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Starting a campaign to remove a term from parenting nomenclature

(warning, photo ahead that includes some new baby goo)

There is a term that makes me cringe whenever I see or hear it.

“Fulltime Mommy”

:shudders:

I see and hear it often, and while I don’t fault people for saying it, because I don’t think they say it with malice, I don’t believe it adequately defines what they mean.  I think the term they’re looking for is “stay at home mom”.  Because let’s get one thing straight, in no way does working outside of the home downgrade me to “part-time mommy” status.

This post is not a working mom vs. stay at home mom post.  Society has created enough of their own biases and pressures on motherhood.  We don’t need to add flame to that fire.  If you work or stay at home, you do so because that is what you and your family needs; any other reason isn’t anyone’s damn business.

Many moms work because they want to.  They love their jobs.  They love the people they work with and what their work means to them, etc.  Some moms work because they have to.  Some moms work for a combination of the two (like me).  Regardless of what camp a working mom falls in, the term “fulltime mommy” can be like a slap in the face.

Me?  I work because I provide 75% of our family’s income and 100% of our health insurance.  No amount of side jobs and babysitting can replace comprehensive health coverage.  Am I currently in my dream job?  Nope.  Do I complain about it?  Often There is no point.  As of now, where we are in our lives, it is what it is.  I’ve always enjoyed working throughout my life, and I’m not certain that I’m cut out to be a stay at home mom.  But right now, I don’t have the option to find that out.  Maybe some day.

You can read about my average day as a mom working outside of the house here.  (go on.  I’ll wait).  With all the things I have going on, I still love, teach, and nurture my child each and every day.  Being away from the home during business hours, does not a bad mom make.

Is my child perfect?  Pardon me while I snort.  Is any child perfect?

Anyone?

Bueller?

As parents, we can be around our kids 24/7, or just a few waking hours a day.  The end result is that we’re going to fuck them up regardless of what we do.   We all fail our kids on a daily basis no matter our working situation.  And that is ok.  Our job and our right as parents is to make mistakes so that our children see us as imperfect human beings.  They need to witness our trials and tribulations so that they know what life has in store.  No parent can or should present a perfect plastic lying life to their kids.  That is a huge disservice to them, and frankly an insult to their intelligence.  We owe it to our kids to show them that life is a series of journeys – some are memorable because they’re wonderful.  Some are important because they taught us a hard lesson.  Regardless, they shape who are are and shouldn’t be glossed over.

Show me a mother, and I’ll show you a working mom.  It doesn’t matter if they’re employed for money outside of the home, all moms are working.  We’re all trying to do right by our kids and our families, and hells bells we need to support each other instead of judge one another because of the choice that works for OUR families.  And I’ll be the first one to raise my hand and say I’ve been guilty of judging another parent’s choices.  I’m sorry.  I was wrong.

Let’s just love our kids and keep our opinions to ourselves (and or blogs), give each other support to make mistakes and choices, and everything else will just fall in the place.

 

 

Just because.  Because I think this photo is adorable.  That’s why!

 

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42 comments on “Starting a campaign to remove a term from parenting nomenclature”

  1. Man, in the beginning I loved that I worked outside the home. I was a single mom and just getting out of the house was nice. I love my son and he loves me but he would tell you he agrees. Staying home with mama was not the way he wanted to spend his days. Going to daycare where there were other people made him happy. Later in life I married and got to be a stay at home mom during a time when I could volunteer at his school and bake for class parties. He loved it but he would tell me it was okay for me to go back to work. I work now and his dad stays home. Our son (who’s now 15) called a family meeting a month ago to talk about the fact that daddy needed to go to work outside of the home. I think he wants the house to himself. At 15, he’s social, well adjusted. Has a kick-a$$ immune system and knows his parents love him completely. I know other kids wouldn’t have liked to have been in day care or have their parents away all day. However, I have to say that at 15 my son still snuggles with me on the couch at the end of the day because we haven’t had time together. I think it’s all been worth it.

    • Sounds like you’ve had the opportunity to see both sides from up close. Glad you were able to make the decisions that worked so well for your family!

      Please share the tip on getting your child to snuggle with you. Jack is very anti-snuggling unless super tired or sick. ;-D

  2. LOVE it! So true!
    (As a side note, I think it’s hilarious when people say that their husband is babysitting their kids. What?!?!?! No. When it’s your own children, it is not babysitting. It is parenting. Period.)

    • That irks Troy to no end. He would be a stay at home dad if it were in the cards. I always say he is a better dad than I am a mom, so being asked if he is babysitting his own kid is a point of contention with him.

