I know a lot of stay-at-home moms and for the most part, I find that we have a mutual respect for the other’s daily challenges. The “mommy wars” have been well documented throughout the years and many moms, including myself, don’t really care for that term. Since the day I became a mom, it has astounded me that women throw daggers at each other for choosing different paths in life.
I can’t say that I have been immune to ever feeling “justified” or “superior” for criticizing someone’s choice of mothering, and let’s be honest we all do it at some point. What I have discovered about myself is that I tend to get critical when faced with judgement. When a SAHM appears to be judging my choice to work, I can rattle off 10 reasons in rapid fire why I am “better” for working. Isn’t that ridiculous? It really is.
I decided to evaluate what it was about the proverbial “nose in the air” from SAHMs that gets me so worked up so that I would have a chance to adjust my negative reaction. What I determined is that there is a small group of SAHMs that believe in righteous pity.
What, you say, is righteous pity? In my opinion, it is a condescending tone taken towards me that reads “don’t you feel like you are wrong for having a career while your baby is raised by someone else?” Yet it is said with sweetness and usually doused with a religious point to justify these feelings.
I don’t think anything gets me more outraged nowadays than another mother thinking they are better than me for not working. Just typing that sentence arises such anger in me that I want to start a bullet pointed list about why I am better off as a human being and a mom for working.
Again, isn’t this ridiculous?
I hate feeling such negative feelings over my path as a mom. I hate feeling negative feelings towards other moms. I have spent a lot of time evaluating my decision to work and in the end I always come to the conclusion that working is part of my identity, it is what makes me, me. Just like being a mom is part of my identity and I am so sick of feeling inferior and like I don’t fit in around these women who pity me.
So, this is my way of saying that even if you pity me, I am not going to judge you. I am going to extend you grace. I am not going to tell you why I am better off for working and the next time you act as if I am lesser than you for not staying home, I choose to walk away from the conversation. Perpetuating the mommy wars isn’t doing anyone any favors!