The Working Mom: Is She An Oxymoron?

September 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm , by

Ahh…back to school time! It’s that time of the year when stay-at-home moms rejoice over having a few free hours to relax. (And by relax I mean clean the house, do the grocery shopping without someone nagging you, run countless errands, volunteer and maybe even squeeze a little part-time job into the day.) But what about the working moms like me? The ones who juggle a full-time job, an hour-long commute, and two young kids in school/daycare with no nanny or family nearby. It’s not the most wonderful time of the year for us. It’s the guiltiest.

Listen, I love my job. Yes, I need to work but even if my husband made a million a year, you’d have to pull me kicking and screaming from my desk to make me quit. (Sorry to my kiddies. I love you more than anything but mommy really likes putting on her big girl shoes and going to New York City everyday and talking to grown ups. You’ll understand when you’re older.)

Since Sophia started first grade last week (yes, she absolutely loves it—thanks for asking!), there have been no less than 10 (TEN!!!) emails, fliers and invitations to sign her up for events that we will not be able to be a part of. Some are sports or cooking classes that take place in the afternoon but lots of them are school events—like the open house that was scheduled for 11 a.m. or the back to school picnic this Friday at 4:30. Where will I be this Friday at 4:30? At work. And Sophia? She’ll be at After Care at the Y.

It kinda makes you wonder if being a working mom is really possible. I mean, we know that a full time job is more than 40 hours a week and being a full time parent is 24/7 so it just doesn’t add up. Of course, the working parents with babysitters, nannies or even family nearby have it a lot easier. (Remember Amy Poehler’s great speech where she thanked her nannies for everything they do. Loved that.) But I guess for me, I’ll just have to do homework with Sophia until 9 p.m. and then maybe get a few minutes to myself before I crash for the night. (And by “minutes to myself,” I mean packing the girls’ lunches, folding some laundry and cleaning the house.)

I know it’ll get better. It’s just this time of year that is so stressful for working parents. And while we’re at it… whose brilliant idea was it to have Fashion Week the same week as back to school? Certainly not a mom.

8 Responses to “The Working Mom: Is She An Oxymoron?”

  1. Well said. Of course, working mothers do all that SAHMs do plus work 40 to 70 hours a week. We do this without complaint and the importance of this work is understood. Who are these people who schedule school activities for parents during the work day? I see this, too, and largely ignore such out-of-touch-with-reality people. Daughters should see mothers who have more going on than co-dependent relationships with men for money and shelter. Daughters need to see mothers who are fully, terminally educated develop new drugs, invent scientific techniques, treat sick patients, make car parts, run companies, merge banks, teach, and contribute to society instead of consuming from it exclusively. How can anyone argue differently? Clearly, a woman’s place is in a visible and productive role, raising children if she chooses and contributing to society with her mind and talents, not selfishly sitting at home dsperately wanting to matter to people who are really to busy to care.


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