I have a group of girl friends that I love dearly. This group includes two working moms (one is me), one SAHM, and two working single women (one is my sister). I know the two working single women often feel as if the rest of us think they have more time and less responsibility. While it may be true the lack of children gives them less responsibility, I do not think their lives are easier at all. First off, I get to share all my chores, my issues, my everything with my husband. Single people do not have that luxury. Even if you have a roommate, she is not co-invested in your life the way a spouse is. Secondly, they are career women. I consider myself to be a career woman as well, but my focus is split between my career and my home. My sister works so many hours doing so many things to advance her career and build her network, I totally think she deserves a cleaning person and a cook as much - if not sometimes, more - than I do. And lastly, most single people are looking for a spouse. This is no futile effort. I think if I were single right now, I might drive over to a convent and sign right up, because watching my single friends do this dating
I have been thinking about staying at home lately (another post for another day), and imagining this amazing world in which my house is clean, my laundry is done, I am an amazing cook, and so on. Obviously I know this is not the case. I do think if I stayed home I would have more time to do those things because I will not be commuting or working all day. But, the reality is, I would not get up at 5am and use the 3 hours before my kids are awake to be productive; I would be sleeping too. I might not work 8 hours a day, but I would be taking care of my children 16 hours a day. 16 hours a day is a LONG time. I like my kids, but I also like time away from kids and happily send them off to daycare - there are weekends when Sunday night cannot come soon enough for me. I read a blog post by A Shorter Mama about time and balance as a SAHM - she recently went from a working mom to a SAHM and thought all these same things I did/do. But, the truth is, her days are just as busy, but they are busy with different things.
Sometimes I think working moms have it easiest. Because of work, my days are naturally routine and scheduled; therefore, adding laundry and cleaning to schedule is relatively easy. If I go to the store on Monday night, I know I will not have time/energy for other stuff, but if I make extra for dinner Monday, I know that I can use dinner prep time to clean on Tuesday. If I were a SAHM, there would be nothing pushing me to this type of schedule because for the most part any schedule we would have (with the exception of scheduled activities) would be self-imposed and easily changed.
In the end, I just have to realize while the grass usually looks greener on the other side, it is important to stop and realize that my yard is just how I want it to be.