The Mommy Wars

CubicleViews proffered up a post about his adventures as a Stay at Home Mom for a day. It proved busy – but it did end with cookies – so he’s got that going for him.

This got me thinking about the ongoing mommy wars. The socialsphere continues to rage in a civil war of working moms vs. SAHMs. Babble recently posted an article, 10 Things Never to Say to a Working Mother.

I don’t know how SAHMs do it. I won’t lie – I’m not strong enough to stay at home. I returned to work a mere month after the muppets arrived home from the hospital. (Props to Jon here who spent a year as Daddy Day Care, spending his weekdays at home with tiny muppets.)

Let me make myself clear. I do not think one choice is better or worse than the other. I do not think moms are better at the task of rearing children than fathers.

But, I’m sure those of you who are dead set in your opinion that working mothers breed a new generation of criminals are tired of having the beliefs you’re trying to force down our throats fall on deaf ears. So I thought I’d spend some time really taking your statements to heart.

1. Why did you have kids if you’re not raising them.
It was all because of the drugs. Believe me – I tried not to have kids for three months more. <;Hangs head in shame>; It appears you were right…infertility medications are a gateway drug! Just say no! Actually, I’m a little confused – is it nature or nurture that takes a village?

2. Must suck to have to leave your kid every day.
It is absolutely heartbreaking to see how distraught my children are when I say goodbye every morning. So inconsolable are they, in fact, that they can’t even bear to look back. So they hit the ground running toward the breakfast table. “Cracker? Cracker?” Sometimes they yell, “Byeeee” over their should as they break for toys.

3. I thought your husband made enough for you to say home.
I tried to be a proud to submissive, traditional wife, preparing myself before his homecoming. I would smooth my housedress and reapply my lead-based makeup before having him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie down in the bedroom. But sadly, I was unsuccessful at preparing all the meals and clearing all the clutter. I failed at being the Stepford Wife perfect mate to the King of my castle. Also, it’s 2012 – so I’m either a modern woman or it’s the end of the world. One of those.

4. You must feel really guilty.
Ooh – I got this one. I’m Catholic. We’ve got the guilt thing down. Although, I’ve read the California Penal Code (or at least heard many parts of it) and I just can’t find that specific section where I have committed a specified or implied offense or crime. Well, aside from the fault and blame – which you’re heaping right now. But it is really awful to have a happy, functioning family.

5. I could never trust anyone else with my kids.
So you’re not offering to babysit? Honestly thought, I completely understand your concern. So much so that their father is the literal definition of a helicopter parent. (Plus it’s obvious you never had a Mary Poppins Holly. Clearly.) Oh My God! Look out behind you! WATCH OUT! Life’s about to happen – including germs, bumps and bruises. <;Runs screaming from the conversation>;

6. We made the financial sacrifices so I could stay home.
We made the financial sacrifices so I could send them to daycare. That place is not cheap people! Are you offering to pay me? I’d make a joke about buying my kids a pony, but Lucky the stuffed pretty pony is presently staring me down – so I’m a little afraid to offend him.

7. Do your kids ever see you?
We make sure to plan weekly dates. Sometimes we get spontaneously crazy and enjoy some quality bonding time at 3 or 4 in the morning. And don’t worry, we routinely enjoy traditional family-value-full evenings where we sit around the table for a well-balanced meal (or on beanbag chairs in the living room while the adults try not to smoosh the handfuls of Kix cereal the children are eating off the floor). One of those.

8. You are so lucky that you work!
I have a confession: I like my job. So, yes. Yes I am lucky. In fact, at the very least I recommend you get a hobby.

9. So, who is watching your kid?
What do you mean “who?” I’ve had dogs all my life. You just crate train right? Haha. I’m just kidding. I leave them in the car. I mean seriously – that’s why we had two at once – so they can entertain each other. Don’t worry. We park the car in the shade at daycare.

10. You’re choosing career over your kids?
Now that’s just silly. I want a career in writing. And I’m trying to build my brand on stories about my kids. So I need to keep them around so I have tales to tell. That and I need to save enough money to put them in t-ball so they can earn the skills to support their wives when they grow up.

10 Comments

Filed under A Nervous Tic Motion, Humor, Seriously?, Work

10 Responses to The Mommy Wars

  1. First thanks for the shout out!

    In my case, the real reason I’m not a stay at home Dad…Mrs. CV won’t let me.

    P.S. That excuse fits countless things I want.

    P.S.S. I’ve obviously figured out who’s the boss.

  2. Great Aunt J

    Love it!!! Thanks for answering all those questions I’ve received in such a humorous waly!!

  3. Oh, girl! Did you hit the nail on the head or WHAT? I stayed home with my first boy, *home* meaning I only worked part time or went to school. By the time Frack was 8 weeks, he was in daycare and I was off gallivanting the world, or in my case, the college campus. Sure, I miss all the free time to do arts and crafts and mommy and me. But you know what I don’t miss? The feeling of having the hubs come home and me blurting out, “JESUS, take these MONSTERS from me before I light myself on fire!”

    The quality time I spend with my kids is fantastic. My boys and I are as tight as they come. I love them. They think I hung the moon. And frankly, that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t get a break from them during the day. Sure, some moms gain their fulfillment from playgroups and childrearing. I get mine from deadlines, HUGE wins at work, and the money to take my kids to a Celtics game on fucking Christmas Day in Boston.

    The end.

  4. I almost choked on my coffee when you got to the part about daycare not being cheap. Thank you for the laugh!

  5. I am to entertain 🙂 Glad you all appreciated it. And CV, gotta say we’re all glad you’re not a SAHD – us working moms appreciate your views from the cube. Gotta find the humor where ever you can.

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  8. charlotte

    So you two basically abandon the kids all day. Nice.
    Now, take it from a kid (now adult) who grew up with that.

    My father all but abandoned me and my sister for his work. We saw him on weekends, and that was it. Obviously, priorities were different. My mother was technically a SAHM, but she ignored us all day, choosing to be on the computer/phone/etc. Guess how that left me and my sister? Screwed up royally. No, we’re not criminals. But for myself, you can add to a list: abandonment problems, troubles understanding real relationships, inability to believe anyone who says they care, a suicidal amount of ‘I’ll do it by myself’ and all the issues involved with raising yourself, cause my private school sure as hell didn’t.

    Look,, your kids will probably be fine. But seriously, they need real parents and real parenting. Weekend parenting doesn’t work. After-hours parenting won’t work in teenage years. And the day-care/nanny/school won’t raise them. Sorry. I went to the most expensive schools in my area- but not having a parent led to be getting expelled. Proof? I’m an orphan and in a real family now. With a SAHM. The differences are astounding.

    One of you needs to step in. If not the mom, try the dad. But daycare? Come on!

    • Thank you for your opinion. No, schools will not raise children – that is up to each individual family.

      Parenting is not a zero sum game. I’m sorry you did not have an enjoyable childhood. And what works for one does not always work for another. I fully agree that children need parenting.

      We are a two-income family. I work, my husband works. My children love school, their friends, their family. This is what works for us.

      (And in case it was not obvious, many of my posts – including this one – involve a heavy dose of satire.)

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