Not so great.
In fact, it made me sad. What made me sadder was all the women who liked it and all the others who commented, with things like “That’s what I’m talking about” or “Amen, sister!” or “Hallelujah!” and on and on.
I acknowledge that I’m particularly sensitive to this issue having recently resigned from my career – the career I imagined myself finishing up as a hip 65 year-old English teacher with abs of steel and wisdom to boot.
I tried to understand why, when I stepped away from my computer, I had an overwhelming urge to dissolve into tears or write an angry letter to the SomeEcards company or a poignant response to my Facebook friend. And I guess it comes down to this: I wasn’t aware, until I found myself on the other side of the stay-at-home vs. working mom debate that there was a debate at all. I labored under the delusion that we were all in this together.
Having seen this Ecard, I imagined myself sitting down with my insightful, dedicated working mom friends, gushing about a particularly difficult battle with my 5 year-old or a silly struggle with my 3 year-old or a concern with my 9 month-old and having this Ecard response reeling in their minds. Sadly, this Ecard seemed to resonate with working moms out there. But I was just a working mom (and I still am with different working conditions)! Never once had this Ecard sentiment occurred to me. I thought statements like these had passed with the 1950s era gentleman who walks home, hangs up his coat and hat and asks: “What’s for dinner?” while simultaneously wondering what his wife did all day (despite seeing the clean home, fed children, prepared dinner, purchased groceries, finished homework piles, folded laundry, completed PTO paperwork and all the other things neatly in their places.)
I love having the opportunity to be home with my children during the day. I will never say that it is the hardest job on the planet because, let’s be honest, jobs like President of the United States or sewage pipe maintenance worker or crash test dummy exist, but there are hard moments. Many, many wonderful ones but hard moments, too. And I truly hope I can confide in a fellow mom–working out of the home or not without the horrible thought she may not think I have any room to vent because I don’t also have a full-time job outside of my home.
I can assure you, a day like this never happens. Ever.:
-A leisurely start to the day at 9ish having slept through the night.
-Children prepare their breakfasts and are happy to see one another right from the start.
-Children put away their dishes and begin to teach themselves to read and write while I sip coffee and watch my stories.
-Children then play outside by themselves. I get a massage.
-Children get hungry and make themselves a healthful lunch. I read my most recent Nook download.
– I check Facebook. The children do a science experiment by themselves.
-My husband comes home. I hand over the children and retire to the bathroom for a bubble bath.
-I paint my nails and do a load of laundry. Whew!
And I promise I have never heard a single stay-at-home mom say: “That mom is working. She must not love her children.” Or “I guess she just doesn’t care enough to forego that paycheck.” Or “Life must be easier because she gets to go to work.”
So rather than making motherhood an us vs. them situation or a competitive sport (and I like a good competition as much as the next), let’s agree to support one another and dismiss the very suggestion that we are playing for different sides. It’s destructive and demeaning.
I think it’s a dangerous turn we’re taking by allowing any media outlet, whether it’s Time magazine or a local newspaper or an ecard company, to perpetuate the notion that mothers should be pitted against one another based on the choices we make for the good of our families—working outside the home or not, breastmilk or formula, co-sleeping or sleep training, organic or not. Perhaps people fear the power we’d possess if we all united because let’s be honest—moms are practically super human.
Hands in, ladies! Go Moms!