You know those ones that always do the rounds that pitch mom against mom. The Csetion vs natural birth, the Whole foods feed vs porridge driven, the school vs homeschooling debate - one can continue. But the one that by far seem to get the most attention at the moment is the SAHM vs working mom debate.
Of course for most mom that work, this is no debate at all. We have to work - its not purely by choice but mostly our of necessity. School fees, the cost of living - it is simply too high. If you then have your own business or is a partner to one you also support all those that work for you and their families. Its a no brainer debate, because the option simply does not exist. Which makes me even more angry that the debate in the media is fueled as if we all have a choice. Add to that that I mostly really enjoy my work and would be a no good housekeeper and educator and the answer is clearly that I will remain a working mom.
But the holidays this week has left me with feelings I have not really had before during a holiday. It's the first one where more kids (2) are at home and only one have a good holiday school option. We enrolled them in the programmes of the sports they love and also in art classes which they both like but I did have to plan very carefully to get the taking and fetching done. I guess having the extra demand of my mom in hospital and her needs having to be seen to adds to it. Also, she has always been a help over holidays - at the very least entertaining a kid for a day or two and a sleepover or two which made it feel like holiday and special to them.
Now and again though I find myself thinking that it would have loved to be able to be a SAHM for the school holidays. To take them to activities and actually seeing them enjoying it. To do art with them myself. To sleep in and stay in Pj's for the day and watch DVD all day. To leisurely stroll through the streets with the dogs and feed the chickens. To go to the bicycle park and ride around. To go to a morning movie and ice cream after. To just spend more time with them. I wish I had more time - well in general too, not just with the kids. But unfortunately for a lot of us time is also money. Its a sad but very true reality.
So in this debate as in many others, lets be kind to each other, lets support. Know that the working mom would have loved to be at the netball tournament and the teachers birthday. Know that the SAHM would love a few moments quiet time in front of a computer and some grown up interaction and brian stimulation. Know that we each face our own set of circumstances. And know that once in a while the other side of the fence look a whole lot greener than your side.