Something got my dander up when I first wrote this … it was probably from Huffington Post and it was probably shared on Facebook … it probably had something to do with “things not to say to a (label) mom” … heaven knows HuffPost (for all its humor and all the decompression opportunities it’s offered me through humor over the umpteen years that I’ve occasionally read it) has its share of those kinds of posts … probably written by moms like me: who were on their way to (work, home, grocery store, child‘s therapy, their own therapy, the gym) and some well meaning stranger made a comment in passing that became the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and instead of crying or indulging in substance abuse or calling someone and having a mini-melt-down modern moms on the verge of breakdown do what passionate persons have done since the dawn of time … they create: words, art, food, more babies, etc … so anyway … it’s been sitting here for a while, but I’m going to “undraft” it and just hit publish …
For the past 12 years, I’ve been a mom … for the past 15 years I’ve been an accountant … and off and on for the past 20 years, I’ve been a (formal, full time) student.
No. I’m not 47 years old so these things didn’t occur separately.
When I first became a mom, I naively thought that the siss boom bah of the “debate” about SAHM or WOHM would go away. I really did. This “debate” is the parapet of competitive parenting and it’s pure and utter crap. Everyone does what’s best for her own family and her sanity – there’s nothing concrete or set in stone about it – we each have our own personalities, our own strengths, our own weaknesses. and to put it to bed FINALLY
everyone is raising their own children
Did I say it loud enough?
Should I YELL it again?
Why am I yelling about it? Because HuffingtonPost.com just keeps droning on and on and on about the holier than thou SAHM and the holier than thou WOHM.
Guess what? There’s more to life and infusing the SAHM / WOHM role choice with morality, predestination, fate, GOD calling you to it, etc and then trying to impose your belief on others is pure poppycock. If you want to be home with your kids and that’s a lifestyle you can swing, then GO FOR IT. If you want to have a career AND children, by all means, have at it. If you want to homeschool your children or have them eat all natural home grown goat-fertilized vegan cuisine or not vaccinate them or if you want them to go to public, private, charter, or martian school or have them eat an omnivorous diet or vaccinate them, if you co-sleep or CIO, if you wear your baby or encourage tummy time and independent play, if you breast feed your child until he’s 4 or wean her when she’s 2 or … that’s your prerogative.
Here’s the thing that you (I, all of us) need to remember:
Eventually our children are going to be adults. They’re going to (God willing) go to college and they’re going to make choices about their lives.
Do we want our children to grow up believing that their parents were so militantly guided by a religious view of gender roles that they lose their minds when they become adults because they don’t know that CHOICE is something that awaits them on the other side of our apron strings? Do we want them to grow up believing that EVERY adult around them is going to fall all over themselves to make sure that their needs are met?
Dear God, let’s HOPE not.
Otherwise you’re going to have to select everyone who interacts with them ever based on your gender role perceptions. So all the professional women that interact with your child will have to NOT have children of their own (since WOHM is baaaaad) and all the professional men that interact with your child will have to be Manly Men of Biblical proportions who follow whichever verses of Leviticus and Friends that you’ve decided are going to be THE RULES in your home/family/life (which honestly, is noneya …. as in none of your business … really what are you going to do? gruelingly interview EVERYONE with whom you interact? Do you have children (yes) are you female (yes) … HOLY HELL You’re polluting my children! Infidel! … and then your child can’t go to school with mine? can’t play basketball with mine? you can’t visit the facility where I work because OMG moms work there?
Conversely … I’m not going to interview all the women in my life and shun them if they choose to SAH with their kids …
Because here’s the thing (and this is what really separates the wheat from the chaff … oohh yeah there I did it … the heathen made a Biblical reference) … when my daughter was little, she did have a SAHP … AND she had a WOHM … because *gasp* charge the paddles … our family’s choice was to have the DADDY be the SAHP. For some inane reason this – not my WOHM status, but that in my family the daddy was the SAHP – has driven several so-called “friends” (people who knew me in high school in the 518 area code) to shun me. Because I don’t believe it takes a vagina or a uterus or 2 boobs to be at home with the children. It also doesn’t take a penis and 2 testicles to be in the workforce or have a career.
yep, that’s the #1 reason (as agreed upon by the Momzillas and Mombies who were once classmates) that I’m a bad-ass who shouldn’t be living in the same society as them and their perfect-gender-role-example inculcated children.
(followed shortly by oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo VACCINATION! run. I’ve had my shots. that’s why I’m not controlled by my girly parts LOL)