It has been a holiday I’ve had to defend. Year after year for the past 10 years, I have explained to people and places like Babble and CBS’ Harry Smith and an irate e-mailer who called me a “F–k Trophy” why stay-at-home mothers needed their own holiday.
Well, not the last one. I just hit delete.
Please Take My Children to Work Day has been the made-up holiday for stay-at-home parents, mostly moms, to get a day off.
It was that simple, and yet in the decade since I created Please Take My Children to Work Day, it was never really simple.
Some working mothers have taken offense, as though a holiday for at-home moms was a slap in the face to them. I never quite understood that rationale, because it felt like protesting Arbor Day as disrespecting low-lying vegetation. What does one have to do with the other?
Some felt that Mother’s Day should suffice for all mothers, except I had always spent mine vacuuming the house for my mother and mother-in-law. So it made me wonder how many at-home mothers of little kids really, truly got a full day off from the relentless needs of small children 24/7. Not when there are people so angered by the idea that they would call me names. Very odd, yet arguably, creative names.
Some at-home moms said I should set the holiday during the school year so it would be easier to get a few hours off, because how in the world could they get someone to watch their kids for an entire day?
Um….see above: holiday, at-home moms.
Over the years, the holiday was officially declared in several states by governors who wanted to recognize the work of at-home parents, or so said the official proclamations I received in the mail from Arizona, Hawaii, Michigan and more. Colorado wouldn’t use the tongue-in-cheek name, choosing instead to declare it “Stay-at-home Mother Day.”
And now today is the 10th annual Please Take My Children to Work Day. I truly hope that somewhere, somehow, some at-home parents get today off from their usual summer Monday. I hope that they get one off more than once a year.
When I started the holiday my kids were in preschool — and not at the same time. I was launching a web site and a career from home around the kids’ schedules, and I was married. I kept the holiday going year after year even when I became a working mom, but now, it’s time for me to let it go. Now that I’m a working, soon-to-be divorced mom of teens, it’s time to move onto the next thing and bid adieu to the holiday that made some cheer, some boo and some call me names.
No matter what your parenting arrangement, and no matter how much it changes over the years, I hope you will take time for yourself. As for me? Maybe I’ll take a day off.