Get our weekly newsletter

« The Project Management Principles to Travelling | Main | Parenting is not a Market-Based Activity »

Wednesday, August 26, 2009



I deal with this sort of thing to a very small extent with a local "moms group" I'm loosely-affiliated with. They're a mix of SAH and WOH and for months I couldn't make it to a single in-person activity because they're all scheduled during the day. But we have a little online forum that everyone can participate in and lately a few things have been scheduled on the weekends.

Anyway, point is, I end up both jealous (of all the fun stuff SAHMs can do with their kids) and flabbergasted (childcare 24x7? COULD NOT COPE).

I think K wrote at one point about the possibility of trimming back work (or quitting entirely) when the kids were of school-age rather than when they're little. I have to say I can see the appeal of that, although I doubt it will ever make sense financially for us.

As for any judge-y comments? Haven't really run into any yet, but I do have a couple of tart responses saved up just in case. Something along the lines of wanting my son to grow up understanding that women are not there to simply hang around and meet his every need. Ahem. But that's firepower only to be used in extreme circumstances. ;-)


I honestly feel that working moms are perhaps too tough on themselves, setting these impossible standards. As a SAHM with a child that just finished kindergarten, I have not been able to tell who was working and who worked. Actually, the best cupcakes were brought in by a working mom who stayed up until 3:00AM decorating the most INCREDIBLE cupcakes the night before she had an important presentation to make.
After hearing her story, appreciating how hard she had worked, I asked myself WHY? Why is she killing herself? Is it really for the child? Or, is she trying to prove to everyone else that she can do it all and do it exceeding it well. I know that this friend of mine can do everything she sets her mind to very well. But, at what cost?
When bring up a child, what really matters? The question is, what are the critical things that really make a difference?
As a grown child of a working mom, I think a loving, caring, and nurturing environment are the key. And, this can be provided regardless of working status. Growing up, I was happiest when my mom was working because she was happier working!


As usual, you have expressed my thoughts and concerns as my son's first day of kindergarten approaches next week and tomorrow night is parent orientation...will be interesting to see if our shared concerns are reality-based or self-created.


I have felt the tension with my son's age 2-3 preschool. Most of the moms of the kids are stay at home or have seriously part-time schedules, except for the one kid whose nanny dropped him off every day. And I went to work late and left early to go to preschool functions so I would be a part of this school experience. I know the only reason I was able to do that was because I have my own firm and my work load was not insane. At the same time, we have an unconventional structure in that my spouse (another woman) is that working-part-time/stay-at-home mom. That, however, did not alleviate all my guilt or anxiety when I could do all of the things the other moms did, although it helped. Where does this guilt come from? I think it's that love for our children that makes us want to be there for them even when they're perfectly fine without us. I am coming to believe that you can't be a perfect mom and work-insane-hours professional, and that attempting to do either is insane and both is impossible.


Funny, my daughter is entering first grade this school year and remembering what I felt like last year at this time is a vague memory. I'm sure I felt some emotional anxiety as my youngest entered public school but I think the joy of not having to pay for pre-school balanced out my emotional state. She did fine. Better than fine. She did great and SO will you!


A bit off topic, but I have to add a cupcake baking story. My son asked for homemade cupcakes for his birthday party this year. I'm a SAHM, but still didn't bake. I agreed to do so this year, and to even make tons of crazy colored icing so the kids could decorate the cupcakes themselves. I made 60 cupcakes the day before the party. The day of the party, I woke up with a horrible stomach bug, and threw every one of those cupcakes away, thinking that I might pass on my bug to the kids. So much for baking at home!

The comments to this entry are closed.