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Thursday, June 24, 2010

All Mothers Work

Mother and daughter (5-7) in kitchen by vegetables and laptop

Who has it easier, a mother who stays at home full time, or a mother who works outside the home? Actually, I should probably be asking a different question -- who has it harder. Motherhood is hard work, no matter how you slice it.

Since the release of Chasing Superwoman, I’ve been asked on a few radio interviews, “What do you have to say to stay-at-home moms?  Does your book say anything to them?”

The short answer is that all mothers work. And we don’t just work, we work hard. Instead of focusing on the differences between stay-at-home mothers and mothers who work outside the home, I often wish we could focus on what we have in common. And in Chasing Superwoman, I try to do just that.  Sure, I am writing from the perspective of a mother who works outside the home.  But all mothers can relate to the pressures, insecurities, and faith struggles of raising young children.  In fact, stay-at-home moms arguably deal with the Superwoman complex all the more.  They feel like everything at home has to be perfect.

The highlight of my week has been the following email I just received from a stay-at-home mom and dear friend who just finished the book.

“I know your frame of reference is the working mom, but I can assure you that as a mom who doesn't work, my issues and insecurities are the same. You give such a breath of realism and authenticity to the struggles mothers have today.” (Emphasis added.)

I can’t tell you how much this note meant to me.  I don’t know why we draw artificial lines between mothers who work outside the home and those who don’t, but we do.  Sometimes, the church even segregates us more than it unites us – when it should be the very place where we come together.

So, instead of focusing on our differences, please join me in sharing what we have in common.  (And I’d love to hear if you have a different perspective or think I’ve misstated the issue.  Let’s keep talking about this one, because it’s important!)


Alison said...

Having been both a working and stay-at-home mom, I know there is no ultimate victory either way. I've witnessed the criticism of both choices and am always amazed at how we women continue to tear each other down. We should strive to lift each other for our achievements and gifts, not poke holes in each other for our differences and weaknesses. We should be giving each other a bit of grace and mercy. Lord knows we get it!

I truly believe God doesn't care whether a mother is home or in the work force, but rather where her heart is and her motivation. Takes me back to the Mary/Martha story. It's WHY you do what you do that matters, no so much WHAT.

Heidiopia said...

I have been both a working mom and a stay-at-home mom and now am somewhere in between. I think it's hard work all the way around. My struggles have stayed the same regardless of my work situation--we all want to do what's best for our famililes. I don't know why we judge each other and ourselves so harshly. I agree with Alison that we should be support for one another as moms. Period. Love that you presented this issue!

Wendy Paine Miller said...


Just wanted to drop by to tell you I'm excited to buy your book. It sounds like something I'd thoroughly enjoy.

Be blessed today.
~ Wendy

Susan DiMickele said...

Thanks Wendy, it's been one of those days!

Laura said...

I've been both, too, Susan, and I couldn't agree more. What we need to do is support one another. There's plenty that unites us, and we need each other!