While reading the May edition of Chicago Parent I was drawn to a comment made by Editor Tamara L. O'Shaughnessy in the "From the Editor" section. She said, "I didn't expect to feel so jealous of the stay-at-home moms laughing and playing with their little ones at the park as I pass every day at lunch."
I think that as a mother who has been on both sides, I understand that jealousy. However, as a stay-at-home mom I can guarantee you that we are looking at you thinking "I wish that was me walking on my lunch break, not dealing with the kids."
It is a rather ironic dichotomy. As a working mom you have a sense of guilt for working and not being home. You fear that others, namely stay-at-home moms, look at you as a career driven, heartless woman, who most likely had children to prove a point. As a stay-at-home mom you have a sense of guilt as well. You fear that others, namely working moms, look at you as a mindless, gym going, park playing, weak woman who most likely went to college for her MRS.
The truth of the matter is that it is mostly all in your head. I went back to work after my first child. As a matter of fact, I took a promotion during maternity leave. I was on the fast track, looking at being a director in the next year or two. I had guilt, I was jealous and I wanted to be home laughing and playing with my child at the park. After my second child I went back to work, but because of my husband's travel schedule with his job we made a decision for me to stay at home with the kids. Now as a stay-at-home mom I have guilt, I am jealous and I want to be going to work: interacting with adults and making adult decisions.
I have had the privilege of being a working mom and a stay-at-home mom; both teaching me valuable lessons about the so-called pressures of society and myself. The truth is, you can't win. No matter the decision you make you will feel guilty, jealous and want to be doing something else. Maybe not everyday but once in a while you will see that mom at the park with her kids or walking on her lunch break and think, "I wish that were me."
-Shawna Murrie, Berwyn
Having had a few days to think about the wonderful teen performance of "The Wiz" put on by the Oak Lawn Park District Theatre Group and knowing of the success of the Children's Museum in Oak Lawn, I feel very privileged to be able to say that I am a resident of a vibrant, welcoming village which is a go-to destination for wholesome activities and opportunities for children and teenagers.
The thanks for the success of these ventures is due, in no small part, to the support and guidance of the village's mayor, Dave Heilmann. As co-executive producer of the Oak Lawn Park District Theatre Group and staunch advocate of the village's thriving Children's Museum, Dave, along with his wife, Erica, has played a vital role in the success of both organizations in spite of much opposition from various factions.
When I reflect on the 13 years my family and I have resided in Oak Lawn, I can say that it is a more cultured and desirable community to live in today than it was when we moved in and that it has much to offer anyone young or old.
Vice president, Children's Museum in Oak Lawn
Father of two teens in "The Wiz"