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Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Peace Offering to End the Parent Wars


           Stay at home moms/dads vs. working moms/dads. Who has it harder? The honest answer is that we all do. I have yet to meet a parent who would describe parenting as easy. And if that parent does exist, could you be a doll and come over to my house around 5 p.m.? I could really use an extra set of hands.

            We are all trying to do the best that we possibly can. It is as simple and as complicated as that. Whether you work outside or inside of the home, chances are that you have had to justify your decision to someone. Or at the very least, or shall I say, most, you have had to justify it to yourself. We have had to convince ourselves that whether or not we receive a paycheck, that what we are doing is the best choice for our children, our partners and our lifestyles. Shouldn’t we be the best judges of what is best for our own families without the criticism and judgment of society? Or worse, to hear that harsh discernment from our dear amazing, hard-working and rarely ever thanked fellow mothers? If that is the case, then momma really does not know best.

            I have had the joy and sacrifice of staying at home over the past 8+ years with our four children. One thing that is an absolute reality- there have been days that I would have given at least three of my limbs to have been able to trade places with my husband and work his excruciatingly stressful career (in particular, after our twins were born). The other reality is that I know that there are moments that he would do the absolute same to trade places with me (in particular, the one future day that the twins will be in school).

            Both jobs are beyond challenging and the argument of who has it worse is beyond exhausting. What if instead of focusing on the grunt work of it all, that we focus more on the pure joy of it all? What if we focused our energies on supporting one another and being there to unleash to one another when we’ve had a crazy, hide in the bathroom-because-it-has-a-lock type of day? We teach our children to love and respect one another, regardless of gender, race or religion. So it is now time for us to do the same for each other, to show the respect we so deserve, regardless of job status.

            Whether running the boardroom, the bedroom or the PTA, chances are the parents in our lives are bending over backwards for someone else besides ourselves. Instead of questioning how we are or are not utilizing our degrees, maybe we should thank one another. Or at least, offer each other a glass of wine. Without doubt or question, we have both earned it.

2 comments:

  1. Katie, this is so thoughtful and well written, and your advice to "focus more on the pure joy of it all" is so true. Hopefully by doing that, more parents will have less "hide-in-the-bathroom-because-it-has-a-lock kind of days." (I loved that line!)
    The fact that you have 4 small kiddos at home, and your brain is able to work so creatively and thoughtfully, is amazing. You are amazing!

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  2. Thank you Rachel. I so appreciate your taking the time to write this. You are a gem. And thank you for your compliments of my brain especially because I really feel like most days it is not working at all!
    Cheers to your gracious self...

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