When I meet a grandmother in the park with her grandchild I’ve pretty much nailed down the art of knowing whether it is her daughter’s or daughter-in-law’s child. If granny announces “I’ve got her for the day, her mother works” beaming with happiness and pride, it’s her daughter’s child. If she says it like she accidentally took a bite of kiddo’s cookie that they just dropped in the sand, well it’s her son’s child and her daughter-in-law is at work.
This is a major generalisation on my part but it’s true 90% of the time, and my made-up stats don’t lie. You see granny number one is utterly proud that her daughter is a modern, independent, working woman juggling it all and is thrilled that she has some time with her grandchild. But granny number two, whilst just as happy to have some alone time, is utterly devastated that her son’s wife hasn’t given up her career to stay home with the child “like I did back in my day”. Hmm…perspective.
I have a shirt that says ‘stay weird’ and it’s my absolute favourite. The slogan is printed upside down so that when I look down I can read it. The other day I was grabbing a cup of coffee from the petrol station when the guy at the machine in front of me said “hey the writing on your shirt is upside down!”. I looked down, looked back up at him and responded “it looks the right way up to me”. You would think I had just told this guy the answer to the universe. He looked a bit shocked and stared at me speechless for a while before finally saying “I suppose that’s right isn’t it” and walked away shaking his head to himself. Funny how where you’re standing can change the view.
As mothers we are all met with daily criticism. Everyone thinks things should be done their way. Everyone knows best. And while I do hold firm beliefs on certain parenting issues (and I really do know best) lets just put this stay at home mom versus working mom issue to rest. If you have decided to stay at home to devote all the waking hours of your life to your kids, good for you. You’re a wonderful mom. And if you work because you need to put food on the table/want to give your kids the best of everything or just need to have an adult life outside of your home, good for you. You’re a wonderful mom. And if someone can’t see it that way maybe they should stand on their head.