Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The (cat) fight to see who has it the worst

The thing I like about working as a writer, is that I'm doing something I like and I get paid for it. I work from home because it makes sense - my job can be done from my house and we don't have to pay for daycare.

Let me clarify one thing, when I say I'm a writer, I mean that real clients pay me money to write things like web sites, corporate literature, advertising, and so on. I have real deadlines. And I do it from home while also taking care of my children.

Do I like working from home? Not really, I'd rather have an office downtown, where I could devote myself to my work for uninterrupted hours at a time. But for now, I work from home. It's a decision we made because it works for everyone.

It's not easy, working as a writer AND looking after kids at home. When I'm working, I don't get a break. No lunch break, no coffee break, no evening break when the kids are in bed, and sometimes no weekend break either.

So when I read this post by Samantha - the one in which she berates work-at-home-moms for having it "easy" compared to those who work outside the home - my first reaction was, what the hell woman? Are you completely out of your mind?

According to her, the "fluff" that I call my job at home is, in actual fact, nothing compared to her "real" job outside the home.

Some days I long for a job in an office. I've actually suggested swapping - so that J would work from home and I'd take an office job - and he told me not in a million years, would he swap his job for staying at home with the kids AND working freelance.

According to Samantha, it's way more stressful to worry about loosing your 9-5 job, than dealing with the stresses of working from home. Well, I'm self employed. I don't have the security of a 9-5 job with regular pay. I have to work doubly hard to keep my clients happy, deliver a perfect product, on time, in budget, with bells on.

Anyway, I got into a bit of a huff, but then I thought, why enter into a competition about who's busier, who works harder, who's more tired? Because really, what's the point?

One thing that struck me about the post was its aggressive tone. The pinnacle of the speech was "Balancing work life and home life while working from home? It’s a f#$%in’ joke."

Aha.

I guess in the end I just wonder - why is it important?

We all work to earn money, we all do it in different ways. Some people work during the day. Some work at night. Some do it at home while also watching their kids. Some don't do it at all. We can go on forever comparing all the little details of our day to see who is worse off, but in the end what does it matter?
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7 comments:

..... Carmen said...

Kudos to you my friend. I've realized too, there is no sense in comparing. It's always a struggle and a juggle (ha!) either way. I rush to work downtown, but I also have hours to fill in at home. In my perspective, it's WAY harder to try to get those hours in at home, while also watching Grace. That's much more difficult than doing a dayhome run and sitting in the office uninterrupted. Work is work, but one does require more balance than the other.

James (SeattleDad) said...

It really pisses me off when people presume to know how hard it is for another person. She has no FN idea what 'Lady Mama' does in a typical day, or any other work at home parent for that matter. (No link, so not sure what her qualifications are) She just presumes she knows someone elses business and decides that gives her the right to judge.

That is really just simple minded, nonsensical, idiotic, crap if you ask me.

Momma Sunshine said...

This is so weird to me, to make it this comparison thing. There are unique challenges to everyone's personal situation - I don't think that anyone has it "better" or "worse" than anyone else - it's just different. We can either choose to be grateful for the goodness that we have, or focus on what we don't have, or the ways that it could be better.

Instead of cutting each other down, why can't we all just support one another in our own unique challenges...?

Great post. :)

Paging Doctor Mommy said...

Heck yeah Mama! Tell it!

I agree with you, working from/at home is HARD. I'm not even going to bother to read her post, but it sounds to me like maybe she is just angry that she can't work from home to spend more time with her kids (does she have kids?) and she's venting in the opposite direction!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

I enjoyed reading your blog tonight....
Love it when I have time to do blog hopping...
I always enjoy finding new blogs!
This month I am posting on our Disney trip.

Elisa said...

I understand. I think sometimes people forget that, as another blogger very eloquently put it "just because you have it hard, it doesn't mean that everyone else has it easy".

Samantha is a very passionate person. She doesn't mince words. That's remarkable, in a good way sometimes, in a bad way others. When you are that outspoken, it's refreshing because you are really honest. But at the same time, you have to be careful not to hurt people and say things you'll regret, especially if you are the kind of person who is too proud to take things back.

I think sometimes when we are going through a hard time we take it out on the wrong people. And occasionally even bite that hand that feeds us.

Midwest Mommy said...

I read that same post and it prompted me to write a post on Wednesday with my feelings on it. I remember I commented to her I was afraid what she would think of an at home mom. My life is not easy nor is it always fun. I hear ya.