Role Reversal Part II–How Green is it on the Other Side

This is a two-part posting to our blog, wherein Yin Mama and Yang Mommy dream about trading their Jimmy Choos—until the other shoe drops!

YANG:

Before I had my daughter, I worked about 50hrs a week in a very stressful job, but one that I enjoyed most of the time. So I know what it’s like to juggle a demanding career and a home life, but not one with a little one thrown in the mix too. So when it all gets a little too crazy for me at home, I wonder what it would be like to be working out of the home again with my daughter under the care of another…..

Days Off: Ah, being able to actually sleep in and not deal with the stress of work for an entire day. How rejuvenating! Vacation days and weekends just  don’t pack the same punch as they used to now that I’m a SAHM.

Adult Conversations: I can only answer Dora’s questions so many times convincingly. So I envision I’m talking about the latest in the news or showbiz gossip to like-minded adults while gathering around the water cooler. Scintillating!

Dressing Up: Wearing nice shoes, dresses, suits, jewelry and better still, needing to update my wardrobe every now and then for the office. Casual clothes are great, but after a while, donning a power suit makes you feel, well, powerful.

Day Care Bonus of Potty Training: Several of my friends have kids in daycare and there, the staff begins potty training. If I had to go back to work, day care or in-home care would be needed and ha–someone else can deal with the mess!

Sick Days: I could call in the office and tell them I’m sick (whether I am or not) and get the rest I’d need because again, the little one would be taken care of by someone else.

Less Interruptions: I could shut my door, put the phone on voice mail and just write, write, write without having a cute little face appear at my knees for something. Luxury!

A Paycheck! Healthcare!: Need I say more?

–“Ahh,” vs “Oh.”:  As in, “what do you do for a living.” “Ahh, you have an interesting job” vs the often more judgemental, “Oh, you’re at home.”

Yes, I still do occasionally pine for those long, drawn-out status meetings and the weekly bagel delivery (food I didn’t have to prepare!) because it would mean real vacation days, a paycheck and chats that aren’t with dollies. So for those working moms and dads out there, kudos for you for all that you juggle and remember, it’s not always so bad in the working world.

YIN:

I’m sorry but Yang Mommy’s fantasies were amusing to me. The only one I really get to do is have adult conversation, and there are days I wish I didn’t have to communicate with some of the “adults” I work with:

Days Off: What is that? The two days a week that I’m not at work I’m either spending time with my family or trying to get all my errands, laundry, bill paying, etc done that I wasn’t able to do the 5 days that I spent at work or when I got home from work.

Dressing Up: Due to the nature of my job, even though I’m considered a manager, 95% of the time I wear jeans and sneakers to work. It’s not feasible for me to get dressed nice and I can’t wear fancy shoes or cute sandals. Sure lawyers and account executives get to wear nice clothes and shoes to work. But I’d bet that at least 75% of women in the work force either wear some sort of uniform or do work that gets that dirty so they don’t too dressed up on a daily basis.

Daycare/Potty Training: Hey Yang Mommy – if you want to pay me $150 a week to potty train your little cutie, I’ll be up in a few months to start! : ) Yes it’s a bonus but they only do it because by that age the teachers at daycare are rightfully sick of all those diapers.

Sick Days: This one just amuses me. I don’t get sick days. I get Paid Time Off, which is what a lot of companies use. It is good for doctor’s appointments (which with a 1 year old I go to quite a few of), when my daughter gets sick, coming in late because of the Halloween parade at daycare, sick time, taking the car to the shop, vacation days, or even (God forbid) a death in the family. So I don’t use Paid Time Off just because I need a break. Plus if I did I’d just come back to more work to catch up on so what’s the use?

Less Interruptions: Yes, no one ever pages me, stops by to see me without an appointment, calls me, comes in to ask me a question, needs me to speak to a customer about my company’s community involvement, wants me to proof read anything . . .

A Paycheck! Healthcare!: Well I’m technically working 2 jobs and only getting paid for 1. And if you’re married and staying at home with the child most likely you are covered by healthcare under your husband’s healthcare program. If not most likely you didn’t leave a good healthcare program behind otherwise your husband would be a Mr. Mom.

“Ahh,” vs “Oh.”: As heard from my end (my responses are in parenthesis) “Ahh you work? (yes) Who do you leave your daughter with? (she goes to daycare) You left her at daycare at 3 months old??(yes – she enjoys eating and having a roof over her head)? Do you feel guilty? (no – she has to eat and she enjoys daycare)

As you can see there is no easy solution to being a mom period. So next time you’re thinking of picking on that SAHM or you’re at home thinking it would be better to be at the office remember that none of us have it easy at all. So let’s pick on the dads! (just kidding – they’ve got it rough sometimes too)

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Tracy on October 27, 2009 at 11:34 am

    The grass IS always greener on the other side 😉

    Honestly I think that a working mom vs. SAHM is a cross between a lifestyle choice (yes I know for many it is not a lifestyle choice but I think that in Montgomery County it is for many) and a woman’s personality. I personally could not see myself as a full time SAHM. Not because I couldn’t do the job but I prefer to have my mind stimulated by something else but endless circular conversations with my toddler (mommy baby awake – thank you she was sleeping – but mommy baby awake x50) and I do enjoy the ability to say TGIF. Then again, I don’t work in a job where it is extremely high stress nor do I have to deal with my coworkers face-to-face so I think making the choice is also job dependent.

    Either way, nobody should ever feel guilty about working or staying at home with their children from others (can you imagine our husbands ever being made to feel awful by being a SAHD or working? – Hell no!) After all, people that judge I find typically don’t have children and already we are ahead because we have birthed the future taxpayers of America so there! So I say to Yang Mommy, enjoy the naps and free time when your little one is down for the ideal period of 2.5 hrs and to Yin Mommy, take the day off to recoup from home and office without your little one And during that time we can daydream about how life would be different when they are in college =)

    Reply

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