The Mom Code [PART 1 of 2]
ONCEKids Publishing, home of the beloved children’s books, Fujimini Adventure Series, celebrates the Modern Mom this weekend. Below Eileen Wacker, ONCEKids CEO and author of the Fujimini Island book series, explains The Mom Code:
“I face so many challenges as a married mom of four, trying to build a company. We just never have a drama-free week.
Forgotten meds, wrong shirt on field trip day, wrong clothes/shoes for after school sports. And then several times a year planning, traveling and handling the aftermath of family trips or an occasional weekend away with my husband. It’s a constant game of cat and mouse.
When my phone rings and certain numbers crop up, I cringe. But I have to answer because I am a Mom. This week I was gone for 48 hours at a conference and my house did not run smoothly. There are too many “little catches” I make that cannot be explained in an instruction letter to the wonderful babysitter. I am not a creature of habit – I am a “catcher” by habit. I catch everyone’s problems and stresses. I am the absorber of stress. And when I answer the phone, there is always an issue requiring immediate attention.
We need a “Modern Mom Code”
I’ve heard of a “man code” many times. Okay I get it, there are some unwritten rules that should be adhered to if you are a stand-up guy. I, for one, am a stressed-out working mom and I believe a “Mom’s code” could help us all. I sent a survey to 40 women and got lots of great responses.
An important issue surfaced: working moms versus stay-at-home moms and could “the code” apply to both. I was a stay-at-home mom for 6 years. I left the work force when my oldest, at the time three and a half, needed open heart surgery. Then we ended up moving to Seoul, South Korea when we had four children, aged three months to five years old. So I was a stay-at-home wife and mom and did not know if I would ever go back to the workforce. I was wildly busy trying to keep a sane life, living in a foreign country. Now, back in the US for the past several years I have been trying to establish a business and I work non-stop as it is just getting off the ground.
Dispelling a few myths:
When I was a stay-at-home mom, these were some of the things I worried about:
- all anyone asks about are my kids – how they are, camps, activities etc… I ceased to be an individual on my own merits with interests and opinions.
- I felt others expected me to help more at school as I didn’t have a job and the working moms had more important things to do.
- My kids are far from perfect and since I was “at home” and this is my only job, I must not be a very good mom.
As a working mom, I worry:
- I have one of those “naughty children” despite very active parenting and I imagine the other moms saying, “maybe if she was home more, he would behave.”
- I don’t have the time or ingredients to bake for the class. Sometimes I even buy cakes from the store, cut it into little pieces, add a berry and put in different packaging.
- I get so caught up with work sometimes I forget things like parent-teacher conferences and field trips so I lay awake endlessly running to-do lists through my head.
When I was a stay-at-home mom, I worried working moms did not really respect me. Now that I am a working mom, I worry stay-at-home moms don’t respect me. But here is the truth -each side is just a little intimidated by the other.
Click here to find the Mom Code Part 2.