By Samantha Lande, BCB Editorial Director
I was hanging out with my little one in a drop-in music class today when the very sweet woman next to me asked me a question, “Are you a full-time mom?”
Knowing what she meant (do I work or not), I answered that I work part-time, but the wording of her question stayed in my head for hours after the class. I felt guilty for my answer because, of course I am a full-time mom. Even when I worked full-time or take on projects where I add more childcare than my typical week, I am still a full-time mom and no job should change that. But I still felt judged – in this case by myself – because, well, judgement seems to be part of this motherhood gig, unfortunately.
We are living in a world where we put too much weight into working mom vs. SAHM, not doing enough for ourselves vs. doing too much for ourselves, what our kids eat, how they sleep… the list could go on.
Motherhood has given me a sense of pride and accomplishment, but I also have the feeling that someone is judging me at all times, awfully reminiscent of high school (and sorry to this lovely woman, who again didn’t mean any judgement, nor think this would lead to a blog post). I have been fortunate enough to make some real and amazing mom friends who I know will not judge me if I send them a text that I have throw-up in my hair but can’t shower and have decided to give up on all of the toys scattered around my living room so I can eat peanut butter off a spoon because there are no groceries in my house. (hypothetically, of course…) But I am certain I also cross paths with people -in real life and on social media – who would freak out if anyone thought they were having days like this because that would ruin the persona people have come to expect from them, whatever they have decided that to be.
So here it is ladies. Judge me if you wish. I am a full-time mom but I also like to work. Writing keeps me sane and my kids can make me insane (and vice versa). I love being able to do stuff with my boys and also have time to myself even if that means that I sometimes forget to do something for my kids (hello 100th day of school project), get anxious when I have deadlines, and have to choose between a messy house or messy hair…or accept both.
And that’s what works for me, but it may not work for the full-time working mom who knows she can’t handle too many hours schlepping her kids to classes or she’ll freak out or the SAHM who knows that a clean house is what keeps her sane. And all of it is OK. You have to do what is best for you.
So next time you are quick to comment of a Facebook post or judge another mom in your preschool class just keep in mind we all have the same goal, being the best we can for our family no matter how that looks or feels. Ignore the nay-sayers, we are all amazing, FULL-TIME moms.
SAMANTHA LANDE is freelance writer and editor—and is BCB’s Editorial Content Director. Her work has appeared in Food Network online, Michigan Avenue Magazine, Time Out Chicago and dozens of other local and national publications. She is also a full-time mom to two sons (3 1/2 and 1), and enjoys checking out new restaurants and reading a good book (which doesn’t happen very often these days).