Oh, I’m gonna piss folks off with this one, aren’t I? I guess I’ll be accused of some sort of participation in the Mommy Wars, but I’m still not even clear what that means. I think it means expressing some sort of opinion on how other Mommies are Mommy-ing. Here’s the thing about that, though. See, we’re all starting these Mommy Blogs so we can spout off about stuff we’re thinking about. We want to write about how we feel about life as a Mommy, or a woman, or a wife, or a person, or a citizen, or a drinker of wine, or an eater of salads, or whatever. We all want to write stuff to “brain dump” it, but anybody who says they don’t care if folks are reading is lying. But offending folks means nobody will read anymore, or that you’ll go viral, depending how offensive you are and to which side. We can’t write anything too controversial, because we might offend. We can’t write anything specific about our own opinions, because that might be considered offensive to those who have an opposing opinion. We can’t write about how Breast is Best because that might make the formula feeders feel bad. We can’t say staying home with our kids has been a super awesome thing, even though it’s crazy hard, because that might make those who have to work to pay the bills feel bad. And we can’t write about being glad to send the kids to daycare so we can go have grown up time in the office because that means you’re shaming those Mommies not living up to their male-equal potential.
But the prevailing opinion that we should stop “Mommy-shaming,” that we can write about. We CAN write about how everyone’s choices are valid, we all have to do what’s best for our own family, and “judging” each other is only causing more harm. What the hell does that even mean!? Are you seriously telling me that you think that the mom who has a college degree but feels so strongly about being at home with her kids that she spends hours clipping coupons and figuring out how to feed her three kids on 50% of the household income they had before kids is NOT going to have ANY opinion on the mom who works full time just so they can afford designer clothes? NO OPINION at all? Come on, that’s just not realistic. Whether or not she expresses that opinion is her call. Whether the working mom CARES about that opinion, now that’s another thing. That’s realistic to expect someone to control. SAHMom has no right to stop WOHMom at the Back-To-School Open House and spout her opinion, but if she puts it on her blog (not calling WOHMom out by name, duh), and WOHMom reads it, SO WHAT? If she’s offended that’s WOHMom’s problem. And if WOHMom wants to write a book about how gratified she is by her work and how she can’t imagine being stuck home all day with the laundry and the kids, how is that offensive to SAHMom? For crying out loud, if we all have to make the choices that are best for our own family, why do we spend so much time justifying them in the form of rants about how nobody’s choices deserve judging.
What’s your point, Bird? I don’t know. I’m just tired of being told not to judge. That’s ridiculous. Humans judge. We just do. Obviously I think that the choices I’ve made are the best, or at least I did when I made them. Yes, by “best” I mean that they were/are best for MY family, based on available information and my own beliefs and values. Yes, if you make a different choice based on the same information, I think it’s the wrong choice. Doesn’t mean ANYTHING TO ANYONE! NOTHING, nada, zip, zilch, zero. I thought MY choice was right. I will do you the courtesy of believing that you, like me, think YOUR choice is right. And besides I am sometimes wrong. Wrong about my own choices, wrong about what I think of yours. Catch me on a good day and I might even admit it. Don’t count on it, but SO WHAT? The only thing that is offensive about me believing MY choice is right would be if I felt compelled to somehow force my choice on you and your family.
Just so you know, none of the moms I know in real life EVER talk about how wrong someone else’s choices are, especially with regard to the have a job or stay home question. It just doesn’t happen. So, despite all the blogs, media articles, books, whatever about these “Mommy Wars” and the tension between them, it’s a made up thing. If you are getting your self worth, or letting it be stolen from you, by somebody else’s book or blog, you might need to rethink how you made your choice to begin with.
Maybe instead of the Mommy Wars devolving into a bunch of high powered CEO moms, blogger moms, and playground moms all patting each other on the back congratulating each other for making choices, any choices, whatever the choices, with no judgement about any choice ever, how about we accept that we don’t agree with everyone’s choices and we stop being so darned sensitive to the idea that someone might disagree with our choices. You’re probably judging me right now for that crazy run-on sentence.
That’s okay. I can take it!