The differentiation between stay-at-home moms and working moms may not be as pronounced these days as it has been in the past, but I do believe it still is alive and well. I don’t think either group works hard to keep this barrier in place; it just seems to exist due to different lifestyle habits, schedules and family routines.
I’m a member of a couple different moms groups, and I’ve considered joining a few more. The reason behind my “club hopping” is that I just cannot seem to find a group that brings all its members together with gatherings and activities that everyone can attend and enjoy.
Although the two groups I belong two — and another in my neighborhood I’ve considered joining — claim to include mothers of all types, they really don’t.
The clubs’ websites boast mission statements and messages proudly welcoming stay-at-home moms, working moms, single moms, teen moms, first-time moms, foster moms, and so on and so forth. It’s great that these organizations are open to everyone, and I’m happy to say I’m associated with groups that are not cliquish or exclusive. However, their actions speak louder than their words.
Nearly all the organized activities, outings, play dates, lunches and playground meetups are scheduled on weekday mornings or afternoons, when I — and most other working moms — are, well, at work. I’d love to be able to attend a few functions, socialize with some other parents and give my daughter a chance to enjoy the company of other children, but anything happening before 6 p.m. Monday through Friday is pretty much out of the question for me.
If moms of all varieties are welcome, why not have an outing or two on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, when everyone can attend? The argument, I’ve been told before, is that stay-at-home moms reserve the weekends for “family time,” when dad’s not at work and he, mom and the kids can all spend a day or two together.
Well, weekends are family time in my house, too. Since I’m at the office all week, I relish the chance to spend a day doing something fun with my husband and daughter, and we do plan such activities often. However, since I am a working mom, weekends must serve more than one purpose for me; in addition to being family time, Saturdays and Sundays also are friend time, laundry time, grocery-store time, errand-running time and clean-the-house time. I don’t have the luxury of being able to tackle all those chores on weekday mornings and afternoons.
So if I’m able to cram all those things into weekends, surely the members of these mom groups could spare just an hour or two for a quick meet-and-greet. Honestly, I think it would be beneficial for everyone, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the short time I’ve been a parent, it’s that moms and dads of all varieties could all use a break once in a while — no matter what day of the week it is.
Hollie Moore Barnidge is the managing editor of the Coastal Courier in Hinesville.