But working mothers are not part-time mothers.
Working mothers are full-time mothers, just like working fathers are absolutely full-time fathers. How is that? Earning money is something working moms and dads do to care for our families. It is as much a part of feeding our children as cooking. It's as much a part of dressing our children as shopping and mending. Working is just another step in the process of caring for a family, and for the vast majority of parents in the United States, it is an absolutely necessary part of parenting.
As much as I dislike my current employment situation because, yes, I would rather be home with my children, I am also grateful for it. My job is not some calm, blissful oasis of adult conversations and beer o'clock kid-free lunches - no kidding, I have heard people call working parenthood super fun and easy because OMG lunch* - but rather one of those stressful, but unavoidable elements of being a responsible mom. My job sucks but it helps keep P. warm in winter, for one. It gives us a chance to save and get out of debt and the possibility of sending her to a good school. It also gives us the chance to provide small, but enriching extras like ballet and tap class - even if we're still budgeting to do it.
In other words, working is something full-time mothers and full-time mothers do because they are parents, not because they're a bunch of jerks looking for a profitable way to avoid spending time with their children for eight hours a day.
Sure, I suppose the mister and I could both quit our jobs so we could fit into someone else's narrowly defined full-time father and full-time mother roles, but somehow I think not living in a van down by the river probably trumps the time we have to spend apart from our kids. Which is why I think that even suggesting that working parents are not full-time parents because they're providing for their families is pretty darn mean.
*Today's lunch break was devoted to grocery shopping. During any given "lunch," you're likely to find me washing the dishes, folding some laundry, organizing baby and kid clothes, vacuuming the basement, cleaning something, doing yardwork, or focused on freelance work because working parents don't get a free pass on household management. At least not at our income level!