We've heard it all, right? That being a working mother (WoMo) means we're selfish or just plain bad. That's why we feel guilty and conflicted. We apologize for and question our choices because we don't want to perpetuate the myths... those lousy, unfounded myths:
If I work, it will be bad for my kids. Wrong. Sorry, Dr. Laura. If I was a lame, lazy mom it would be bad for my kids. Hydrogenated fat is bad for my kids. If I’m working, it will teach them some pretty essential life lessons: independence, socialization, contribution, gender equality, mommy looks pretty when she dresses up, and most importantly, we all have to work for things in life.
If I work, I will miss all the important stuff. Wrong. Children don’t grow and develop in incremental single acts. Milestones often look more like a path. A child will take first steps for days, perhaps a week or more (and they could occur when you are home but not looking). A first word will be uttered time and time again… Does that indiscernible “daaa” count? Or was it a few days later when he said “dadaaaah”? And remember, a first tooth can be lost at school as easily as at home, and that certainly doesn’t make your child’s teacher somehow better than you for being there.
If I work, my child will love me less. Wrong. Let’s just put this one in the pile with “if-I-discipline-my-child-he-won’t-love-me.” It’s ludicrous. Show your child love, they will love you right back, and then some.
If I work, it makes me a bad mom. Wrong. A bad mom is a lame bitch that gets loaded in the afternoon and leaves her kids alone. A bad mom is abusive and hurtful. A bad mom doesn’t give a hoot. Just the fact that a WoMo worries about this ridiculous statement shows just how fabulous she really is.
If I work, I’m doing everything half as well as I should be. Wrong. Women are wired with the worry gene. Ask a SAHM if she feels like she’s doing a killer job and she’ll probably say the same thing. Nowadays, we all struggle with feeling like we’re never doing anything well enough. The WoMo doesn’t own the fear of mediocre motherhood, we all do.
If I work, I won’t have time to participate in activities for my kids. Wrong. You’ll participate, probably more than your crammed schedule will allow. And yet, this myth is alive and well. We’ve talked to countless working moms that have been pulled off volunteer lists or demoted to lesser tasks at school because well-meaning moms think that a working mom simply can’t do it all. Sure, time is not our friend. But, let me tell you, when a WoMo commits to something involving her child, you can bet she’ll get it done. No presumptuous helping hands required.