Friday, April 10, 2009

Mean Girls and Mommy Wars and Really, Just Enough!, Already

Did anyone else watch Monday's Oprah show about how hard it is to be a mom? I watched snippits of it, and had to turn it off. The moms on there were incredibly self-absorbed and seemed to be having some sort of TV Pity Party about how parenting is so hard. Even with a nanny, it's just so hard! Suck it up, Wendy Whiner. Mrs. G. over at The Women's Colony has a great post about this subject today,and I think she said pretty much everything I could say, and so much better, too. But, she did inspire me to jot down my two cents on this issue.

The 'Mean Girls' that many of us encountered in junior high and high school, now have kids of their own. And you know what? A lot of them are still mean. They are now the moms at your child's school who look down their noses at other moms who aren't living up to their impossibly high standards of parenting. At least, that's what I've encountered with the majority of parents at Chickenhead's school. There's a mommy clique at our school. You know the ones. I've had meetings with them to discuss picnics and parties and other shcool events. I've heard what they've had to say about moms that weren't there, and it makes me wonder what they say about me. The moms that are friendly and supporting are few and far between. I can count on one hand the moms that I could count on to help out in a pinch.

I'm tired of the stay-at-home moms who consider a working mom as some sort of failure at the job of motherhood. I'm tired of working moms who think that stay-at-home moms are failing at the job of being a woman. Both camps are working their asses off, day in, day out, most of the time without thanks or recognition. Is one lifestyle really superior to the other? Don't you think both sides would love to trade places with the other at times, even for just half a day? Isn't just raising a child stressful enough without magazines, books, so-called 'experts' and even other parents telling you that you're not doing it right?

Not only do I work, but I'm the primary bread-winner in our family. I relish the time I get to spend with my son and my husband, because there just isn't enough of it. Like a lot of working moms, I feel like I have two full time jobs; my JOB job, and when I get at home, the job of being wife and mom. But you know what? I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. My yard may not be the most beautiful, my house may not be spotless, but I don't care. I'm using the time I have on weekends to spend with my son and my husband.

I may not have everything, but I'm thankful for what I have. The next time I hear some woman on TV grousing about how hard it is to be a working/stay-at-home mom, I hope she stops to think about all the moms that have it so much harder than she does. I hope she thinks about the single moms, who have to shoulder the entire job. I hope she thinks about the mom who's struggling to get out of an abusive relationship. I hope she thinks about the moms who have lost their children, who would give anything to have their babies back in their arms.

And instead of tearing each other down, let's focus on building each other up. After all, this mom thing is hard.


jenn said...

Well said, Kelley. I read Mrs. G's post on that as well, and thought it made some important points.

I'm a SAHM, but that's secondary to who I am as a person. Why do so many people have to label SAHM/working mom and judge based on that? We all try to make choices based on what's best for our family. I wish that more moms could respect that and try to appreciate each other as fellow women and mothers.

Carol said...

Personally I don't give a rats ass about what other Mom's think of me...I know in my heart I am a great Mother. I am raising great kids. Bottom line, that's what it is all about right? That the kids turn out good! Not everyone is going to be the President, or a super star even! When I had to do the PTA shit...I hated it! DREADED it! I went to every picnic, field trip and party my kids had! I wore big ole' black leather jacket and thick black make up so they knew I was not joining their 'PTA Mother' hood...they judged me...but my kids know the truth.