Until a few weeks ago, I was the parent who stayed at home watching our daughter. We'd always had a vague plan that I would be the one to stay home, naively thinking that since I worked from home I could both work and take care of a baby. Turns out that is mostly not the case, which was the spark of more than a few fights every couple has when one parent stays at home.
Staying home was simultaneously a sacrifice and a luxury: it wasn't financially easy for us to have one of us not working, but it was a choice we both made together after adopting our daughter. Since neither of us got time with her before she was born, we wanted to bond with her as much as possible once she joined our family. However, staying home was tough some days, and even tougher when my partner didn't quite know what it was like to be in charge of the tiny human five out of the seven days in a week. The other side effect of being the one who stays home is that you're naturally the one who knows the systems and schedules and equipment needed. In other words, it's harder for you to essentially "turn off" when you do have help.
I started working again a few weeks ago and I've quickly realized that being a working mom is equally if not more difficult than being a stay at home mom. I may not be in charge of my daughter for six hours a day, but so many of the mom responsibilities don't go away; they're just added onto the responsibilities of a working mom. Sexism is built into our society, that's for sure. However, rather than start those arguments with my partner (today at least), I'm reminiscing on the fights we had when I was home with our daughter.