A couple months ago I read a mom blog post that I found on the internet. The author made the mistake of saying something along the line of moms who work “get a break” at the office because they can finish their coffee. I don’t have to tell you that the entire internet jumped all over her post with some pretty harsh comments.
As a working mom I can tell you working moms don’t get a break at the office (I still have to reheat my coffee at least once a morning). Working moms may not be reporting to three feet tall humans wearing diapers for the majority of daylight hours, but we do have innumerable responsibilities to others – some of which can affect their very employment and livelihoods.
Back when I stayed home with my daughter, well, I felt like I never got a break. Mama was on 24-7-365, even if I never had to wear anything fancier than jeans or yoga pants, brush my hair, or even leave the house.
So today I’d like us to collectively take a break from the SAHM – Working Mom sides of the table and gather around and all agree on what constitutes a BREAK for mama – any mama.
A Break is NOT:
- Folding laundry while your newborn finally sleeps
- Doing dishes while your toddler watches Sesame Street
- Sitting in the driveway in your car and checking Facebook on your phone because your kids passed out on the way home in their car seats
- Running errands while your children are at mother’s morning out, preschool or with a babysitter
- Feeding an infant while watching TV
- Making tomorrow’s lunches while your kids nap
- Staying home with a sick kid while you try to put together a power point presentation
- Eating a quiet lunch while sorting through which of the 100+ emails you’ve received in the past 14 hours you were not at your desk
- Drinking coffee while sitting in rush hour traffic on the way to work after you’ve sat in carpool for 20 minutes
- Ordering room service for dinner while you are out of town at a conference and your husband is texting you every seven minutes about what goes in lunch boxes? Where are the ballet tights? What day is library day? Where is her library book? What time is gymnastics? Are chocolate, chocolate chip sprinkle cupcakes ok for toddler snack?
- Sitting quietly in a meeting, sipping a soda, listening to colleagues’ ideas, when the cow on the kid’s farm app on your phone starts mooooooooooing
- Working at a desk in child-free quiet for eight hours while you write a newsletter, finish an article, complete a spreadsheet, double check a budget, finalize a proposal, send out a press release, update the office calendar, finish a brief, schedule a mediation, edit an RFP, plan a fundraising event or listen in on a conference call
- Reading while waiting for your child at the doctor’s, dentist’s, or allergist’s office or for ballet lessons, gymnastics, karate, tutoring, tennis lessons or swim lessons to end
- Doing anything while pregnant
A Break IS:
- Going to Target (the one with the Starbucks). By yourself.
- A pedicure in a massage chair while the babysitter does bath and dinner
- A weekend away with your husband at your college friend’s “no children allowed” wedding
- A girls’ night out with your girlfriends and a bottle of wine at an establishment with cloth napkins
- An uninterrupted nap while your children are awake and someone else watches them play outside
- Sitting by the pool, or at the beach, with a good book, a nice drink while your parents take your kids to another city (or even just the zoo!)
- Coffee with your best friend on a Saturday morning while your significant others have your children
- Getting a massage, blow out and manicure all in the same day
- A day when both your kids have play dates at someone else’s house at the same time