A Reality-Check via Babble: Stay-at-Home vs. Working Parents

Be Brave

Parenting: A tough job.

I read a funny Babble post last week on the differences between the daily lives of stay-at-home and working parents — and let’s just say it struck a chord (for others, too, judging by the number of comments). Chrissy and I have had a few, ahem, conversations recently about how different our days are and how, honestly, sometimes it’s difficult to relate to and truly appreciate what the other has had to deal with.

Heather Rigby, who wrote the post, is feeling the same with her husband — so she came up with a list of questions to “help him and other office-bound parents gauge how (cough, cough) similar their days are to ours.”

Here are some of my favorites….

* When you walked into work this morning and pleasantly greeted your co-worker Jim, was his first reaction to scream “NO! WANT JASON!” followed by an office supply being thrown at you?

* Do you have to lock yourself in the supply closet or bathroom on a regular basis in order to make phone calls?

* Did you finish a complete thought at any time during the day?

* Have you had to come to an associate’s aid because she fell off her desk after trying to climb on top of it using a rolling chair?

* When you reached for the report a co-worker was handing you, did he snatch it away at the last second and scream “MINE!” while shoving you backwards?

* While you are using the restroom, do various co-workers come in the stall and ask you to settle a disagreement or open a packet of fruit snacks?

And to those, I’d add a few questions of my own….

* Did a co-worker or your boss call you a poopy or a baby today when you did something they didn’t like?

* Did the person in the office next door stick his tongue out at you as he walked by?

* Did you have to let a colleague play with your iPhone for a few minutes so you could get something done, but then need to beg him: “Hold it with both hands! Please don’t drop it!”?

* Did you have to remind anyone in a meeting not to stick their fingers up their nose?

* Did you have to break up an argument over the red crayon?

* Did you find yourself finishing the half-eaten bits of a co-worker’s lunch or snack instead of getting your own?

* Were you at any point inadvertently spit on while a co-worker made loud farting noises?

No, I didn’t think so. (P.S., honey — I know you *did* have to deal with a whole long list of stresses that I did not. Endless meetings, crazies on the commute, and more. I’ve been on the other side, too, and being a working parent is also hard — I get that. Bottom line: Being a parent is hard.)

But, seriously…. I do get extra points for wiping butts and snotty noses, right?

Related:

8 Surprising Things About Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

New York Magazine on Why Parents Hate Parenting

Chipotle-Spiked Hummus & Avocado Sandwich: A Quick & Easy At-Home Lunch

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3 Responses to “A Reality-Check via Babble: Stay-at-Home vs. Working Parents”


  1. 1 Rhiannon May 24, 2011 at 10:51 am

    OMG- I am crying (laughing) here reading this! As someone who will begin being a SAHM in 2 short weeks, I’m now a little more nervous than I was previously! Although, I appreciate the humor behind this post- and this will help me laugh at myself a little more, knowing where I’ve been in the corporate world as well. Honestly though, you have to admit, some of the “co-workers” we’ve all had would give our child a run for their money on our kid’s worst meltdown day!

  2. 2 Melisa May 25, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hi, Rhiannon, I’m glad you got a laugh out of this post! And exciting that you’ll be staying home with the kids soon — it’s a challenge, but you learn a lot. And, hey, sometimes it’s even fun! Good luck. :)

  3. 3 Ellen May 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Actually:

    * Do you have to lock yourself in the supply closet or bathroom on a regular basis in order to make phone calls?

    Yes, I sort of have to do this. And we actually have a restroom where we store supplies at my office, too.

    By the way, I think you should use a Roku box to stream Netflix to your TV. I keep seeing that on your to-do list.


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