It’s been years since anyone has used the phrase “mommy wars” in my vicinity. Maybe it’s because my children are older now or because I stopped paying such close attention.
But it has seemed in recent years that a cease-fire, a humble truce has been declared among working moms (WM), stay-at-home moms (SAHM), work-at-home moms (WAHM), and everyone in between.
This stuff is hard. There is no one “better” way, no one-size-fits-all approach to family life. This past week, shots have been fired yet again in the form of a viral post on the Facebook page “The Transformed Wife.” The chart, divided into two sections, one for working moms and one for stay-at-home moms, heavily implies that working moms harm their children and the only way to parent is from the living room, all day, all the time.
The whole chart is patently ridiculous on many levels. So we broke it apart point-by-point to prove yet again that family is what we make it.
I have been both a stay-at-home mother and a working mother. As a WM, my job was remote, and all my editing and writing was filed from my living room couch. I was there when my kids got up and when they came home. I could run out on lunch breaks and see them, and I could bring forgotten projects and sneakers as needed. Meanwhile, as a SAHM, I was constantly on the go. Whether I was volunteering at the school or running activities or taking my children on outings, I was home far more as a WM than I ever was when I was a SAHM. We are all busy moms, regardless of our work status.
Unless a mom is homeschooling and her children never have playdates, at some point, the children leave the house. It’s good for children to be social, to meet others, and to know that their mothers are not the only people in the world who can care for them. The world is big, and I don’t know a single SAHM or WM who doesn’t appreciate some downtime away from her kids every once in a while.
Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. This one is just a scream. Even when I was home with my children for the many years (including now) that I have been, I never once rested while they napped. There is always laundry to fold, phone calls to return, dishwashers to run, paperwork to fill out, permission slips to sign, and on it goes. Moms' to-do lists are endless—working or not.
Some moms cook. Some moms don’t. Some SAHM are so exhausted at the end of the day with their children that they decide to order a pizza (more power to them), and some WM spend Sunday preparing the week’s meals so it’s as easy as popping a casserole into the oven in order to have a home-cooked meal. Long story short: The status of a woman’s career has no bearing on whether she prefers to cook for her family or not.
Newsflash SAHM are Jewish! And Muslim! And Atheist! It’s weird how all kinds of religions are letting moms stay at home these days. Neato! On top of that: All moms discipline their children. It’s the name of the game. Whether you work in an office or not. And SAHM are not superwomen. We get tired, too. We are all in the trenches, people. It’s hard on both sides.
Two words: cleaning person. I know not everyone can afford this, but there’s a much better chance if both parents are working that it’s a possibility. Many, many grocers also deliver now. So it is entirely possible to come home at night to a box of fresh produce and pantry staples sitting on your back porch. Technology! Look into it! And the best part: This leaves the weekends free for (you guessed it) the park and the beach.
Oh for goodness sake, people! With sex, we all have time. It’s a matter of how much of a priority it is. I’d venture that when I was working, I had more sex. Because I was creatively fulfilled and had a lot to talk about with my husband. But that’s just me. You might be different. Your neighbor might be different still. And her neighbor? Well, she may be doing all kinds of kinky things you have no idea about. And a bad husband gets less sex, whether his wife is working or she’s not. If he’s not sharing equally in the child-rearing, he’s probably not getting any regardless of his spouse’s career.
No one is blessed who doesn’t feel blessed. I have been (and known) many SAHM who don’t feel creatively fulfilled. And their home life suffers. I have known many WM who struggle with the balance and wish they could find it, too. But I have also known the opposite. A working friend of mine saw this and she said her two children “rise up and call me badass.” Couldn’t that be true? And in the end, aren’t we all kind of badasses, on the same team, just trying to do right by our children and teach them how to be kind and happy adults? Let’s declare peace, put down our arms, and help each other out instead of spread lies via a silly Facebook post. I’ll do it if you will.