I feel extremely passionate about writing this tonight. As I sit cuddled up alone in the house except for my chihuahua-golden retriever by my side; squeeeeeeezed in tight on the chair between laptop, blanket and arm of chair…. life is good.
My thoughts go back to a conversation today that both inflamed me and had me shaking my head at the quandary between us women; between the messages we offer out there. Sometimes we offer support; we march together in solidarity as was seen last week and yet some women are the first to bring others down in judgement.
Mothers. I’m talking to you. Actually I’m talking to women. Forget just mothers. Since some women decide to be mothers, some don’t. Some sadly have the choice taken from them with health concerns. My conversation today revolved around the fact that my Client feels inferior to other women she’s around if they are working Mom’s. I get the impression she feels like she’s not enough (she is SO enough). She also feels “judged” a lot of the time by some….and the way she described things to me I’d reach out and say she’s being down-right “Mom-bullied”. In other words….these women are almost taunting her.
It was so sad to hear, since this woman is wonderful. I’ve known her a long time and I’d say she’s actually one of the wisest, most grounded women I know. She has incredible insight into all things family, kids, life…and she has great advice to offer. She doesn’t see herself as her Friends do and I hope sometime soon she learns to.
It was a real shame to hear the effect other women have on her. I mean, first of all wtf? WHO’s right is it for anyone to judge someone else unless they’ve walked in their shoes? I look at it this way: if a woman decides to have kids (as she did); has the option of either staying home with them or going out to the workforce (as she also did) and chooses to stay home….make them her life….and give them all she has to give so they can grow up into incredible human beings (she did, they have)….HOW can another woman put that down?
What really gets me here, is we are FABULOUS when we need to arm up, come together for a cause, show the world we are sisters. NOTHING gets in our way. However women can be so quick to judge others, and so hard with it. This particular friend has found herself put down about being an at-home Mom and (this made me “ALMOST” spit my coffee out, I love my coffee so much I managed to hold it in…) and went on to regale what the “working” Mom said an at-home Mom does all day (nails, hair, shopping…are you irate with me yet girlfriend?).
Not only is she putting at-home Mothers down, she is putting herself down. Being a Mother, if you are lucky enough to be one is (and I’m with Oprah here) the most important job on earth. IF you choose to stay at home: GOOD FOR YOU. Don’t ever let someone else belittle you for it. It’s tough, it’s challenging, it’s earth shattering at times….and you learn SO much about character. You are also building character in your kids. In this day and age of such mental health issues, I may be old fashioned but I believe much of the problems come from there not being enough conversation at home; no parent (either one) at home. Don’t get me wrong; some do this and it works; they have incredible kids…but on top of working they are able to spend much time with their kids outside of work and school and absolutely nothing is lost. What works for some doesn’t for others and vice versa. Something’s been lost in the home in this generation (topic for another day)…so if you’ve stayed at home to create an incredible human being at the expense of a career which would allow you freedom, perhaps money to spend, more opportunity to save, pay off loans and perhaps more education, etc etc….don’t feel less for it.
At the same time. If you have children and have decided (as many I know have) you NEED to be at work; you would be a better Parent by being there. GOOD FOR YOU. There is no wrong. We all make the decisions that work best for us and no one else should judge us for them. We are all trying to do the best we can and certainly don’t need other Moms or women not supporting us.
It’s not for us to say what we feel the right or wrong decision is. It’s about respecting the decisions made and being proud of our own.
I was baffled and lost for words (doesn’t happen much: baffled, yes..lost for words, not so much) that women should treat other women in such a way. We never know someone else’s story or reasons. I always think back to a woman who has 6 children who berated me for having a single child. How could I do that to him? You must have more in the home. What a terrible thing to do? I hadn’t found my “voice” back then and had no idea what to say. Inside my head I was screaming at her stating “you unthoughtful ass: you have NO idea that I nearly died by having my child. That I waited 6 years before I stopped having fear and anxiety attacks as a result and was brave enough to try again…only to lose that baby at 4 months). See? Women judge and have NO idea! I’m sure had I put her in her place; made her think before she comments two things would have happened: she would have learnt a valuable lesson about NOT making such comments without knowing and also, she would have felt terrible. She was a sweet woman.
I look at it like this. I too was in the lucky position to make the choice when our Son was born. To me there was no question; complete no-brainer: I chose to stay home. There was no way I was bringing a child into this world to have someone else bring him up each day. But that was MY choice. I never belittled the women who went to work and left their kids in daycare. We are all doing all we can. But to me…this was the most important thing I could have done. To this day I’m so proud I made that call – and of the human being he has become. I’d love to say he’s perfect like his Mother but is that a bit too much? 🙂 I created my business after he went to school full time; a business which allowed me to work from home and I believe I’m a better person, Mother, human being for having done things the way I did.
So – SISTERS: when we decide we are inflamed by a new President (insert “choke” here) who has been so belittling of women and we MARCH for that, together, we must remember that we too have to support each other just as much. All the time. We need to be our very own cheerleader, internally….we need to support our sisters out there. We are all fighting our own battles every day.
To the woman … who constantly belittles my Client – shame on you. That you think us at home Moms (I still include myself there, since I was a proud one); do nothing but shopping and beauty says so much about you.
If you are a woman who has in the past thought less of a woman who is staying home….understand that she made the choice. Her choice was to be around her children and that doesn’t make her less of a success in life, less smart, less worldly etc. If you think less of YOURSELF for being at home when around others, take a deep breath, stand tall and SHINE. You – at home or at work – deserve to sparkle no matter where you place in life is. You’re doing your best.
There’s so much pressure out there in the world…we don’t need to add to that by putting judgements on others. Whether you are at-home or in the workforce; you made the decision that works for you. Own it. Value it. And be kind to the others who did opposite to you. The more we can work together, the more our girls will learn to do the same.