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home : opinions : columns   May 25, 2016

6/25/2014 9:34:00 AM
Column: From a working mom

Need more encouragement?
If you can relate, here are a few resources you might find helpful:
Recommended viewing: “Moms’ Night Out” the movie
Recommended listening: Francesca Battistelli, “When the Crazy Kicks In”
Recommended reading:

Amy Flanery
NT Media Editor

So apparently not everyone was as moved as I was by the “Letter from a working mother to a stay-at-home mother and vice-versa” that has been making its way across the Facebook world since the blog was posted in February. Some people felt the need to critique these letters as perpetuating stereotypes. Sigh.

OK, I didn’t relate to every single line, but the intent behind it really was beautiful. The heart behind it was, “let’s stop judging each other, because we are both moms.”

Critic Jessica Grose does have a point though, in her response blog “Motherhood is not Martyrdom,” when she reminds readers that not every woman willingly chose to be at work or at home. Some of us wish we were in the other’s shoes.

My version of the letter would look something like this:

“Dear Stay-at-Home Mom:
Please stop complaining about how hard it is to be with your kids all day. I only wish I could be with my son all day. And I know it’s hard, because when I have a challenging day at home with my son I feel guilty and wonder if I could even handle doing what you do every day.
But I am so, so jealous of you. So stop rubbing it in.”

Sigh. That was kind of mean. Let’s try again:

“Dear Stay-at-Home Mom:
You are amazing. Your kids are so blessed to have you with them all day, every day.
I sometimes find it difficult to be sympathetic, but that is just because I wish I could be fully there for my child the way you are there for yours.

I’m sure you have days where you wonder if you really have what it takes. You do.
But don’t forget that you are still human. You will make mistakes, just like every other mom. Just try to admit them and learn from them. Your child is going to turn out great.

Also remember that you need to take a break. There is a reason employees are required to take lunch breaks. If you don’t get one during the day, look for ways to get some “you” time either before your day begins (i.e.: while the kids are still sleeping) or after it winds down (and the little ones are in bed).

If you can find someone to watch your children for a couple hours, give me a call and convince me to do the same. Because sometimes I, too, feel like I never have a break. And I don’t want to admit it, because taking a “break” would mean spending even less time with my child than I already do. And he doesn’t deserve that.

But he does deserve the kind of mom who isn’t too exhausted to build a Lego tower or take a trip to the park. And so do your children.

We can both be that kind of mom, but we have to take those breaks.

And if you don’t already know it, let me be the one to tell you: You are not alone. Take some of your “you” time to dig into the Bible and see what God has to say about you. It is worth the time, even if it cuts into your sleep, because that is where you will find your strength.

I’m cheering for you, Stay-at-Home Mom. I’m on your team.
We’re both moms.”

Amy Flanery can be reached at (815) 220-6975 or

Related Links:
• The original blog: A letter from a working mother to a stay at home mother and vice-versa
• The critic: Motherhood is not martyrdom

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