Let’s Trash the “Working Mom”, Please!

I am a mom, and I have a job-one that does not involve being a mom.

I hate the term working mom, because we don’t call them working dads, do we? Yes. I understand the etymology of the term ‘working mom'; I am aware that once upon a time it was unusual for women to have full-time jobs.

“‘Working mom’ are two words that are becoming a little less dirty these days, since more women are choosing to work outside the home.”

That sentence just made me a little nauseous. And I see that sentence EVERYWHERE. Every article I read on being a working mom has that sentence, or a derivative of it, somewhere in its text. It makes me a little nauseous for two reasons: one, it assumes we all have made a “choice” to leave our children with someone else for more hours than they are with us in a day, and two, it makes me feel like it’s weird for a woman to leave her house to work.

We are a humankind (too) slowly warming to the idea that men and women are equal. My husband and I share the child-rearing responsibilities, and the housework, as equally as we can (he knows to stay the hell away from the female laundry though-neither my daughter or I would appreciate grey-blue undies that used to be white. That’s not a gender stereotype-he is the first to admit he sucks at laundry), and cover for each other when either of us has to work late. That’s called being a family….not some ridiculous, guilt-making term like ‘working mom’.

Would I love to work at home? DUH! Hello, yoga pants to a high-level meeting! “More time with your baby if you work from home!” No. If I am working, does the location really matter? If I am working at my office, my daughter is in daycare. If I was working at home, my daughter would still be in daycare. Work is work, regardless of where I do it, and deadlines are still deadlines.  Granted, she would be dropped off at 9 am and picked up by 4:30, instead of the current 7 am drop-off and 5:30 pm pick-up.

I am all for women who want to stay home and raise their children, and all for dads who want to do it too. If you can afford it, all the power to you!!! I may even harbor a little jealousy. I don’t feel guilty for having a job-my family lives in the house we do because we work. We can go on modest vacations because we work. Our daughter lacks for nothing because we work; I don’t see how one of us staying home with her and giving up an income is giving her a better life.

I know all to well the value of time; if you read my blog you know that. We try to make the moments we do have with her that much more fun, for all of us (it also makes it a lot easier to forget the little annoyances of parenting!)

In my ideal world, we would drop the term ‘working mom’….we don’t call men ‘working dads’! I think giving it a label makes it different, makes it unusual, when it isn’t. Can’t we just be people who work?

What do you think? Please comment below, I would love to hear all sides!!

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Dear ScaryMommy, Marginalizing Dads is a Scary Mistake

Jennifer Pitt:

I had previously read the post on Scary Mommy. While I usually enjoy the posts there, this left a pretty bad taste in my mouth too.

Originally posted on Papa Does Preach:

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Since becoming a father, I, like many people, have spoken up about dads playing more of an involved role in the upbringing of their children, as well as how the increased involvement is not only being downplayed but even ridiculed by still so many. And being the kind of person who loves to whip out my soapbox from time to time, I never have a problem when it comes to defending fellow dads.

2014 has been unofficially deemed the year of the dad. We’ve seen some pretty big strides taken to help break down the stereotypes of the idiot dad, but it still feels like we have a long way to go. For every hip and cool commercial, like #HowtoDad from Cheerios and the call to celebrate dads with Real Dad Moments by Dove Body Care, we still encounter examples of dads being marginalized on a daily basis. Some men…

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vodka, among other things.

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