Friday, November 2, 2012

Perspective

I've been thinking a lot about perspective lately. Specifically how one's perspective on something greatly helps to shape their thoughts, feelings, and reactions to that something.

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First, in relation to work. Maybe you remember my post asking my co-workers to stop whining. In that post I explain that everyone feels like they are getting a raw deal. And maybe some are. But from what I can see, what makes them feel this way is less what is actually going on, and more their perspective on what has occurred.

Because most of our upper management came from Group B, Group A feels like the org change has been a "takeover". From Group A members I've heard repeatedly "why do we have to do everything the way Group B did it?"

At the exact same time, our mgmt has taken pains to try to make Group A feel included, I've been in the meetings where they refused to change something just to not offend Group A. These actions lead to me hearing from Group B members "why do we have to do everything the way Group A did it?"

If it weren't so annoying, it's kinda funny. Members of both groups feel like "everything" is being done the way the other group did it, and their ways of doing things are being tossed aside.

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Next, in relation to the SAHM vs Working Mom thing. I'm sure my last post on the subject may have ruffled a few feathers. I even debated not posting it, for that reason. But it's my blog, and it articulates well how I feel, so I kept it.

But I kept asking myself why it bothered me so much. And I finally realized. I feel like it's lopsided.

From my perspective - what I see, hear, and deal with on a daily basis - SAHMs get more support than working moms. That's what it boils down to. I'm hurt, upset, and a little angry that working moms aren't given the same support & respect for the job they do as moms.

I hear SAHMs complain about how busy they are, how much work they have to do, how their houses are messy and they can't find the time to get anything done - and I hear others telling them that oh, yes, you do hard work, it is hard to stay home, you do do a lot of work, no one can expect you to keep a clean house all the time because of everything else you have to do, can I babysit for you sometime so you can get something done / have some time to yourself.

I've heard it verbally, I see it posted on someone's wall or on a mommy message board probably weekly.

At the same time, if I say something about how busy I am, my house isn't clean, I can't find time to cook, or grocery shop, etc.... well, from my perspective instead of understanding and support, I get told (nicely or not so nicely) that I need to manage my time better.

I mean, if only I managed my time better, I would be better at meal planning, and could pre-cook all of my meals on Sunday to be re-heated during the week, I could cook more.

If only I managed my time better, I could follow FlyLady or Organized Home or Martha Stewart and my house would be clean.

If only I managed my time better, I could clip coupons and maintain a good grocery list, and zip thru the grocery store in no time, and still spend less money.

Oddly enough, I get more criticism from fellow working moms, and the understanding I do get usually comes from SAHMs.  Honestly, I would think it would be the other way around.

At the same time that my perspective tells me SAHMs get more understanding & support than WMs, I also acknowledge the perspective of a lot of SAHMs feel exactly the opposite. And maybe if all of us could somehow take a step back and see things from a completely objective third-party position, then maybe all of our insecurities, and hard feelings, and emotional ickiness would just fall away.

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Those are just two issues, but this idea of perspective has infiltrated my thoughts on nearly every topic over the past few weeks. From Entitlement, to Presidential Debates, to Volunteer Work, to Religion, to Infertility, and so much more... perspective.

6 comments:

S said...

As a work-outside-the-home mom myself, I appreciated your post on the subject. (Sorry I didn't get around to commenting on it.)

I think whether you get understanding and support from other moms may depend upon your individual social circle and the people in it. Since I returned to work in late March of this year after my sons were born in January, my experience has been that most other working moms are completely sympathetic to how hard it is to juggle everything. But then again, I must admit, that most of my friends who are moms also work outside the home, at least part time, and not many people I know personally are SAHMs.

I think being a mother is hard either way, and that we should all be more inclined to build each other up instead of tearing each other down.

areyoukiddingme said...

I think that you perceive that SAHMs get more support because they're finally standing up and demanding recognition for the work they do. For years, they were told how they didn't work, which is unfair. I think it was about 5 or so years ago that someone finally broke down the salary that a SAHM would get, if all of her tasks were paid. So, this support is a recent thing. At the same time, we have the constant barrage of "you can have it all"/"you can't have it all" that tells us how lacking we working moms are, no matter what we do.

And as S said - don't worry about comparing and finding things wanting. Anyone who tells you you're not doing it right is someone you don't need to talk to about your struggles. They don't have anything of value to offer you.

Marianne said...

It seems my comment may have hit a nerve, and I'm sorry if it did. I have always been a working mom and those are some of the things that worked for me then and still do, even though it's only the 2 of us now. As a working mom, I was extremely jealous of the SAHMs, but I couldn't/wouldn't have let working be an excuse. I did it all and I did it well and I'm proud that I did and that despite the time working, I still raised great kids who realize the sacrifices I made for them.

Christa aka The BabbyMama said...

As a working mom, I feel the same way. And worse, I feel like the fact that I have to do all those household management tasks on top of working is never acknowledged. Laundry, cooking, cleaning, spending time with my kids (quality time and teaching time, too), etc. I feel like 'working is a choice' is thrown in my face all the time. And it makes me sad because we don't have extras or vacations or lattes - all the stuff too many people claim I ought to cut so I don't have to 'choose' to work. Aaargh.

Jo MyGosh said...

Hi! I found your blog through SITS, and while I'm not a mom, nor planning to be one any time soon, I really found this post to be fascinating! :-) I am glad for the perspective!

Twingle Mommy said...

I think perspective is what life is all about. My son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 8 months old and I was so devestated. Just this month we went to a new nuerologist who suspected that he has a genetic condition as well. On Wednesday we got the results back and everything was normal. We left so happy that it was in fact only CP. I never thought I would say that! But then again when you think things could be worse-it truly is all about perspective.

I found you through SITS!

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