What is a “full-time” mom?
I have become kind of sensitive lately. You see, I am on a leave of absence from my other job;being a high school teacher. Since then, I have started hearing a lot of people say things like, ‘So you’re a full time mom now?’
That begs the question: what percent mom was I before?
Don’t get me wrong. I think staying home to raise children is the best plan for most families. But whether a woman is a stay home mom, or a working mom, doesn’t change the fact that she is a mom all day; no matter where she is.
Let me put it this way. Before my daughter was born, I had a son in elementary school and I worked 30 hours a week. Did that make me a – time mom? Or was it OK because my boy was in school?
I mean, I have a very good friend who is also a college professor. She is a wonderful person, an evangelical Christian, and yes, she chose to put her daughters in preschool. Since she is a full-time professor, is she a 0-time mom?
And another friend of mine works from home. And I don’t mean she sells make-up or craft supplies. She is a paralegal and works 50-60 hours a week. What percent mom is she? She gets the points for being home all day. But she isn’t exactly attending to her kids during that time. So, what is that?
It’s not just about priorities, either. I mean, I ‘and all of my friends’ would drop anything for the children when it comes down to it. But when does it all come down? When do we say we don’t have to give them 100% of our attention all day in order to be a full time mom? How do we decide when they ‘really’ need it? If a stay home mom ‘whose only job is to raise her children’ lets them watch a movie so she can make dinner, that’s probably OK. But is it OK if she lets them watch the movie so she can take a nap or read a book? Is she still giving her children her ‘Full Time’ attention? Nothing wrong with a nap or book – you gotta take care of yourself, they say -but that mom isn’t truly giving her kids all of her attention. If she did that a few times a week, is it any different than if she worked all day one day outside the home?
Maybe I am being too sensitive. Because even though I am not teaching, I actually do have a job at home (writing curriculum). I try to do it while my baby naps, but that doesn’t always work out. So I can’t say I m really a stay-home mom. I mean, I’m home, but I am still a working mom. And I am still a full-time mom.
I’ve started asking moms I meet, ‘Are you employed?’ because it’s all so confusing now. But the next time someone asks me if I am a full-time mom, I’m going to say, ‘Yes. And I am employed, too.’