Wednesday, June 17, 2009


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.


  1. Good girl mama! I read her post as well, and it was part of what prompted me to write my last post about this same issue. Well said!

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head. Not everyone's secure in their choices. Not everyone is convinced that it was the 'best' choice even though it might be the 'only' choice. And because of that, temper's flare, flame wars ensue, as everyone tries to convince *themselves* that the decision they made was an OK one.

    No matter if you're a SAHM, WAHM, WOHM, you end up making sacrifices, both where your children are concerned and where you are concerned.

    As mom's we need to get better at supporting each other through the rough times and cheering for each other during the good times rather than turning it into the corporate ladder of parentdom and trying to pull each other down.

  3. I just think it is so sad that moms judge other moms for their decisions (especially since, like you said, it often is made out of necessity not choice). Sometimes I just want to smack those moms up side the head and say "grow up".

  4. all I have to say is THANK YOU for posting this. I do not have a blog, however, I am dealing with this same situation in life. I'm a WOHM. I was a SAHM for a year with my 1st daughter and now ship my 8 month old off to the nanny every day because I have to (AND I RENT, Boston rents/mortages are no joke). I would love to just have the CHOICE of staying at home. I'm jealous of those who do. My boss sucks because she doesn't have/want kids and my manager who has a 4 year old couldn't care less about anyone but herself. Sorry for ranting, but I'm glad that I was able to read this today. I thought I was alone

    ...stepping back from the ledge now


  5. This was a wonderful post. I, too, often wonder the same thing. If we all just stood together as confident women that respected each others choices of what we do...

    Can you imagine how empowering that would be. I can't even fathom.


  6. I know which blog you are talking about, and I couldn't agree with you more! I was mortified when I read some of those comments. We can be so vicious!

    No matter what our circumstances are (WAHM, SAHM, WOHM, etc.)...what should matter most is that we love our babies. No situation is ideal. People just need to realize that! =o)

  7. Well said. I have never understood when mother's attack other mother's choices. But now that you mention it, it is probably insecurity and their own issues with the choices they made.

    I too worked when my kids were growing up, I had no choice. If I didn't there would be no home, no food, etc. Sure, I would have liked to have more time with my kids, but I don't think it would have made me a better parent. And to be perfectly honest, if I'd had a choice I still might have worked at least part time. My kids grew up well, as did most of the friends who's parents all had different situations than mine. Love is all that matters.


    I've never understood the mommy wars. I live a fairly isolated life, so when I'm suddenly thrust into an environment with lots of other moms, I'm caught completely off guard by so many of the vicious things people have to say about other moms.

    Point blank: no matter what your situation is, parenting is HARD WORK. And it's OK to bitch about your situation when you need to - without a bunch of judgment. Thank you so much for speaking up!

  9. I know which post it was and I feel for her. I have done it both ways and honestly, each way has it's pluses and minuses. I think as moms, we should just learn to be supportive of each other. But what do I know?

    Hey, on my post, since it didn't leave an email, dude, when I see myself in my kids, I love it...and I cringe. :) Yay door slammers!
    Crap, this isn't letting me put my info in.


  10. Thank you for saying what needed to be said.