  3. Great post!

  4. I’m kind of on both sides of this.

    On one hand, I hate the idea of putting a kid too young for school with a sitter or in daycare. If I worked a ‘normal’ job, I’d only see my son 2.5 hours a day with the commute and all. I couldn’t possibly parent him in that time frame. It’d be the sitter or whoever doing all the ‘mommy’ stuff while she’s with my kid the better part of 10 hours a day. I can’t handle the idea of that, especially while the kids are infants, so I stay home. Not every mother can make that choice, or wants to, and I’m glad we were able to. Part of our family-making plans were to not make babies until we could exist on one income.

    BUT…

    We’re working towards my husband being the stay at home parent at least half the time. Why? I hate being a stay at home mom all the time. I need out. I miss working. I miss interacting with adults and wearing something other than yoga pants and t shirts. Will I miss hanging out watching movies and eating cheerios when the kiddos? Absolutely. But I feel like I miss the working adult me even more right now.

    That all being said, I HATEHATEHATE cutesy phrases for shit. Full time mommy. Blech. It just sounds so.. I don’t even know.. validation seeking maybe? Like she wants recognition for being soooo selfless. We make babies, we take care of babies.

    We’re all full time mothers, father, snot wipers, bath givers, booboo fixers, dishwashers, laundry folders, etc. etc. Some of us just know how to find the right balance in our lives. You obviously have. 🙂 I have not, yet.

    • Oh! I should add: Because of child care costs in our area- me going back to work with not having completed by degree yet meant that after the cost of the one in-home provider I was considering, I’d be bringing home about $40/week.

    • Oh yeah in your situation, $160 a month would make absolutely no sense!

  5. Yes! I get so sick of the stay at home mom verse the working mom. I have done all three (work AT home running a home daycare- what I do currently, being a stay at home mom, and working full time.) One is not better or easier than the other. All have sacrifices and challenges.

  6. That blue carrying baby tote (I know, I know. It’s not the right name) is very cute. Love the ducky photo. But you are right. Society is creating a stereotype where there was no need to create one. Most mothers work 24/7 for their babies, even when they don’t stay at home. The quality of a mother is being measured by whether they can stay at home or not, and this is absolutely not the case. I know women (I can’t even call them mothers) who stay at home and hire in-house nannies and are no more caregivers to the child than the nanny. Quite saddenning. But then they get to brag about that “full-time mommy” status as if it was some sort of badge of honor.

    • I must be sleep deprived because the term “baby tote” had my snorting in my breakfast. Thank you for that laugh! ;-D

      The “tote” is a ring sling and I’m 90% certain I bought it from this seller on Etsy: . It’s at least 3 years old.

  7. Society sucks! Their views on normalcy are skewed. Their views on right from wrong are often misguided (at best). And then they preach about family values and breastfeeding *gasp* and life for mothers is never the same.

    You aren’t considered a “full time mother” unless you stay home and are with them 24/7. I’m pretty sure that she’s still my kid (and I’m still her mom) when I’m not with her. Just ask my southern hemisphere.

    By this philosophy I’m only a part time woman because I have a 28 day cycle! Ridiculous!

    If your family is happy and your kids are still happy to see you when you walk into the room (teenagers excluded), you’re doing alright in my book. But then again, what the hell do I know? 🙂

    • Sounds like you “know” a whole lot!

      If we just keep our nose out of each other’s business, and support the decisions we choose to make, I think this would be a much more supportive culture.

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been a working mom since my son (now 12) was 6 months old). I wanted to stay home but finances did not allow. I provided 100% of the health care coverage and in many cases the bulk of our income over the years. My son knows I love him, is a well adjusted straght A student with a great personality and dreams to attend Harvard (snort is right!). All you working moms keep doing what you are doing because it’s what we have to do. I give kuddos to those who stay home or work from home because your job is tough, as is mine, but I have always refused to feel like an inferior parent because I work outside of the home.

  9. I agree totally with your assessment. I am a stay-at-home dad and my wife works full time outside the home. She is no less a full time mom because she is employed outside the home than I am a full time dad because I am not. I work, I just work from home and it allows me to stay with my girls (18, with special needs, and 7). I also homeschool both of my girls which makes us extra special weirdos.

    Your post reminds me of statements that I make after I am confronted because I am who I am. We live in the south which makes it extra weird since we don’t follow the “biblical” model of a family. So, that is a double whammy where we are.

    Parents are parents and I think the only thing we really want to do is to not screw our kids up more than our parents screwed us up.

    Daniel
    Nashville, TN

    • If taking care and loving your child isn’t biblical, I do believe those people are reading the wrong bible.

      Rock on with your bad self. You’re an amazing inspiration!

  10. AMEN!!! And thank you. I also provide the bulk of our income and all of our health insurance so not working is NOT an option for us as a family and while some days I think I would like to stay at home, truthfully I am not sure it is for me. I have worked since I was in high school.