Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Mommy Wars... Dare I?

The inspiration for this post comes from 7:20 a.m. basketball shooting on my neighbor’s driveway. The dad and his three elementary school kids, two girls and a boy, dressed for work and school, shoot ball after ball in the great arrival of spring weather; waiting for the yellow bus to arrive as I walk by with Layla the dog. I think, “What a great way to start the day.”

My thoughts continue to flow, taking me back to my kids’ elementary school days which are not that much in the distant past. I was a stay-at-home mom, a title thrust upon me when my first child was born; a supposed upgrade from housewife and homemaker. I wore the label nonchalantly, as I was not so much into the semantics then; however, very much into what it meant to be a stay-at-home mom. I bought it; the whole package: the joy of taking care of my newborn and toddlers throughout the day - diapers, crying, bathing, playing, feeding (breast feeding really was a joy, for that was when I sat on the couch with my metaphorical bonbons and watched TV); in addition to sparse house cleaning, answering phone calls, bill paying, meal prep, etc. No, it wasn’t all joy, but I felt proud and triumphant, as well as blessed. I was doing this! I was given this opportunity to not have to work (cough, cough), as well as my kids not having to be bundled up and rushed out to another location. I wondered how the other moms did it.

At play group, the discussion would come up here and there with varying degrees of pompous attitudes.

                I just can’t leave my baby with someone else.

                We make it on one income; they can do it too if they give up the new cars
                and vacations.

                I feel sorry for them missing out on all the things that the babysitter gets to

I need not go on. All mothers know the dialog, as well as the dialog on the other side of the coin where 9 to 5 mom wonders how stay-at-home mom can give up her career to stay home… things like that.

Before I continue – Is this still a topic? Hold on for a minute. I’m going over to Google to see.
Yep, it is. However, it appears that the war now encompasses other parenting choices, too, like breast-feeding, the right/wrong age for pregnancy, the family bed, homeschooling, etc.; but back to how and where she works.

I can hardly scratch the surface of this topic and it is not my intention to do so; one reason being that I don’t believe that there is any objective right or wrong answer. Women around the globe have babies; across cultural, economic, racial, and religious boundaries. Are we all supposed to spend the exact amount of time with them? Feed them the same amount of breast milk? Supply them with the same amount of monetary privileges?


And yet, the women of the world have managed to produce and raise some pretty amazing people who have managed to keep this world going; women who are Amish, women who are doctors, evangelical Christians, teachers, and farmers; women who marry and have kids young or when older; single moms, factory workers, those pursuing degrees, world leaders or women married to world leaders - all different and raising their children as best they know how.

As a card carrying AARP member, I’ve progressed to a place of contentment when it comes to other people’s kids. Mine are not perfect and neither are theirs, but as long as they are loved, respected, and taught positive values, they’ll all have equal chances to have healthy minds and lives.

So when I see the kids happily playing basketball on the driveway with Dad in the morning and with the nanny in the afternoon, I figure, relatively speaking, all is well.

image found here