I went back to work to a dream job opportunity when E was 11 months old. I was blessed that I had 11 months with him at home and am grateful for the opportunity and the friendships I made during that time – friendships that I have today, even if they are tougher to maintain thanks to work and where we bought our house. But the transition from stay at home mom to working mom was…not an easy one.
As a working mom, there are a few things that bother me (I could say us, but I’m not speaking collectively for all working moms) – the lack of maternity leave in the US (DUH), employers who aren’t flexible with schedules and/or think that children are a huge burden, and summer vacations to name a few. I digress, I see things on facebook that just never cease to annoy the crap out of me and not gonna lie, make me feel a little less than as a working parent. Here are five things I see most frequently that take the cake in terms of anti-working mama.
Workout classes after 8a or before 430p
This is not just true as a working mom – as any working adult with a commute of longer than 10 minutes who works between the hours of 8 am – 6 pm – workout classes at 830 am are not geared towards anyone with a job. It irks me that gyms cater to the “stay at home crowd” because, well, I like workout classes too and the only one pre-8 am class is a spinning class at 6 am and even then, I have to hustle to make it to my office by 8a thanks to a crappy 40 minute (most days) commute. I know it’s demand based and varies gym by gym (some gyms are better about 530a classes, others not so much) but still, I’d love to see more 5:30a classes, or classes later in the evenings (I’ve recently found a 7:30 pm yoga class on Fridays that has become my new favorite thing.). No, i’m not saying my SAHM counter-parts don’t deserve to workout too – just more time variety is all I’m asking here. When there’s only 5 people in the 6a Monday spin class (more likely an indicator of the instructor…who was terrible) you’ve gotta wonder if the times you’re offering are really working for the pre-school drop off crowd.
Workout classes for moms. But only stay at home moms.
Listen, I get it: Stay at home parents need to socialize and they need to workout. I loved Stroller Strides as a workout when I was home with E. Granted, I thought some of the moms were a little cliquey, but the mission of Stroller Strides is a fantastic one and it’s been fantastic to see the chapters near me take off since I stopped participating back in late 2013. However, unless you can pay an obscene amount for their “Body Back” program, don’t expect to reap any of those benefits of that specific to mom workout program. Classes are usually held during working hours and rarely can you find a class on the weekends (some chapters have Saturday am classes and bless those Saturday morning Body Boost classes….that I have yet to try out but keep meaning to). I’ve been interested in trying Stroller Barre since I was at home with little dude and fuck if it finally came to the Annapolis and Severn Stroller Strides groups, and of course the classes are on Tuesday and Thursday mornings respectively at like 9 am. Guess working moms are just not their target demographic.
Stroller strides isn’t the only one who is a little neglectful of the working mama crowd, the “Goddess Yoga” class at my local yoga studio – geared towards women, and pregnant women – is at 3:30pm…during the week. Who in the eff can hit up an hour long class during that time?! I mean if you don’t work, you probably have kiddos (this studio does not have child care) and if they’re school aged….you’re probably picking them up soooo…yeah. Who can actually hit up a yoga class at that time on a weekday – because I want to do whatever it is that allows you to have a schedule where you can fit in 3pm yoga classes. #justsaying
Child care at gyms or yoga studios only on weekday mornings…not on weekends
I want to start by noting that our gym has childcare on Saturday AM but not Sunday AM – on Sunday’s it’s 1-430 on Sundays which…is naptime in our house. We don’t use the gym daycare often – usually only when Hubs is gone for drill, but the part that inspired this was an audacious post in a Facebook group. One mom was looking for a yoga studio with childcare because she had a demanding full-time job and wanted some de-stressing – duh.
Some of the comments made me wonder if they had read her full post and the third comment, well – if someone states “demanding job” in the original post, my guess is that their job is ALWAYS on M/W/Friday. #justsaying. Another yoga studio I frequented when we lived in Annapolis had childcare that was also only weekday mornings which really just bugged the shit out of me because well, working mamas want to yoga too.
Playdates only during weekdays – no evenings or weekends because “family time”
I’m grateful that the mix of mama friends I have are open to weekend playdates. We’ve had family playdates with friends where the adults hang out with some adult beverages and good food, we’ve had playdates on drill weekends at parks, friends houses and weekend lunchtime dates. I don’t rely on playdates on every weekend because hubs likes – similar to my stay at home mama pals who don’t see their partners for 40+ hours per week – for them to be family time, but he’s never stopped me from planning or going to an occasional play date on a weekend for a couple hours so little dude and I can have some socializing time. Mostly though, I really take advantage of Drill weekends to get friend time in for Little Man and I.
Anytime anyone says they could “never leave their child to be raised by someone else” as a response to a post about whether someone should go back to work or not.
This has been said to me on more than one occasion – and I get that. I do. But here are the two things that people who either stay at home with their kiddos currently or formerly stayed at home with their kiddos….it’s not financially feasible for many families to live on only one income, and two, not every mother WANTS to stay at home with their kids. I didn’t major in early childhood development – I struggled greatly with what I now think was undiagnosed PPD, staying at home for me left me feeling inadequate, isolated and unhappy with myself. It’s best for our family for me to work and I think I’m a better mother because of it – I want my child to see me work hard and have pride in what I do every day and what I bring to our family. It’s not for everyone and I get that – it’s the whole choice thing – you do you. I do me. Mutual respect, right?
I know some of these are…a little petty but let’s be equal opportunity here – working mamas like to hit up the gym too (though most of us struggle with it) and we like play dates and meeting other moms – working or not.