I just put the boys to sleep and I sit here disheartened by what I’ve seen circulating on Facebook today. I am appalled that the “Mommy Wars” continue to exist in such dramatic form (SAHM vs. WM — SAHM vs. SAHM — WM vs. WM) — (SAHM = Stay At Home Mom / WM = Working Mom). It’s shameful. As women, we are catty, we are condescending, we are judgmental. We wonder why we get little respect from our male counterparts – I’m sure in large part it’s because we are so busy putting one another down that they look at us as b*tches, rather than as what we truly are – nurturing, hardworking mothers.
The article circulating is entitled, “Dear Stay-At-Home-Moms, Please Shut Up.”
You can read it here: http://www.lifetimemoms.com/parenting/stay-home-moms-shut-up
I’ve seen it posted on fellow SAHM’s Facebook pages as well as on the walls of working moms. Appalled by many of the comments made in the article as well as what it stands for, I dug a little deeper and found a widely publicized response article, “I’m a SAHM Who Can’t (And Won’t) STFU, Thanks!”
Read it here:
Here are MFM’s thoughts:
I am a SAHM to three beautiful, healthy little boys. I am fortunate to be home with them, to watch them grow, to witness their firsts, to take them to school, to feed them dinner at night. I am blessed to have a beautiful home. We can afford organic food (even thought that’s a hot topic in our house). We can afford the occasional night out and babysitter. We can afford nursery school. I am fortunate that I can kiss my kids first thing in the morning and I can tuck them in at night. I am here to witness their milestones. But because I am fortunate for those things, does that diminish the struggle I (and many, many other mothers) feel on a daily basis?
My husband works long, tiring hours so that we can live on one income. I am often alone. I put on hold a career that I love to raise my children. I couldn’t fathom taking a very large portion of my salary to pay for daycare or a nanny, to have someone else raise my children, while I was off teaching other peoples’ children. The trade-off, amazing health benefits, don’t seem worth it to me (although my husband might beg to differ). These are choices we’ve made to make our lifestyle work.
But these choices don’t minimize the fact that being a MOTHER is hard work and sometimes we just need to VENT! I say MOTHERS not SAHM or WOM. All mothers have it hard, whether we work or not. We have different struggles. We sometimes vent about the same things and we sometimes vent about different things. But the beauty of being mothers in the trenches of dirty diapers, spilled orange juice, behavioral issues, Common Core homework, dating, etc. is that we are in the trenches together with other women experiencing the same problems. All over the world.
It’s not natural to feel thankful all the time! It would be wonderful if that’s the way the world worked. It would be wonderful if all mothers had the opportunity to stay home (if they wanted to — because let’s face it, not every working mother is working because she HAS to. Some choose to work because they WANT to — and that’s great! More power to them if they can juggle it all. But I can say with certainty that even the mothers that choose to work still have pangs of guilt or a general sense of failure — the SJP movie, I Don’t Know How She Does It comes to mind. If you haven’t seen it, you should.) It would be wonderful if at the end of the day, all children drifted off to sleep with ease and siblings weren’t fighting, and the house wasn’t cleaned, wrecked, cleaned, and wrecked again all in a two hour span, or if the train didn’t run late and that WOM missed kissing her kids goodnight. As my husband always says, “The world isn’t perfect.” And he’s right.
On any given day, I feel my blood pressure rise multiple times. In those moments, even though I am so happy to be home raising my babies, it’s hard to see rainbows and butterflies. Do I love my children and my lifestyle any less because sometimes I need to complain that I miss being able to pee alone or that I miss not having a moment to myself or that I miss being able to talk on the phone with my best friend without little hands pulling at me and screaming in my face or that I miss grabbing a drink with a friend without having to figure out the logistics of everyone else’s schedules first or that…. The list goes on and on. I am still grateful in all those moments that I’ve been blessed with my children and the ability to raise them. But I am entitled to miss things from my pre-kid years and I am entitled to say it out loud. There’s no shame in it!
In this life, we all have choices to make. Some WM need to go back to work because they’ve chosen to buy homes and live lifestyles that require additional incomes. Some SAHM can’t afford daycare on their former salaries so they have no choice but to give up their jobs. None of it is easy.
My best friend works three days per week and still comes home to full-time mother. Her life isn’t easy and I constantly find myself reminding her that she needs to take time for herself. And you know what, she constantly reminds me the same thing because she knows that being a full-time SAHM requires a certain kind of stamina, beauty, and isolation. And the wonder of it all – we don’t judge each other for our choices. We listen and we vent and we listen again and we encourage each other and remind each other that we can make it through another day – all we can do is try our best.
I could go on about this for hours, but I still have toys to clean up and laundry to fold. I’ll end by saying a collective plea – MOMS: We all have it hard. We all face constant scrutiny to be the best mothers we can be. We all want our children to grow up well-rounded with the very best advantages life has to offer. We dream about it during those pregnant sleepless nights and pray for the health and well-being of our future children. We ALL deal with immense guilt for not doing enough, doing too much, having no time for ourselves, too much time for ourselves and not enough with our children, and so-forth. Can we just collectively agree that we all have it hard and STOP judging one another? SAHM that complain sometimes aren’t awful people. We are human. WM that complain aren’t awful either. We need to work together to make it okay for women to verbalize their feelings and bring to light the difficulties that ALL mothers face in our modern, digital, over-worked, over-achieving, scary, beautiful world. Can I get an “AMEN!?”
(Thanks for letting me vent – wink wink)