Friday, June 29, 2012

Stay At Home Mom vs. Working Mom. Who's Right?

Pin It I recently wrote an article about being a stay at home mom (SAHM). I thought it was pretty tame. I tend not to get overly judgmental over how other people parent...I got that out of my system when I was pregnant for the first time. No one is a better parent than someone without kids right? But that's a whole post for another day. Let's save that little chestnut, cause it's worth coming back to.

This article, which I thought was fair and balanced (and not in that icky FOX news kind of way), sparked some interesting discussion on a couple of forums. Some of the comments actually got pretty heated, mostly due to people making asshat assumptions about what being a SAHM is really about.

I was told it was intentionally inflammatory. Me? Inflammatory? No way.

Bitchy? Absolutely. Sarcastic and snarky? Sure, but never intentionally inflammatory.

I was told that it was biased, since it only discussed being a SAHM.

Really? I AM a SAHM. I wouldn't write an article, for example, about being a dolphin, or an astronaut.

All of a sudden, it's on like Donkey Kong.

Stay at Home Mom Vs. Working Mom.
Round 1675.
Ding, ding, ding.

Oh, hell no! Did she just say daycare is raising my kids?

This is a battle that will never be won, yet it still gets rehashed and reenacted more often than the Civil War. The thing you gotta realize about this particular catfight...some people are really touchy about their choices. When those choices involve how they parent...well, the gloves are coming off. There is also a certain type of woman who believes so strongly that she is right that anyone who disagrees must be, obviously, wrong. When these two traits meet in one person, head for your zombie apocalypse bunker. (What? You don't have one?) We are talking about a meltdown of nuclear proportions. In a perfect world we could all just live our lives the way it made sense for us, without all the judgement from other people.

The internet is FAR from a perfect world.

Having said that I thought it might be a hoot to actually BE intentionally inflammatory. Why the heck not? I have been branded as such and I would really hate to make a liar out of anyone. Besides, no one wants to hear the boring truth anyway. It is WAY more fun to use hackneyed stereotypes and gross generalizations. Before anyone decides to flame me I have to add this disclaimer:
    The following examples are composites of shameless stereotypes. It's called parody. If you are offended by satire I would suggest not reading further. It is bitchy, snarky and in poor taste. If you persist in reading and find yourself offended I would suggest rereading the first part of this disclaimer.
    You haz been warned:)

    That article was so offensive...where's my brain bleach?

    The Stay At Home Mom

    The SAHM is a better mother than you.
    She is actually raising her kids, thankyouverymuch, and isn't afraid to denounce the working mother for "outsourcing" her children. She can take her kids to the park on a Tuesday afternoon if she wants to. She probably won't...but she could if she wanted to. She has the freedom and spontaneity to be as lazy as she wants to be, anytime, anywhere.
    She knows that her kids are going to grow up healthier and happier because mommy was around to watch daytime television them grow up. She judges mothers who look well groomed. In her eyes you must sport a ponytail with roots, yoga pants and a sweatshirt with spit up on the shoulder in order to be a proper mother.  Her husband sympathizes with her needs, like when she needs a night out. He has no problem watching the kids for a couple of hours so she can unwind after a busy day of doing...nothing much. Beats the hell out of listening to her nag about how she has no one over the age of three to talk to all day.
    She is the busiest person you will ever meet. She spends most of her day on the internet, whining about how hard her life is. She hasn't cleaned her house yet today, she just hasn't had time. She was too busy posting a never ending stream of "inspirational quotes" about motherhood to her Facebook timeline. Her Pinterest boards are jammed full of crafts she will never make and food she will never cook. Despite her lack of enthusiasm for all things domestic she is able to maintain an aura of smug superiority about her homemade laundry soap.
    It is SOOO tough being a Stay At Home Martyr Mother. Especially when all the major networks cut away from Channing Tatum's appearance on Live! with Kelly Ripa (NSFW) to cover the stupid President and his healthcare bill.

    "Tell me again how hard you have it. How's that indoor plumbing working out for you?"


    The Working Mom

    The working mom is a better mother than you.
    She is setting an example for her children thankyouverymuch. She has drive, ambition and childcare. She went into labour at a board meeting and STILL managed to stick it out until the coffee and donuts ran out. Her kids are going to grow up knowing about responsibility and hard work. She is teaching them valuable lessons, that is to say, she hired the people who are teaching them valuable lessons.
    Same thing.
    She pities women who choose to be homemakers, they are so obviously lacking motivation. She manages to juggle 10 hour workdays, soccer games and still finds time to do Zumba three days a week. If she can do it, anyone can. She is climbing that corporate ladder and she doesn't care whose backs she has to step on, even it they belong to her family. It's for their own good. She scoffs at those who call her husband henpecked. It's just more efficient for her to make all the decisions. She is the CEO of their home. Someone has to keep the staff in line. It's hard work!
    She also spends most of her day on the internet whining about how hard her life is, the only difference is she logs on from her office. She schedules play dates around her conference calls and get her hair foiled on her lunch break, being a mother is no excuse for shoddy roots. She is a better mother when she doesn't have to spend the whole day with her children. Spending time with your kids is overrated. She needs more stimulation than that. She needs to interact with that cute guy in Human Resources grown ups. She plans on sending her kids off to boarding school ASAP. That way she can continue her career uninterrupted. She's going to miss them though. The company newsletter is coming up and they look great in her profile picture.
    Maybe she can hire a couple of stand ins?

    "Darling, the new Swedish nanny starts on Monday"

    I have painted a couple of pretty extreme and obviously fictional pictures here. No one really lives like that, right? Right? There are a million ways to be a mom, none of them right or wrong. Even if someone judges you for the way you parent just take comfort in the fact that someone, somewhere, is judging them for the way they parent. There are a lot of people in this world, blinders firmly in place, gathering stones to throw from the comfort of their glass balconies. Doesn't bother me. My house is made of rubber. Shit just bounces off.

    What is YOUR house made of?

    Photo Credit: All photos courtesy of Pin It


    Unknown said...

    Great blog!! I love it

    hairsteph said...

    Once again. Hit the nail on the head! Well
    Ps.... My house is made of concrete.....

    Okay well it's a "condo"cough coughapartmentcough