Yesterday I read and commented on a blog post regarding the WOHM (Work Outside Home Mom).
I read the blog author's post, and immediately wanted to go hug her. She's having a tough time transitioning back to the work place. She has a full time job, kids, a business on the side. She's had to deal with sick kids, and an obviously not understanding boss. She's got a tough row to hoe.
Yet instead offering her sympathy, most commenters went on the attack. Sure, she could have phrased what she was trying to say a little more clearly. But that does not excuse the vitriol I saw. Stay at Home Moms, Work At Home Moms, even some WOHMs jumped all over her for what she posted. Outraged that their way of parenting/contributing was being diminished and insulted. Telling her to quit being a crybaby and if she doesn't like it, change it.
What I don't think any of them saw was the irony. Here we have moms insulting and demeaning other moms...for judging and demeaning other moms.
I saw several comments stating that for them, it was more important to be with their child, implying that by working, a mother who does so doesn't value time wtih her child. Many of us today don't work because we want to, although some of us do. I went back to work after Ava was born because I had to. I have this crazy habit of wanting to keep a roof over our heads. That requires both of us working to pay the mortgage. And before you jump on me and tell me I could sell my house and rent...I could do that. But in this market, I'd sell for less than we owe, and then be faced with renting for approximately the same amount as my mortgage payment. So what does that leave? Squatting under a bridge? Moving in with parents?
I keep coming back to this question. Why do mothers feel the need to judge other mothers? Why are we so quick to say "I am better than you". Why do we feel the need to tear each other down? And most importantly, why do we give complete strangers so much of our power? Why do we let words on a blog upset us so much? Are we all really that insecure in our mothering that we attack and go on the defensive every time we perceive an insult?
I can't speak for every mom out there. I can't speak to the situation of a stay at home mom. I was one for only four weeks. For three of those, my husband was home with me. I've never really worked from home. I have no idea what that's like. So I can't begin to judge what either of those sorts of mothers lives are like. As a working outside the home mom, I can speak. It's difficult. I watch other moms who get to stay home with their kids, working or not, and I am jealous. I wish I had that kind of time with my daughter. You may be juggling phone calls, and proposals and deadlines, but you can at least look over and SEE your child. I have pictures. I can't hold her, kiss her, touch her soft hair. I have days where it is almost too much to bear, and I want to walk away from my job. I leave her at her gramma's house and I walk away in tears. Days when she is sick, and I feel I need to be with her and I'm afraid to call my boss because I think "what if this time is one too many" and I lose my job.
I guess my point is if we all felt more secure about our choices and situations, we wouldn't be so quick to judge another mother's life. Maybe we'd be quicker to offer love and encouragement when we see someone asking for a life line.
**Note, I will not post links to blog post in question here. I don't want to drive more traffic that might upset her.