Wow, someone actually just asked me what I have to do all day. She asked when I told her I wasn't sure I had enough time to help volunteer my time with one more project. She actually asked me that question, and shockingly she is a mom too. I did not respond. I did not respond because I didn't have the time to give her the real answer.
We women need to stick together. We need to be more supportive of one another. It is not easy to be a mother and it takes some effort. I know we all have different approaches and different situations that factor in, so we may not all be able to relate completely but surely I thought every woman knew that whether you are working or not, mothering is still a job in and of itself. I recently had a few projects and jobs that pulled me away from my regular availability to my kids. Lunches got made last minute, homework wasn't done right away, more sugar was consumed than usual, more bribes were made and less baths were taken. I had a taste of what it is to be a working mom and it is hard. My hat goes off to women who work all day and then come home with only a small window left to connect with their kids. To come home from a full day and try to feed them a healthy meal, make sure they read and brush teeth and everything else that needs to get done, you are barely left with enough time to talk to your kid. Not to mention the guilt one can feel for being exhausted and not really wanting to talk with your kids post a full work day. It's hard!
The norm for me is not working all day at a "job," but let me be clear: I have one, and I am working harder than I have worked in my life. I have fifteen hours a week where I am not doing the mothering job, but I am always on call. Three of those days I report to another job, and then rush to pick up from preschool from there. I am a chef, a nurse, a therapist, a tudor, a personal assistant and the list goes on. I will not map out my daily schedule for you because it is pretty full and I am not looking for any pat on the back. Even sitting down to write has to be calculated for as there really isn't much time to spare. I get way more sleep than I did three years ago when I had a new baby, but he still gets us up at the crack of dawn and I am still struggling to get enough sleep at night.
Not every woman has the choice to stay at home full time. Even "stay at home" is such a poorly worded title for what a mother does. I don't do enough staying at home, if I did maybe I could tell you what soap operas were on while I tried to fold the laundry. It takes a lot of planning, and some serious time managment. I realize this someone who asked me what I have to do all day, works another job in addition to raising her two small children. Without judgment I can also point out that she has help from a nanny, and a daycare, so perhaps her reality allows for many more free hours in the day than I have. I just don't think any mother should ever ask, "What do you have to do all day?" We should all know that regardless of how many hours we all put into it, its a big job!