I was recently told by another woman, "That's what stay-at-home moms do all day!" It was kind of a joke but also clearly insinuating that if I "stay home" every single day, clearly I have time to clean my base boards with a q-tip. Irritating, isn't it? Especially since I know very few stay at home moms that actually STAY AT HOME. I've even had a neighbor ask what I do for a living because we're always out and about. Anyway, instead of embarking on a debate or getting defensive I simple gave it HA! Ain't nobody got time for that! remark.
What I really thought was, seriously? Is this where WE are still? After all the positive publicity stay at home and working mothers have been getting, why is it necessary to belittle the other? Even if it's a joke. We are all emotional, sleep deprived, worn out moms. Let's stop pushing each other's buttons! I read an article a few months ago. I can't remember where or who wrote it (surprised?) that talked about the difference between a stay at home mom and a working mom. It was the BEST article I've ever read regarding the comparison. To put it simply, it said, To the working moms: stay-at-home moms envy the time you get away from the house, the adult interaction, solo potty breaks, and clean clothes. To the stay at home moms: working moms envy the down time you get with your kids, the ease of making your own schedule, and being able to wear yoga pants daily. Neither is easier or better. And both are hard yet so, so rewarding.
There are many reasons to criticize other moms, but there are a MILLION MORE to encourage them, appreciate them, and love them. It is much easier to love. And in the end, love always wins.
I've been working really hard on judging other parents less. I usually have no reason to. Most of the time, I'm just being critical and cranky. But sometimes I have a legitimate message and need to work on my presentation, you know? Tonight I was reading Colossians, a sweet, yet short book in the New Testament and came across this verse:
Grace. Salt. It spoke to me. Let me always remember my faults first, before pointing out others. And please, God, let whatever I say be seasoned with salt so that it will taste good coming off my lips. Just enough that it will be accepted, but not too much that it will overpower the message. I'm not sure if this was Paul's intended message but it was a message relevant to me. Maybe to you. But definitely to all us moms, working or staying home, showered or not, tired or exhausted, and LOVING our beautiful kids the best way we can.