I was just talking about first generation working moms vs. second generation working moms the other day with a friend, and I thought it would make an interesting discussion here: Did your mother work outside the home? To what extent have you adopted or rejected her systems in your own life as a working mother? On the flip side, if your mom stayed at home (thus making you a first-generation working mom), what systems or practices of hers have you most needed to overhaul? What about your partner’s mother — if she worked, have you adopted any of the systems their family had in place? If she didn’t work, do you feel like you’ve had to reset your partner’s expectations? (And another super fun question: Do you feel like you get pushback from your mother or MIL over different choices and different systems?)
For my own $.02, my mother has always been a stay-at-home mom, so most of the home workload (and a lot of the parenting workload, at least in terms of pickups/drop-offs, etc.) always fell to her. She’s never had a cleaning service, and she rarely hired a babysitter. My mother-in-law, on the other hand, has always worked, and I’m grateful for that because my husband has never expected me to do 100% of everything — he’s a very willing participant in the household balancing act, including sharing parenting duties and even things like laundry. Personally, I feel a lot of guilt over things my mom did that I just can’t do — being involved in the parent/teacher association, for instance — and I often feel like a bit of a rebel in playing the “do, delegate, or nope” game and having a ton of lazy mom hacks. (However, technically, I’m probably not a first-generation working mother — my maternal grandmother worked!)
What about you guys? If your mom worked, have you recognized, adopted, or improved her own systems for work-life balance into your own life? If you’re a first-generation working mom, how have you had to adjust the experience you had growing up to fit your own family’s lifestyle now?
Stock Photo via Deposit Photos / pxhidalgo.