A Message for Moms: My Take on the “Mommy Wars”

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LOVE this image! (from mademama.com)

In light of the recent Ann Romney/Hilary Rosen debate, I felt called to give my take on the reignited “mommy war” controversy. Because I recently switched from one “side” to the other (even though I think we should both be on the same side), I have strong feelings about a woman’s role at home or in the workplace. I have a message for moms (and dads, and other concerned citizens). 

To the Workplace Moms:

You are awesome. You bust your butt every day to help provide a safe, loving environment for your children and family. From budgeting to bedtimes, you wear many hats throughout the day. You should feel proud of your accomplishments and the wonderful example you’re setting for your daughters (and sons). If this was the choice you made, then good for you (and if you’re working unwillingly out of necessity, hang in there). 

Now, here’s what you need to know: Stay-at-home moms (or work-at-home moms) are not the enemy. You need them just as much as they need you. Don’t belittle their choice, or make disparaging remarks when you see them without makeup in the middle of the afternoon in the grocery store. They’re doing their best to raise their children. Heck, they might even be helping raise your children if they’re a childcare provider. And they’re not ignorant. They’re managing household budgets (sometimes on a shoestring), orchestrating schedules for the entire family, and providing rich, meaningful experiences for their children. And if you have men in the workplace who report to you (or work alongside you), they may be reaping the benefits of a supportive at-home wife/partner. They rarely have to miss work when a child is ill, and may be willing to put in longer hours in the evenings and on weekends to get the job done. Imagine if all mothers chose to re-enter the workforce at once. What a nightmare!

To the SAHMs, WAHMs:

You are awesome. You bust your butt every day to help provide a safe, loving environment for your children and family. From budgeting to bedtimes, you wear many hats throughout the day. You should feel proud of your accomplishments and the wonderful example you’re setting for your daughters (and sons). If this was the choice you made, then good for you (and if you’re at home unwillingly out of necessity, hang in there). 

Now, here’s what you need to know: Workplace moms are not the enemy. You need them just as much as they need you. Don’t belittle their choice, or make disparaging remarks when you see them enjoying adult time away from home. They’re doing their best to support their family. Heck, they might even be helping support your family if they’re a business owner. And they’re not selfish women who care more for their career than their children. They’re stimulating the economy and helping provide for the main income earner in your household. And if your husband/partner is in the workplace, he needs strong career women beside him or leading him. Imagine if all mothers chose to stay home at once. What a nightmare!

To All Moms: The moral of this story is, we all need each other, so let’s be supportive. We shouldn’t be seen as “separate but equal,” but “together and equal.” Most of us may shift from one end of the spectrum to other during our child-rearing years, and we need each other to lean on, learn from and laugh together about the craziness that is motherhood. Go team!

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