Monday, February 8, 2010

Meatless Monday

This post has nothing to do with food. I just wanted to ramble about something that is pointless but rambling. Sort of circa my "how much I hate fast food" posts. For those who missed that post, I think the Golden Moo is the DEVIL and should be outlawed. Today's post is all about Mommyhood and something I've witnessed repeatedly that annoys the daylights out of me. I fear that this post doesn't have a lot of meat though, so, thus the title....

The Stay At Home Martyr: A SAHM who spends hours of her day talking on the phone with her fellow SAHMartyrs about how hard it is to be a Stay At Home Mom, and all the sacrifices she has made by having children, and how if only she had more money she would be better off, but she cannot contribute to the household income because she is DOING THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB IN THE WORLD by raising her own children... who by the way, are in the other room parked in front of Sesame Street or Spongebob Squarepants (I put that show into the same category as the Golden Moo) while "mommy is on the phone".

Really? Sacrifices? Like what kind of sacrifice are we talking here? Like, giving birth? Didn't we all do that, regardless of whether we went back to work or not? Or Like being nailed to a piece of wood and suffering until your Parietal pericardium ruptures and you die a painful death?... or, Like giving up your favorite facial cream? For some women I guess, it would be hard to differentiate.

I can tell you exactly the sacrifices I've endured by having children and choosing to stay at home. Financially, we're not quite as well off as we "would be", or... are we? I pack my husband's lunch for him, and thus I offer him support so he can work longer hours. I make him dinner, which saves us money. Oh, another sacrifice I've had to suffer through is that for 5 years (before my oldest started school), my kids and I did not rise before 7:30am. Ever. Oh, well, except on Christmas, and then by choice.

I know a few of these Martyrs. The one that makes my eye twitch spends her days figuring out the best school schedule for her kids next year so that she can have 3 mornings off a week, even if that means a total of $600 additional dollars put out each month. $600! Seriously, because she "is exhausted an needs a break". Uh hello?

The classic Stay At Home Martyr talks about how this job is so much harder than the working mom's job, and at the same time, talks down about how those moms put their children at risk by putting them in day care. Well sorry folks, there are some seriously good daycare solutions out there that are hands down better than Sesame Street followed by Curious George switched over to Dora the Explorer. her cousin, and a fishy square corral with mean friends. (I assume Sponge Bob is a corral, right? I've never actually seen more than 3 minutes of the show, it made me nauseous.). I would probably know, since I've been providing part time day care for years, and I'm proud to say that I always try to offer my "day kids" something extra. Like learning to tell time if they're old enough, or teaching them to skip if they're not.

Additionally, let us consider that the definition of being a mother is not a job. I believe it might qualify as a state of being though, je suis une mere. "I am a Mother". The act of playing with your children, keeping your house up, teaching your children how to BE POLITE and SPEAK CLEARLY, as well as maybe cooking if that's something you do - sure, that's included in the Stay At Home Mom "JOB", but hey, you know what, that's also included in the working Mom "JOB".

So what got me on this anti SAHM kick, when technically I am a SAHM?

Well, recently I over heard that SAHMartyr say how I will be (~gasp~) ABANDONING my children when I finish Nursing School and go back to work! Abandoning? Like, leaving them forever to fend for themselves? Never to return? As far as I can tell, I will actually STILL BE THEIR MOTHER even if I am a WORKING MOTHER.

I don't meant to belittle my SAHM job. I did a good job as a SAHM. My children are, for the most part, fully functioning to their highest capacity. They are socially acclimated. They have ART or SPORTS activities that enrich their lives, and I am proud of their accomplishments, even if they aren't ever going to be students at the New York School for the Performing Arts (FAME!). I think that motherhood is really about DOING THE BEST YOU CAN for your kids, with WHAT YOU'VE GOT to work with. And isn't that what we all do? The best we can? Whether we work, stay at home, go to school, run, don't run, have a golden retriever, or no pets at all, etc and so forth?

I hate that this one mother feels that in order to feel better about herself, she has to put me down. I wish I could just say to her, in a cheap imitation of her southern twang, that she should save her breath, because "honey, when you're a marathoner, and a mother, it's HARD to be put down".



I love when you get all worked up. It's my favorite. And do you want to tell me this woman's name so I can go over and kick her in the face? Because I can. I'd do that for you ...

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

LOL! I support a SAHD and I am REALLY REALLY proud of that! I have not abandoned anyone and either will you.

FYI you are stinkin FUNNY!

Anne said...

The Mommy Wars are still raging, I see. I had no choice but to work when my older daughter was born, then took a year off after my second. I was so grateful to have that time off.

I used to tell my new-mom friends to enjoy those first few months when there are no societal pressures, just you and the baby to think about.

Allie said...

Oh man, some mommies can be so stupid. I've never understood why so many moms put down other moms simply for doing things differently than themselves. I'm a SAHM and I would love to work, I also love staying home. You have to do what works for your family and working is not abandoning them.
PS Thanks for the comment today, I'm leaning toward the skirt. :)

momma cobb said...

you should tell her that. if she really is southern, then she probably does need to know that what she's saying isn't nice. as a southern girl myself, i can attest that a little honey sure does make the sting feel better. :)

Chele said...

I've only 2 small comments since I have only raised furry things and they tend to grow up and eat furniture. SpongeBob is a sponge, like a sea sponge. He is best enjoyed w/o the company of children & while intoxicated. In my limited experience with children, I find those that were allowed to experience things like daycare & school to be better socialized and more well rounded.

Anne said...

I agree, I never let myself get involved in this whole "mommy war". I chose to stay home when my kids were young and we did mom & tots play groups and hanging out with other moms (just to make sure they were well-rounded and all ;)) I also sometimes worked part-time when their dad was home (cause I enjoyed teaching figure skating). Overall, I refuse to compare my choice to someone elses. I know some amazing kids whose moms worked and I respect every woman's choice. The way I see it, if a woman is happier being at home that's where she should try to be, if she's happier working, then she'll make a better mom if that's what she does! Getting off the soapbox now :)