My cousins are working mommies. I am a stay-at-home mommy. We all love our jobs. We all probably envy the other.

Now, the question I’ve seen posted out and about is, Are “Mommy and Me” type-groups exclusive of working parents? Of course they are “exclusive”. Not in a “we aren’t working and you are, so you can’t come” kind of way. They are exclusive mainly because a lot of the moms that lead “Mommy and Me” or “Le Leche League” etc happen to be stay-at-home moms. As a stay-at-home mom it usually falls on us to pick our older kids up from school/bus stop, make dinner, keep up with the house etc. By having the meetings in the late morning/early afternoon, it affords us the time we need to complete our other duties. It also allows us to meet without having to find a sitter for our older children because they are probably already at school. Also way back when I was going to college full-time and working part-time, the *last* thing I wanted to do when I got home was pack Gavin up and go somewhere else to spend time with him. The last thing I wanted to do was go ANYWHERE, fun or not. So I’m sure there’s also some thinking along those lines going on.

I hate that so many magazines etc seem to focus at least once a year on this very debate. I don’t see why it has to be “us v them”. Stay-at-home parents aren’t any better than working parents and vice verse. Each parent has to do what is right for them. What keeps them happiest and sane. If that’s working, more power to you. If that’s staying at home, good for you there too. Either way I don’t see what it matters, so long as the children are getting the love and care that they deserve. For me, when I quit my last job it became apparent that I would be working full-time at a minimum-wage job only to earn exactly what I needed to pay for daycare for Gavin. There was no point in that. Likewise I don’t see why we feel that in order to bond properly with our children we must attend “Mommy and Me”.

When did it become a requirement for us as parents to hull our children hither and yon to bond and make them happy and well-rounded individuals? What is the appeal of a class where a stranger reads aloud to you and your infant? Wouldn’t it be better for both parent and child if the parent read the book to the child? Or if it’s the fact that someone else is doing the reading, couldn’t one parent read aloud while the other parent snuggles the infant? Why must we drive to another location, filled with strangers to have our child read to?

Obviously both sides have positives and negatives. As silly as this sounds, working parents have occupations to put on forms. I’m so tired of being asked my occupation and when I say “stay-at-home mom/homemaker” they put “unemployed” but say “Oh yeah, that counts too, I guess.” DAMN RIGHT IT COUNTS! It’s been found that stay-at-home parents work the equivalent of TWO FULL-TIME JOBS! So yes, in my book that flippin’ counts. Just because I don’t get a pay check every two weeks doesn’t mean my work doesn’t count. Likewise working parents probably envy my job. And I admit, nap time is nice. Not having to rush here and there and still do the housework is also nice. And I honestly can’t imagine not being there for every smile, giggle and new word.

This is precisely why I don’t see why it has to be “us v them”. Why can’t we all just support one another as parents and leave it at that? No one is scheduling things to purposefully exclude this group or that group. It’s just a matter of what works best for the leader of the group. And let’s face it, it’s impossible to please everyone. I’m sorry but it’s the truth. This time it’s the working parents whose feeling are hurt. Next time it will be the stay-at-home parents. It all evens out in the end.

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