Today I read A Letter of Gratitude to Stay-at-Home Moms. I felt compelled to write a response expressing how I have often felt, but not sure I have adequately shared with the working moms in our lives.
Dear Working Moms,
I want to start off by saying thank you. Thank you for showing my daughter and my sons that there is more than one way to structure a family. Thank you for showing them that yes, you can be a lawyer, a doctor, an editor, an entrepreneur AND have a family. Thank you for always being supportive of my choice to stay at home with my kids and for never making me feel like less of a person for doing so. Thank you for treating me like an equal and valuing my contributions.
While you may feel like you struggle with balance and not being able to be all things to all people. As a stay-at-home mom, I AM all things to my kids and I’m not sure I do it well. When being a mom is your only job, the days (and there are many) when everything is falling apart at the seams can make me feel like more than just a failure. But this is motherhood, we are all hard on ourselves.
I know sometimes you would like to quit your job and stay home with your kids. I hear the strain in your voice when they want you to stay and you know that you can’t. My heart breaks for you because I see how hard it is for you to go to work on those days. Those are the days when my admiration for you is leaping out of my chest and I want to run over and hug you and tell you you are doing a great job. I know you are, because you are raising phenomenal kids.
On most days, you work harder than I do. You are task-oriented, committed, caring, fearless, and you certainly hold it together (on many fronts) better than I do.
I used to be jealous of you and maybe a bit angry, because your actions reminded me of my insecurities. You are always showered and nicely dressed. You walk taller than I do and seem to have a confidence that some days I just cannot seem to find. That coffee you just bought was using money from your own paycheck that you earned. You make sure that the limited time you have with your kids is spent doing something 100% worthwhile.
Then I stopped.
I realized how fortunate we are, that we are in this together. You are my friend, my sister, my sister-in-law, my neighbor. I see all that you do to make everything work for your family and I admire you more than I have ever expressed to you in person.
So thank you for always supporting me and know that I will always have your back too.