The Mommy Wars—stay-at-home moms vs. working moms in a fight to the finish over which decision is best. According to many a front page feature, this is the only topic of conversation between modern moms. Well, due to a recent (and exciting!) career change, the modern moms of Salt & Nectar have found ourselves on both sides of the battlefield with stay-at-home mom in Kentucky and a working mom in California. There’s only one small problem.
We’re not fighting.
What we are doing is talking (a lot) about the good, the bad, and the ugly of each of our roles and we wanted to do the same with you. We call it The Mommy Accord and the premise is simple. We will each respond openly and honestly to a prompt from each of our unique perspectives. No guessing what the other “side” is feeling or apologizing if our choices offend someone else. There won’t be any controversial covers or screaming headlines, only a stay-at-home mom and a working mom talking to each other – and all of you – about their lives.
What I love about being a…
I recently read a brilliant and touching commencement speech by Patti Digh entitled The Geography of Verbs. At the beginning of the speech, Ms. Digh tells the story of a touching moment from The Oprah Winfrey Show that (not surprisingly) I remember very well. During a show on grief, Oprah interviewed Kate Collinger, a young girl who had recently lost her mother to cancer. Oprah asked Kate her favorite memory of her mother. Despite the family taking big vacations and trips to Disneyland, Kate recalled a bowl of Cheerios she had shared with her mother in the middle of the night.
In her speech, Ms. Digh called them the bowls of Cheerios in your life – quiet moments shared with those you love. As I read her speech, I realized those moments are what I love most about being a stay-at-home mom.
I always imagined the best part of staying home with your children would be witnessing those milestone moments – your child’s first step or first word. Little did I know it’s hard to pinpoint their actual first step or first word – not to mention I’m often too busy trying to document those moments to enjoy them.
No, I love the everyday moments that aren’t unique or momentous: the way Amos’s face lights up when I pick him up from his nap, talking with Griffin over lunch and then playing an impromptu game of Candyland, watching the boys giggle together over a silly made up game.
Feeling the magic of those moments, I know why young Kate enjoyed that middle of the night snack so much. There is an intimacy is sharing the everyday – the mundane– with the people you love most in the world even especially if those people are your children. It transforms something as simple as a bowl of Cheerios into something special.
THAT is what I love about being a stay-at-home mom.
Since becoming a mom, I've worked full-time at a law firm, then stayed at home to care for my son, followed by working at home as a Jane of All Trades and consultant, next as a part-time attorney, and now as a full-time employee at a start up company. Needless to say, my work has taken many forms in the past three years. And throughout it all, I realized that I loved (and sometimes missed) the collaborative process of working with my peers.
I was especially aware of this once my son started school. Staying at home alone, without my Little Dude to spend my day with, sometimes proved isolating and uninspiring. So, I've enjoyed returning to an environment where there is a lot of creative energy and passion generated by working with a team. I really love sitting down with my colleagues to brainstorm novel social media or editorial content, refining it, creating it, and seeing it come to life. Acting as a contributing member in this larger procress makes me feel productive, energized, and inspired. Plus, it's great to have more social intereaction with adults. How else would I learn about the literary importance of reading 50 Shades of Grey or finding the best dessert spot in town?