Friday, 4 April 2014

One of those big debates

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.


  1. So true! Like the saying if you think the grass is greener on the otherside, wait till you see their water bill :)

    I think the issue with people is we are quick to judge and assume someone or others have it easier. My take, until you are in someone else's shoes you can't tell how it feels (or where it pinches)

  2. Well said, and I agree (even though I steer well clear of all of this kind of debate).

  3. Honestly I think however content we are with the choices we have made, there are days we wish to be on the other side!

    Neither choice is easier than the other.

    I do think the more we talk honestly and openly about the more we will lessen these feelings.

  4. I could never ever ever ever ever be a SAHM (I don't have the personality for it) so I never envy them :)

    I do wish for more flexibility sometimes but that's about it (that's like wishing for a bit more leave)

    As for you, I'm not surprised you feel stretched with your 3 plus your mom in hospital AND a shoulder that needs attention. xxx

  5. Ahhhhhhh! Greetings from the other side of the fence (although I'm sort of standing on top of this fence). Just yesterday there was a rather snarky disagreement between the hubs and I regarding personal days. He took one, free of child and household duties and it rubbed me the wrong way. It rubbed hard and long! Still rubbing! All I could think is why on earth wouldn't you spend this carefully planned free day with your children, and perhaps give your dear wife a break from her monotony!!!

    I completely understand where you're coming from. I hope your life frees up in the next two months and things settle back into their normal paces.

  6. All those debates you mention? They piss me off NO END. They are NOT debates in my humble opinion. Here we have women who have made choices that worked for them….then try to make Their Personal Choices Law Unto Us All. Grrrrr. We all make choices. Sometimes they may not be our first choice and we have to live with them. God know life is hard enough - and when women judge each other around these very personal issues it makes me want to set my hair on fire and run screaming naked down Adderly Street. Yes. Tis true.

  7. And another thing i have learnt in my 41yrs on this planet. Never say never…..

  8. Well said!
    I would also have loved being a SAHM, but unfortunately we can't afford it!
    I don't judge. I am just envious of SAHM ;-)

    1. A yes, you may spot a bit of envy here too


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