Cats in the Cradle

August 3, 2010

This debate between working mothers and stay-at-home mother is one that I just don’t get. First of all, ALL mothers are working mothers – now the degree of work they do might be up for debate. The mother who leaves her kids with the nanny to go to breakfast, then the salon, then shopping and finally out for tea before coming home to fully prepared dinner and kids who are already in their jammies…this is not a working a mother – although she is indeed a mother.

This debate usually revolves around the mother who drops her child off at daycare – puts in a full day of work only to continue working by going home to dinner/dishes/homework/bedtime – her blessing is that she has had adult conversation in the day.

versus

The stay-at-home mother who works that same full day into the dinner/dishes/homework and bedtime hours – only it’s generally without adult conversation. She also tends to have some evening work as she is often a volunteer at the school.

Now let’s talk about MY job – I was once a stay-at-home mother (which I loved because I felt I was doing my job at 101% capacity) now I work and most definitely that 101% has changed (which, by the way I toss and turn in bed with guilt over…that is another blog). I am NOT always there for school volunteering (which I think is so very important) because I HAVE to work and there are no days o ff where I work unless I take it without pay (ouch!). Yet, I have done so from time to time – like when my child has been sick or when there has been a field trip because there is no way I am missing out on my child’s life (did I mention that this is child #3?). My job, however, is to look after other peoples’ children – as a Pre-school teacher and as a substitute teacher at Daycare. SO this is the crazy part – even though I am “working” – I am emersed in children! I happen to love my job though. I love children – mothering them, I suppose – guiding them, comforting them, helping the moms who work to give their children that care – until they are able to pick them up and continue on the job.I understand needing to work – and not just for the money – but also for one’s self. Not eveyone  feels comfortable staying at  home and that’s ok – listen – it really is NOT for eveyone. And if all moms stayed home – where would our wonderful teachers, doctors, lawyers or fabulous shop-owners be? No – it isn’t for everyone. What I do ask of moms who must work  is that no matter what your job is – take the time – take the time off occasionally and volunteer at your school/pre-school/daycare one in awhile – go on the field trip – it means so much to your child. I should know – I hear it every day at work…how much mommy is missed. I have held your child in my lap and consoled him/her. This is a precious time – they will be small for such a short time – but their memories will last forever. And when you take that time – they are thrilled…and when you never make that effort? Well, please understand when they don’t tell you anything as teens or when they don’t come to visit you once they are grown….remember Jim Croce’s song “Cats int he Cradle”? ……He wasn’t kidding…and he wasn’t wrong. Take a day – take  a morning….it’s an  investment, not only in your child but in your own future as well.

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