There’s a battle raging in this country, people.
And it’s serious. Serious as a heart attack.
No, it doesn’t involve Congress and it does not involve Mexican cartels and the drug trade. It has nothing to do with guns on the streets or with organic, genetically perfect foods. Nor does it have to do with sports teams who bully, taxation without representation or about who is going to win Blogger Idol. It’s an insidious, mean spirited, down and dirty battle and it ain’t pretty. And, though the battle lines were drawn decades ago and the fighting has been strong, no winner has yet prevailed.
The battle of which I speak is between the Stay At Home Moms (SAHM) and the Work Outside The Home Moms (WOHMs).
For the record, I am mostly a Stay At Home Mom.
By “mostly”, I mean that while yes, I have this blogging gig and yes, I have my part time career as a nurse, on the whole, my main job is keeping the Fruit Loops from completely spilling out of the box. On most days, I am the Manager of the Fecal Roster and the Driver of The People Mover.
One of my least favorite comments from people when they hear that I’m mostly a SAHM is “What in the world do you DO all day?!”. Usually, the comment is fraught with snark and delivered in a tone that says “What’s it REALLY like to watch Real Housewives and paint your toes all day long?”. When I’m asked this question, I find myself acting like a contestant on Jeopardy who just can’t quite come up with the answer before the buzzer. I get sweaty and I start clicking my key fob incessantly hoping that Alex Trebeck will call my name. Uhm, Alex, I’ll take “What Does She Do All Day?” for $200 and I’ll give my answer in the form of a question: “What is I am in perpetual motion from sunup to sundown, have a basic needs crisis pretty much every day at 330p, and am mostly successful at the avoidance of expletives in front of the Fruit Loops?”.
What’s interesting about my answer above to “What Do You DO All Day?” is that it’s probably the very same answer that a WOHM mom would give. Perpetual motion. Basic needs crisis. Avoidance of expletives. Isn’t that what ALL moms do all day, every day? Why does it matter where we do these things that moms do? Why does it matter where I work during the day or how I manage the life I’ve chosen for my family? Can’t we all just get along?
In the interest of Mommy harmony, I am raising a white surrender flag. I am issuing a battle cry to all my comrades in Mommyhood to lay down the swords. Stop the fight. Surrender. Just knock it the hell off or you are going to bed without dessert. I said STOP IT. Don’t you roll your eyes at me, young lady…..
Let’s all agree to the following: as mothers, we all have something unique to give to those around us. To our kids. To our significant others. To EACH OTHER. By definition, mothers take care of those around them. Why, in the name of Erma Bombeck and all that is holy, do we not take care of each other?
I want to learn from the WOHM who has a corporate job and knows about conflict resolution so that the next time I’m treated poorly at PTA meeting, I’ll know what to do. I want to share the shortcuts I’ve learned along the way for making pie crust that might change a WOHM’s perspective on homemade pie. I want to learn budgeting techniques from my accountant friend and share my thoughts on nap time with her. I want moms everywhere to openly accept that being a mom is just plain hard and we only make it harder on each other when we battle over who is doing it better.
Because the truth is this: we are all good at being moms most of the time. Day in and day out, we all wake up and take the same sip of coffee as we mull over school projects, work objectives, Caillou, and train commutes. We all worry that our kids will need therapy when we use our Outside Voices with asshole lips to get our point across. We all love those tiny, sweet moments when we feel the softness of a child’s hand in our own and all worry that we aren’t loving our kids enough. How we get to the end of our day should have no bearing on whether or not we are nice to another mom.
What matters is that we are all in this together. Stop judging, put your sword down and come on over for a glass of wine. I have a great pie recipe to share…..
(This post originally ran on Keeper of the Fruit Loops)
Christine Burke is the Keeper of the Fruit Loops, Manager of the Fecal Roster and Driver of the People Mover. In other words, she’s a mom. An Erma Bombeck Martha Stewart with a Roseanne twist…and she has the mouth and organized cabinets to prove it. She is a coauthor of the recently released “I Just Want To Be Alone” and owner of the blog The Keeper of The Fruit Loops.