“Yes I work – I’m a full time mom!”
There was laughter in the room and everyone thought I was funny. But I missed the humour in what I had just said, I was dead serious.
Someone asked me in a crowded party… “So, do you work?”
Without batting an eyelid I said, “Yes,as a matter of fact I do…I am a full time mom!”.
There was laughter in the room and everyone thought I was funny. But I missed the humour in what I had just said, I was dead serious. Obviously, I joined the others and laughed and noticed my husband was unsure if he should smile and face my wrath back home or just sit there with a straight face while the others thought I’d said something funny.
That night, while the kids were trying to sleep and I was sitting next to them (part of our daily ritual) for an hour in the dark room, I thought about what I had said…it was meant to be a strong statement…at least I meant it to be. What was it that triggered all the nervous giggles from the other ladies aka ‘working moms’ and I was even more curious to find out why the men thought I was being funny?
Well it was time to find out…I used this more often and it was always the same reaction from my peers. The only ones who looked impressed were the moms who were now grandmoms but still playing mom to their grandkids…wow, these women are true achievers…raising your own kids is hard enough while you are young and strong…imagine raising them all over again when your bones are creaking and you had assumed you were free of all responsibilities.
What I do is not something that has never been done before. But in today’s world it might be unique. I have to admit, it’s not like I gave up a great career to be with my kids.
Maybe if I had a high-flying career l too would rather be out there in the real world than in this little world created by my kids and me….maybe. But I know one thing for sure; I would never assume that all women who were home raising kids are doing it because they aren’t smart enough or because they have no choice. Of course they have a choice, life gives us plenty of choices but if we decide to hold on to something and not make that choice it’s because of faith in what we do and maybe simply because we are good at what we do.
Yes, I’ve been jealous, watching other women making a mark for themselves, being recognized, being independent and more than anything else knowing they are important. It’s hard to not be envious; it’s even harder to admit it. But every time any such thought crosses my mind, I try to picture myself doing what they do and I realize, I would never be happy. For me my happiness lies elsewhere, knowing that I’m always around for my boys, knowing that I give my family all my time, not because they want me to but only because I want to! I’m at my best here…this is what I love and this is what makes me happy.
I am incapable of outsourcing my kids to nannies and daycare. I can’t be working deadlines knowing my baby is sick at home and needs me more than he needs medication. I can’t miss his smile when he comes home with an A in his math test. I can’t accept that he has been well fed and is taking his nap without missing mommy.
It’s hard for me to do those things that working moms do….they have learned to let-go and are doing their best to keep their own identity and to be good moms. Me, I have let go of my identity….my struggle is different….I am a full time mom!! While I sometimes envy, sometimes condemn and at other times wonder how these moms do it…. I wish folks out there would also envy or wonder how I do it!
One smart-ass ‘working mom’ said….”I can’t be a full time mom watching tv all day”! Well, guess what I can’t pretend to be a working mom pretending to be at work all the time but taking convenient coffee breaks, hanging out with friends, doing office lunches, going on so-called official tours in which the official bit lasts for a couple of hours and you have the rest of the 6 hours to entertain yourself.’
In reality, I do not get to watch TV…the only TV I watch is animation! I do not get coffee breaks….when I sit to drink my coffee, is when I have to go clean poop or even worse make a tower out of building blocks…big deal, I let my coffee turn into cold coffee! My only adult conversations are with my mom and with the hubby if he isn’t tired after ‘working’ all day!
But then we all have our roles to play and this is mine…I am a full time mom and yes I ‘work’…work very hard. I might not be raking in the moolah, or getting pats on my back for all that I do but then I know what I do is not something everybody can do even though everybody thinks it’s simple.
Maybe, my kids might not turn out as well as the kids with moms who go to work but at least I know I tried and I did what made me and my family happy. I know that’s exactly what others are in pursuit off too…their happiness and I respect that. All I ask for is the same respect, respect me for doing what makes me happy, respect me for doing wonderful things with my kids which goes unnoticed to the outside world, respect me for not trying to find my identity in the outside world but for finding it within the four walls of my home. Respect me for letting my family know they are my priority.
I am blessed to have witnessed every first movement, smile and actions of my children….I haven’t had to hear it on the phone….those moments are mine to treasure. Sure most people get the re-runs when they get back home, but nothing beats the live version…the first!
So next time be kind to me, try and respect me and do not giggle when I tell you … “I work – I’m a full time mom!”
This post was submitted by Sharanya Govind.