Dear Work-Outside-the-Home Mamas,
We Mamas Who Stay Home have some choice words for you, so grab a cup of something yummy and have a seat, OK? We might be here a little while.
Here’s the main problem we need to address: the internets can sometimes suck. Right? I mean, the internets can sometimes suck hard with all the judgments and the ill-considered words. With the flippant comments and targeted asides. With the snarky observations and pointed remarks about WHAT you should be doing, Mama, and HOW you should live your life.
Here’s the other problem we’ve noticed: we don’t always let you know, clearly, what we really think of you. The internets are LOUD, the vocal minority or vocal majority, depending on the topic, but it’s hard to hear the other voices sometimes — the kind voices — over the din and whirring and clanking of the electronic webs.
That’s why we decided to write you this letter. To tell you what we think about you, your job outside the home and your work in it. We want to tell you what we know. What we honestly believe is the true truth about you and all you do.
We’ll start with this:
You ROCK, mama friend. You rock and…
We know you’re amazing because you go out into the world day after day — after day after day — to do your job, and then you come home ( you keep coming home instead of running away to Mexico! ), and you do that work, too. AMAZING, we tell you; that’s what you are.
You work hard. And you work long. Your task list is infinite, and there often aren’t breaks for mamas of any kind so we suspect you’re tired sometimes and maybe feel like your full-out sprint isn’t fast enough, like there’s never enough time, really, for anyone; least of all you, Mama. So we want to be the ones to whisper this into your ear, “You’re doing great. You’re doing more than you can stop to acknowledge right now. You ARE great. Greater and stronger than you probably know.”
YOU ARE AWESOME.
YOU ARE WONDERFUL.
YOU ARE GREAT MOMS,
as fabulous and fallible as all of us.
You wake with the sun, get kids ready while magically making yourself look like you’ve had some sleep, rush everyone around, try to stay in good standing at work so no one gets pissy when the kids inevitably get sick and you have to call in; you manage the household, pay the bills, shop for food, plan the meals, kiss the hurts, attend teacher conferences, and squeeze in school emails, not to mention being a good wife/friend/daughter/sister/aunt. It just never ever ever stops, and yet you get up every morning and usher in the day for those babies, and YOU, Working Mama, are their sunshine and their soldier, their healer and their living example of meaningful work, the rock of their world. You are one hell of an awesome mother. Don’t you EVER forget it.
WE SEE YOU.
We SEE you, Mama. We see you, loving your family and sad to leave your littles… or loving your family and thrilled for the break from them.
If you choose to go to work because you love it, thank you. Thank you for showing our kids it’s okay for women to pursue dreams outside the family and it’s important to nurture yourself. None of us can be whole mamas without these things.
If you go to work because you have to and it rips your heart out, we are cheering you on. It’s hard to walk away from your heart every day.
YOU ARE STRONG,
AND YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE and SUPPORT, Mama.
If you go to work for more than one reason — all intertwined and mixed up and full of certainty and uncertainty — we’re there for you in that place, too, because we know life is more than one thing, this grief and guilt and gladness at the gory, gorgeous mess of it all. We know it’s more than one thing and all mixed up together, and we SEE you. We see you, momrades, and our hearts beat in time with yours. We see you and we grieve with you. We SEE you and we rejoice with you. All together. All at once.
Finally, we want to say…
Thank you for being examples to our little girls that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up.
Thank you for showing our daughters that there are women who do web design, who do math and science, who are artists and poets, who run companies, who run machines, who run the world.
Thank you for braving a world that is not always complimentary to you for the choice you have made. Thank you for being the women who will make enormous gains for our children and our future.
Thank you for going out there, kicking ass and taking names and still coming home to do the mommy stuff. Thank you for all you do, for those days when you just keep going, and even for the days you just can’t go on and crash onto the couch or into bed because you’re human. Human is beautiful, too.
Thank you for making sure nobody forgets we women are a force to be reckoned with.
So… to the moms who worked outside the home today, who wore actual pants, who dealt with coworkers, traffic and deadlines, and then went home to work your other job caring for your family, that was a long ass day. Sit down and have some wine and cookies with us. You deserve it.
Your Momrades Who Stay Home
This letter was inspired by (and many phrases stolen from) your deeply moving comments to each other on the 5 Kids Blog Facebook page. I cannot adequately express my love and admiration for the unreasonably generous ways you encourage each other. You people seriously put the RAD in Momrade. If you want to see more encouraging comments from Stephanie, Stacy, Mary, Whitney, Rebecca, Nicole, Carmen, Marilyn, April, Georgi, Robin, Julie, Jessica, Linda, Sara, Ashley and more, click on over to the original post. Get tissues first to wipe your eyes; you’re going to need them.
And stay tuned for another letter from Moms Who Work Outside the Home to the Moms Who Work Inside It (’cause we all work our butts off.) It’s coming soon.
x’s and o’s, friends,
32 responses to “An Open Letter to Moms Who Work Outside the Home (From Your Momrades Who Stay Home)”
[…] nothing you can do about it, nor should you beat yourself up. I love this article “An openface letter to Mom’s Who Work Outside the Home (From Your Momrades Who Stay Home)” It shows that neither side is wrong. But if you’d like to get out of that situation, […]
I just came across this post today online. Having been on both sides of the fence, at work and at home, I can totally appreciate what you’ve written here, and it’s so true. I hope all of the working mamas have their heart warmed from your message. <3 A woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do, and we are all superwomen =)