(disclaimer: I certainly do not claim in this post, or any other posts, that I can speak for all mamas. I am choosing to examine my own experiences in contrast and collectiveness with others who share with me)
I feel uncommon among mamas often, even though I know I’m not the only one who has experienced both sides. I waffle back and forth between feeling privileged and resentful and from my position, neither feeling is satisfying. Being both a working mom and a stay at home mom is tough, and heartbreaking. The only thing more pitiful is the war that has resulted between the two camps. The divisiveness I have witnessed, both overt and covert, are heavy and stifling. If we could only begin to share our failures and what hurts, only then can we understand that to be a mama is to have pain – it is a collective experience we all have and instead can support each other regardless of our individual situations.
I truly love having experienced both sides if only to aid in my compassion and relatability to most other mamas. Of the two choices, at this point in my life and daughter’s age (she will be 3 at the end of May), I would 100% rather be at home full time. But this doesn’t come without it’s own sacrifices; I more often than not do not get a shower in for 3 or more days at a time. I tangibly sense my limits pushing their edges out when I haven’t had a break in a couple days from the constant 24 hour job of always being “on” as a parent with no time to take care of myself. I feel this compromise more strongly after I’ve been a working mama with so much space in the day. Now that I am staying home with my little one again for the time being, I often struggle to break the habits created when I was working just to get a little me time; a way to manufacture a non-existent window of transition time of leaving my paid job to come home to my unpaid job of being a mom.
Today I share a mama truth that so closely matches my own experience. My friend @mountaingrl77 details her deconstructed mama truth here and I couldn’t have expressed this feeling any better:
Mama, I hope you know you’re not alone in feeling this way, and that was always what soothed me the most. Be gentle with yourself first. Be present with yourself first. Pay attention to your pain and let it guide you to keeping an open mind that this way is not the only way. Dear friend, thanks for being brave today and sharing your pain.