Momservation: Why do people never ask men how they are able to balance work and family?
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It is time once again to piss and moan about not getting the respect I deserve as WAHM (work-at-home-mom).
As a WAHM, let me give you this small sample of quandary questions that makes me feel invisible, stressed, and misunderstood:
- Before I get to work should I go work out or do I answer the emails over-flowing my inbox?
- Should I take care of the dishes in the sink left by my kids getting ready for school or start the article I didn’t get to yesterday because everyone was out of socks and underwear?
- Do I stop to eat something and read the headlines in the paper for a freelance idea or do I use those few minutes to run to the store to get something for dinner?
- Do I have time to take a shower before I get the kids from school or should I try to make that deadline because once the kids get home there’s no opportunity to work?
- I know today is Marketing Monday, or Typing Tuesday, or Editing Wednesday, or Pitching Thursday, or Finish Up Friday, but do I let another day of volunteer work for my kids’ school take precedence over a work day?
Depending on how I answer these questions I can have a productive day as a freelance writer or as a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom). But rarely is it ever both.
To the outside world I am a mother straddling working and being at home. Is she really working? Is she really taking care of the kids and home? If she’s at home, why isn’t the house spotless, cupboards stocked, meals homemade? Why isn’t she on PTA, the team mom, the soccer chauffer, or organizing fundraisers?
If she’s working why does she have time to volunteer to coach middle school track, organize fundraising drives, be in charge of school merchandising, be a driver for baseball away games, or go to the gym? What is she doing when she’s home all day? What does she have to show for it? Is she making enough to support a family?
Maria Shriver, one of my freelance clients, released The Shriver Report, A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything six years ago illuminating women’s expanding multifaceted roles altering the American landscape. So what exactly did this year-long study conclude?
Basically, what we already knew—we women get no respect.
I loved Shriver’s study because it gives validity to my rant that I am a woman stretched at all ends and that I deserve respect for my effort. I am trying to have a successful career while trying to be a good wife, mother, and community supporter.
In a moment of exhaustion, disappointment, and frustration I have landed here: just wanting respect for juggling and balancing this Herculean task of being a WAHM that I deserve.
So when they don’t understand why I say “No” again to the PTA and Booster Club Nominating Committees and my husband is frustrated that the house is a mess and there’s no dinner planned, I’m going to plunk my friend Maria’s Shriver Report in their laps and say, “Read a Woman’s Nation Changes Everything and get back to me.”