I am the one that fosters this line of thinking.
Nearly four years ago, I left corporate America and went on the search for the perfect work/life balance. There were crazy jobs like this and this. And then I found some better independent contractor gigs and around eighteen months ago, Danielle and I launched Sway. Which is ever growing. And frankly, more exciting (and more work) than I think either of us anticipated. But that, is not the story.
The story is that since Gia was two and five months old, the world has thought that I am a stay at home mom. And I like to keep up this charade. I bust my tail to be available for every field trip, every volunteer opportunity, every possible moment that I can soak up with my kids- I want to be there. All while working sixty hours a week. All while RT travels at least two weeks of every month.
And here’s the crazy thing. I don’t really want to stay at home. I could. Don’t get me wrong, our life would be different. We wouldn’t do many of the things that we do, probably wouldn’t live where we live, but like most couples with corporate pasts and dual college degrees we have a certain luxury that would allow us to fashion our lifestyle where we live on one income. But I don’t want to- and honestly, Ralph doesn’t really want me to either.
That said, I have an overwhelming guilt that makes me want to make the world think that I am a SAHM. And yet, I would have to really adjust to the idea of Gia being a SAHM. Crazy. I know.
And yet, I think that my inability to comfortably say that I want to work is caused by other moms. My peers, friends, fellow women that are in it with me. Why? Why do we make each other feel guilty for following our dreams. Whatever they may be? If your dream is to be a kick ass SAHM that home schools and gives your kid the best opportunity or a mom that climbs the corporate ladder or a mom that wants to create a new business. I just don’t get it. You want to be a SAHM. Hats off to you! You want to work in Corporate America and break glass ceilings? Go girl. Create a new channel. You rock woman. All are a life that I have tried some more successfully than others and when each is done right and each contain something that I both envy and admire. And other working moms, are constantly felt guilty for leaving our kids and freaking out when we can ‘t figure out how to juggle it all. But why?
SAHM’s do you think I am a bad mom? Well if you do, shame on you. My kids are loved, fed, clothed and cherished. They may not have me 24-7 but when we are together, it is quality time where I am a happier person because I feel fulfilled professionally And WAHM’s or working moms do you thing SAHM”s are lazy? I certainly don’t. And yet, it seems that it is the constant battle. SAHM pissed because a working mom has asked to help her out. Working mom is annoyed because of excessive posting on Facebook complaining about said SAH life. And yet we are all in this together. One day at a time, doing the best we can do.
So I said it today. Sheepishly, but I said it. I am a working mom. I work from my house, but I work a lot. I am overwhelmed and tired. And you probably are too. Oh, and the next time I run out of the field trip to get on my phone. Please don’t judge. I am probably negotiating a deal all while trying to make my kid think that I am staying home.