Tragic Sandwich

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Who’s Got Time for the Mommy Wars?

Seriously, who are these people? They flame on blog posts, they appear on Anderson Cooper’s show, they write books.

Write books? Who has the time? I mean, I don’t have time to read , much less write, unless I’m on the bus.

I work outside the home. I have friends and neighbors who do, too. I also have friends and neighbors who are stay-at-home moms. You know what? All of us are overworked. And so far, we seem to be able to get along just fine.

But it’s worth noting that the Mommy Wars aren’t new–we just talk about them more. I remember them going on between my mother (a fantastic stay-at-home mom) and some of my friends’ moms. They would say, “I don’t have time to help with X. I work.” And my mom–who was very involved in things like Scouting for both me and my brother–would reply, “I work, too. I take care of your child on Tuesdays from 4 to 6. But you don’t pay me.”

She wasn’t an innocent bystander, though. She believed that being a stay-at-home mom was right. For everyone. And she’d tell people that.

I feel differently. There are two key things I’ve learned in 21 months of parenting. The first is that there is a very broad range of “normal” for child development. The second is that there are a lot of ways to be a good parent. People try hard to find the path that is best for them and their families. But if we’re all individuals, then why are we going to follow the same path, at the same time, at the same pace?

My answer: we’re not. And that means that I can tell you what works or doesn’t work for me, but I don’t have a hard and fast answer about what you should be doing.

So what do we do about the Mommy Wars? My approach is to be confident that I am doing the best I can for my family, and ignore the war. If someone thinks I’m wrong, well, it’s a free country. They can think that. They can even say it. But how can they know what’s best for my family, when they’re not part of my family?


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2 thoughts on “Who’s Got Time for the Mommy Wars?

  1. Wow. I’m glad I clicked on your link 🙂 I’m totally with you on this. I had the opposite experience. My mom worked full-time after HATING being a stay-at-home-mom and my dad took over. But my dad never flaunted with other adults that he loved staying home with us (and he really did love it). Now as a mom, I feel like our little family has great balance…but I struggle with feeling like others are judging me. I almost always jump at the opportunity to let them know that I also work part-time as a therapist almost screaming in my mind “I’m an educated woman, I’m smart, I work…but I just want to be with my kids!” I think there are SO many situations that work for different people. I try hard to support everyone’s decisions and encourage others when ever I can, to do what’s best for their whole family. If my mom would have succumbed to the social pressures at the time…we would have had a miserable childhood! Thanks for your insight.

    • Thanks, Magen! I have to say that I loved having my mom at home–and she was always open about the fact that, much as she loved being home, when we were babies and toddlers she did miss adult conversation during the day! But that’s what worked for our family as it was at that time. Every family and every time is different, and therefore the solutions will be individual. It sounds like working part time gives you a nice balance–how cool that you’ve found that! I’d love to be able to cut back on my hours, or at least change my commute (although that would mean I’d lose that valuable reading time!).

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