Too many women are spending valuable nap time debating “Stay-at-Home Mom versus the working mom”.  Either way, we’re overworked, underpaid and expected to do way more than any human being is capable of in a 24-hour day.  And while we argue, our men sit on the couch and watch football, if yours isn’t, I know mine is!
As a SAHM I know the realities of both the working world and the insanity of being home all day with my children.  I worked full-time while my daughter went to daycare and later became an at-home mom who plopped her child down in front of Dora the Explorer when I needed a breather.  Both sides of the fence have green patches of grass and both sides have weeds climbing under said fence and along the patio.  So remind me, what are we arguing about?
When I worked I felt the only time I had with my daughter was spent hurrying her through her morning routine just to get her to daycare with too little time to get to my office without being late.  Once I recovered from the mad-dash that morning, I hurried through traffic hoping to beat the evening rush so we could get back home, have dinner and spend some time together.  It never worked out that way because I was usually too tired to do much besides feed and bathe her.  Weekends came and went so quickly that I never felt like I was spending enough time with her or her father and least of all myself.
In February 2004, I was able to stay home with Jayla.  Within that same month I was pregnant with the little boy we now know as Nasir.  New house, new job, new baby.  The first week or so was bliss.  I played with Jayla most of the day, cleaned the house before my husband, Jamel, came home and we ate by 5:00.  The next week, not so much.  I found myself bored to death of playing Barbies and she refused to nap.  The work of any mother is endless and a SAHM deems herself housekeeping martyr, at least I did.
During all the cleaning, I missed adult interaction and quickly became bored with the demands of being home.  It seemed I had too much time.  I was so bored I started doing things that kept me in the company of other moms.
As a SAHM I am addicted to email.  I get anxious as I type in my username and password wondering who might have left me a nice, long email to respond to.  I am addicted to coffee shops.  There’s nothing special about them other than the barista behind the counter is an adult and will likely talk to me for at least a few minutes! I take my coffee decaf so there’s not even a buzz involved!
I think most SAHMs are the same.  Case in point, I’m a room parent in my daughter’s first grade class and the other moms and I take our “job” very seriously.  Planning each event requires catered lunch (Starbucks at least), two hours and crayons and coloring books to keep our youngest charges quiet.  I knew we’d gone too far when we had to have a teleconference about an upcoming school event.  This room parent gig is serious business to a SAHM.
If nothing else an at-home mom has more time with her kids, but how much of that time is quality time? Not that I don’t do things with my kids, but how much time do we really need to spend together?
I’m not sure what all the debating is about, we all want the same things for our kids we just have different ways of adding the equation to get the same result.  A mom is a mom is a mom.  Instead of arguing who has it harder or whose kids are better off, why don’t we all take the time to help a single mom.  If you ask me single mom trumps SAHM and working mom every time.