Friday, August 08, 2008

Working vs. Stay-at-Home

I just finished watching something on a vlog that really pissed me off. I'm not going to link to it, because, this was the first time I ever visited this woman's vlog, and now I hate her. I don't want to send any traffic her way. Why in the hell do women create and lovingly maintain this big divide between "working" and "stay at home" moms? Why is it an us vs. them thing?

I think because I work part-time, I'm better able than some to see both sides of the issue. Women with children have a very tough job. Period (and sometimes because of their period it's even harder). Mothering is already a more-or-less thankless job. That alone is enough to make it tough. Add to that all of the little jobs that are a part of being a mother, like helping with homework, picking out the right clothes, packing just the right lunch, and dealing with teachers, and even the best days can leave you feeling like an empty husk of your pre-parent self. What really sucks though, is knowing that many of the moms you see standing around in tight little packs at your child's school are busy criticizing every other mother they can get their nasty little talons into.

Take for example the vlog that raised my ire. She's bitching about working mothers that don't "make it" to their kid's classrooms, whatever that means. I have a piece of advice for her and every other woman to feels the need to be critical. Hey, how 'bout rather that talking crap about other women, we offer them a little support. Maybe some of those mothers that don't "make it" to class, CAN'T in fact "make it". This lady even comes out and smugly admits she and her friends are gossiping about other mothers, as if staying on the good side of such a nasty, negative individual would be the proper motivation for someone with an ounce of self-respect.

Then on the other hand, we have the working mothers that.... oh hell. I'm totally biased. I really can't think of any shit I have ever heard working moms talk about a stay at home moms. They have so much on their plate, they don't have time to even consider how well someone else is dealing with their child. The most I have ever heard a working mom say is, "I don't know how they deal with their kids all day long with no break." So here is my message to those self-righteous, stay-at-home mothers who must have nothing better to do at home while their kids are at school, that to sit on their asses and think of things to be critical about. Rather than making yourself feel better about your own inadequacies by critiquing mothers that work, why not realize that working or not, we all have something in common. We are all women. Have you heard of the Women's Movement? It's about creating conditions in society, in and out of the workplace that foster the success of ALL women. Regardless of their childbearing status or their choice to work or stay at home with their kids. So rather than sniping about another mother not "making it" to her child's class, try using your vlog as a forum for building women up, rather than tearing them down.

3 comments:

Joanna said...

Amen Sister!

Dawson-Ratsoy Family Blog said...

Amen Sister was what I was going to say! Exactly! Have you ever tried to bottle feed a 10 month old in Berkeley? Laser eyes from women with 5 year olds on their breasts. The one time where we could really use each others help seems for some women to be the perfect opportunity for judgement and clique building...

I For One..... said...

Ack. Don't even get me started on the La Leche League Nazis! That's a whole new post. As someone who practically killed myself trying to breastfeed my two kids, while fighting flayed skin and multiple bouts of mastitis, the hardest part was dealing with all of the people who told me to just keep trying. That it was the right thing to do for my baby. Breast is best. It's all natural, see? I even consulted a lactation consultant after both kids were born. Their conventional wisdom seems to come straight from the Berkeley Mom's Group forums. No matter what, if you give up, you are failing your baby. Oh the guilt!!!