Today I read a blog that just downright pissed me off. It was a post called UNPOPULAR OPINION: Being a Stay-At-Home Mom Is Not a Job, and the only credit I can give this woman is that she realizes hers is an unpopular opinion. Otherwise, it enraged me so much that I feel I need to write my own rebuttal.
This post angered me from beginning to end. I can’t even begin to quote the sections that aggravated me the most because I would basically just be cutting and pasting her post into mine. However, I will highlight the most irritating points for you. Be sure to read it for yourself as well. http://www.xojane.com/issues/being-a-stay-at-home-mom-is-not-a-job?utm_source=FBPAGE&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=Issues
–As a side note, do not read it when your kids are in the room, as you might throw out a random “fuck you” here and there.
The title sums it up well – she basically explains how being a SAHM is just a privilege, not a career. Well, there I will agree, being a SAHM is not a career, if only for the simple reason that your demotion is inevitable; eventually, your children will grow up, move out and require less of your time (hopefully). But as far as it not being a job…well, that’s just bullshit. If you are not at home taking care of your children, then who is? It’s the person you employ to do so. Be it a nanny, au pair, baby sitter, day care, etc. you have hired someone, for pay, to care for your children. In simpler terms, you gave this person—now say it with me—a job.
“For every mother who is happy with her choice to be a stay-at-home mother, there are at least three who are using its tribulations as a means to smugly declare their superiority to anyone within earshot.” The author goes on to say that she detests the moms who just sit and complain about being SAHM’’s.
I have so many issues with this implication, so let’s start here. How many people do you know who complain about their careers? I don’t know a single person who at one time or another hasn’t gone on a rant about how work sucks. Hell, they make movies, television shows, and write books on this very topic.
Next, maybe they “complain” about being a SAHM because the idea that sometimes it sucks really scares them. I often find that if you truly listen to what another mom is “complaining” about, you’ll hear that she is just asking for a little validation and support, a reassurance that she is not alone in her feelings. I know I often feel guilty about having downbeat feelings towards my own parenting. These are my children–aren’t they supposed to bring me the ultimate joy? As it turns out, not all of the time. It makes me feel better to know that sometimes other moms feel the same.
I also wholeheartedly find fault with labeling SAHM’s as “smug”. Yes, some women are smug. So are some men. To say that this quality is specific to SAHM’s is ridiculous. Some of the smug women out there apparently happen to be moms. F off. Wait, was that too smug for you?
This is where she tries to blame society- “…stay-at-home lifestyle is an incredible freedom they were in no way obligated to participate in, or are actually working to support the children they decided to contribute to society.” Talk about smug…she’s just downright condescending and wrong. We are raising the next generation; what could be more valuable than that? P.S. – I have no idea about this “freedom” she speaks of. Today, I turned around and looked at Man, hot on my heels, “What are you doing?” I asked, “I’m being your shadow, I’m going to be right behind you everywhere you go.” Inmates are freer than that.
I could just go on and on, like when she compared parenting to other hard work, like camping or having sex with someone she loves. (Dude, I feel so sorry for you.)
It was a little gem when she called being a SAHM a hobby and compared it with an addiction to heroin. (Neither of which are actual hobbies, by the way.)
I love when she suggests that people who retire early to take care of their elderly parents don’t suddenly say they have a career in the health care profession. (No, they say it’s now their job is to care for their elderly loved ones.)
I have grappled with finding my own happiness and self satisfaction being a SAHM. I have questioned if being “just a mom” is enough for me (here is a past blog post on the very subject- https://manvsmommy.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/some-people-call-me-a-space-cowboy/ ). However, it is not based on any of the fabricated reasons that this woman acerbically states. I want something that is just for me, a day when a sense of accomplishment is not based on how much food I got Man to eat. I also want to be at home with my children at a time when they need me most. I studied hard and I have a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. I worked for a long time with adult stroke patients and veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury; I absolutely felt like I was contributing something valuable to society. Then I gave birth to two beautiful children and began my current job as a stay-at-home mom about four-and-a-half years ago. I am confident that I am raising them to be the best adults they can be so they can contribute something to society in the future. This is also, in part, my contribution to society.
This woman wants to perpetuate the “mommy wars” and I won’t stand for it. All moms work, and we work hard. Whether we stay at home and work or have a career outside the home PLUS the job of being a mommy in the home, it’s time to support each other, not deepen the divide.