In the last couple of days several of my Facebook friends have shared this blog post: “You’re a stay-at-home mom? What do you Do all day?” Those sharing the article inevitably say something like, “right on” or “hardest job in the world.” And, of course, people rush to “like” the post. All of us going out of our way to show that we stand on the side of the stay at home moms. That’s fine, I guess. I’m a stay at home mom and I appreciate stay at home moms.
Sometimes, though, I wonder if there really is a “mommy war” or if we have just created it. Of course, I read about all this angst between women who stay at home and women who work outside of the home. I’ll tell you honestly, I’ve never experienced any of that tension. In fact, no one has ever been anything but supportive of my choice to stay at home. So why do stay at home moms act like there is some vast conspiracy to make all the moms go to work? Even the blog post that sparked these thoughts seemed to be stretching it, at least to me. I mean, the comments (from people he was chatting with in a coffee shop, for goodness sake) were essentially meaningless small talk. Someone was asking about his wife’s plans. Someone was responding favorably to the idea of his wife staying home. (I mean, he got worked up about someone commenting that staying at home with the kids is fun. Truth is, it is fun! Obviously it isn’t fun 100% of the time but, really, what job is?) Basically, a few innocent comments set this guy off so that he felt like he needed to defend stay at home moms. Well, maybe all this well-meaning defense is actually fueling the “mommy wars.”
Remember the 2012 Presidential campaign? Those were simpler times, weren’t they? Well, you may remember that Hilary Rosen made a comment about Ann Romney on Anderson Cooper 360 that stirred up a storm. In the context of a discussion about which candidate would be better for women she said Ann Romney “has actually never worked a day in her life.”
Well, first of all, let’s all just agree that Rosen put her foot in her mouth on that one. I obviously don’t know what she was thinking when she said it but, if I had to guess, I’d say it was more about Ann Romney’s economic status than her employment status. Rosen’s quote goes on to say that Ann Romney never had to face the kinds of economic concerns that most women do. I think we can all agree that there is some truth in that point. I’m guessing Ann Romney hasn’t spent a lot of time clipping coupons to make ends meet.
Well, this isn’t meant to be a defense of Hilary Rosen, just an observation. Do you know what made that comment a big deal? The response. Instead of everyone agreeing that Rosen said something stupid, instead of Rosen apologizing, even, for her poorly thought out words, everyone just had to get all up in arms about how down trodden the poor stay at home moms are.
Here’s the thing: I don’t think stay at home moms are down trodden. I don’t think people spend a lot of time and effort thinking about the choices that other people made. I’m a stay at home mom. My husband and I chose this set up, for now. I have several friends who work outside the home. Do I think they are bad moms? No. Do I think they are selfish? No. Do I spend any time thinking about their work choices? Nope.
Figuring out my own life is hard enough. I don’t have any mental energy left to deal with other people’s choice. Now, go and do likewise. 😉