To recap. Until recently I worked, full time, monday-friday. As a result my kids started in at daycare when they were each 4.5 months old. There was no other option, I wanted to work. Okay, so maybe the youngest started in a tad later but not by much.
Working, for me, provided freedom, independence, money, stability, piece of mind, sanity and so much more. I enjoy working. Getting out of the house. It was a no brainer: have baby, take my 5 month leave, go back to work. Easy. Of course there was one big sacrifice that I made: My baby had to go to daycare.
This was my and my husbands decision.
As my kids got older (im talking about the 2 boys) and were at ages where we could really do the fun stuff, I started noticing things. Outside of museums or theme parks, places like indoor playgrounds were never open on weekends. They were available M-F but we weren't. Many of these places closed on weekends for birthday parties. So unless my kids were invited to a party being hosted at one of these places they never got to go. Living in socal we had many a scorching day that being inside to play (that wasn't your house) was a hot commodity ( no pun intended). This pissed me off. So unless I took the day off of work I couldn't take my kids to these places. This is just one example.
I didn't know many other parents. Many of my friends from work either didn't have kids or their kids were several years older than mine and playdates were not an option because of it. It wasn't until my youngest boy was nearly 2 that my husband introduced me to his friends wife. Immediately we became bfs! M is awesome. she was my kind of people. the only difference she was a SAHM. She came from a full time career, in her very recent past, and totally understood the reasoning for working. The SAHM thing was new for her, and admitted the freedom working afforded. Im not talking financially, im talking sanity. She never judge me for working full time. Never. Many of her friends were SAHM's as well, many of whom had previous full time career's as well.
Based on what M would tell me it seems like many, fun kid stuffs (excluding museums), go on during the week. things my kids will never get to participate in. It upset and confused me because it wasn't offered on the weekends but being in SoCal there is a zillion things that you can do with kids on weekends so not to much of a sore spot. I was mostly over it.
Then we moved to Portland. My kids are now 4.5 and 3 and i'm a few months pregnant.
We moved in the summer so no big deal. I have a friend who's a SAHM that lives in PDX, most of her friends are SAHM's as well. These SAHM's are NOT like the SAHM's I knew in CA, these are the type that you read about on blogs, quasi-militant about choosing to stay home with their kids. They type that put down working moms for putting their careers first and giving their child to a stranger to raise. There is no gray with these women just black and white! Ugh.
I kept hearing "portland is so family friendly." Yes, it is. You can take your kids most anywhere and they are welcomed. You don't get funny looks by people when you take them into certain kinds of restaurants, and believe me this did happen in LA. There are abundance of play places open to the public on the weekends - not just reserved for parties only. It's awesome. Seems idyllic right?
But what I have noticed, many women are SAHM's and they aren't the fun type. Life seems to be dictated by a series of schedules....for everything. Things revolve around them; there is a linger odor of entitlement. I've witnessed first hand on playgrounds, viewing a museum, scheduling a play date. Lame. When I see this behavior on a playground, I pity their child. The coddling, the passed down entitlement. The reprimanding of bad behavior with, "bobby, No! Thank you!" What. The. Fuck. Okay, im biased to that expression. I fucking hate it. when I hear a mom scolding her child publicly and loudly with that phrase I wanna run up to hear and punch her in the throat! These SAHM's don't say a bad thing or mildly sarcastic about their child when speaking to other moms. Bad things are described more as a positive affirmation on a behavior that's being worked on and molded into the mothers ideal. Lame. I have a SAHM mom friend in TX that has a sense of humor with her kids and like M in CA or me for that matter there is no issue saying stuff about your child that may not be 100% kosher. Its not like you're saying it to your kids face, you're saying it to another mom, you're venting that's all.
I was on a tour the other day and there were some stairs. A group of 2 SAHM's with a handful of toddlers you could count on one hand, were a little bit ahead of us. The fact that they dragged these kids on this particular tour with a zillion steep stairs already gave me nightmares. Anyway, there was a little platform with maybe 2 or 3 stairs. when my tour group reached the spot these moms were up their with their kids. There were older kids their, by older I mean 5 years old versus 3 years old. My kid wanted up on that platform as well as another kids. My husband told our kid to wait and let the little ones down first. The other kid's father pretended he didn't know him and let him act like a little beast and shove his way up. So this mom was allowing her toddler to climb down the stairs, two of them then her behind. I get it, independence blah, blah, blah. But there's a line forming to get up there and this is getting fucking ridiculous. minutes, upon minutes go by, and remember there are only 2 low, short steps. The other kid loses patience and tries climbing up the stairs. There's a teensy bit of room but the mom is quickly closing in on all open space to shield her kids. Ugh. She tells the boy, "CAN YOU PLEASE WAIT AND LET THE LITTLE ONES DOWN." (in caps because it was said loudly and stearnly) The kid doesn't wait, barely bats an eyelash to her. I get it, give the kids a chance. The kid tries again. "I SAID GET DOWN UNTIL THE LITTLE ONES GET DOWN." no response. A couple more minutes pass. The kid gives it another try. "GET DOWN! I SAID DOWN. MY KIDS ARE CLIMBING OFF. I SAID GET DOWN." Nothing. The kids father just stood back and did nothing. T finally jumped in and got in the kids face and said, "she's telling you to get off and wait." The kid got off. So there are two things here. 1)I get the mom's point of view, but really did she have to talk like such an asshole and so forcefully to this meat headed kid? No, she could have said it a bit nicer the first time and maybe he would have responded. And she also should have identified the father to help. and 2)What the fuck were taking your two kids so fucking long to get down two stairs. Honestly, if you see a like forming, and its because your kids are taking so fucking long, scoop them up in your arms and hustle down those 2 measly little steps. there is no reason for the line. I get the kid ignoring her, it was taking fucking forever! My kid waited, like we asked. He may have been annoyed with it, but hey, he didn't have to like it. He got his turn what felt like forever after asking him to wait, so we gave him extra time on the flipside. But god damn that lady was annoying. Entitlement.
I've gotten the vibe that there is SAHM vs WM competition here. It sucks. Many playdates last summer were scheduled in the middle of the day during the week. After the dates were published I nearly lost it. I wrote a nasty little email to the organizer saying how dare she assume we're all at home, everyday, during the week and can make an 1130am, on a Tuesday playdate. I explained that this was unfair to all working parents and unfair to their children. The bitch replied if you don't like it than you can schedule them. You know what, I did. And so many people were grateful. So many working parent's were grateful and relieved their kids could join in on the action. The just didn't speak up. I spoke up because I was fed up.
I'm not saying Im anti-SAHM, cause im not. I'm anti-entitled-overbearing-over righteous-holier than thou-mom. They are different. I have many friends now that are SAHM's. Many are fun and not crazy. There's just a type that drive me nuts. I think they just need some time away from their kids, during any given day and a stiff drink.
Me, I'm no longer the full time career mom. I'm home. I've been home since January. My kids are at school (kinder, preschool, daycare) so not a SAHM. My boys will be home for summer before the elementary school starts up again (where they will both be attending). I'm looking forward to it. I've spent the last month planning half day camps, activities we can do together and for me to enjoy their company and spend the time hanging out with them, the time I didn't get to spend with them when they were babies. I'm taking back that time and i'm so looking forward to it. The baby will have her time when the boys are back in school. No, she's not coming out of daycare, she will continue with her PT schedule. its good for her and good for me. she gets the socialization and stimulation I cannot provide and I get to hold on to me, my sanity, my freedom. We will have days together, it just not all day everyday. It's the CHOICE i've made and nobody can tell me its right or wrong.