Thursday, July 15, 2010

Can of Worms

Okay, okay...it looks like I have opened a HUGE can of worms with yesterday's post. I just want to say, for the record, that I never intended to start a heated debate. It was late last night...I read that really great article...and I wanted to pass it along because I thought it described my feelings perfectly. I do get angry (and perhaps a little defensive) when people say negative, inaccurate things about stay-at-home-moms because I am a stay-at-home-mom. It's only natural.

But at the same time, I do understand that not all SAHMs are as busy, tired, overworked or stressed as they say they are. Some SAHMs drop the ball. I drop the ball at least once, if not fifty times a day. Do you know what my kids are doing right now while I type this? Watching TV. Blake is bouncing in his Jumperoo and Addie is watching Ratatouille eating a bowl of watermelon. On my couch. Without a bib. Do you know what I was doing before they got up from their nap? I was laying in bed with Blake taking a nap myself. He has a fever today and he sleeps best when I cuddle him so I left my pile of dirty dishes in the sink, the unopened mail on the counter, and my frozen potroast in the freezer. I am ordering pizza tonight. So...I guess I just suck all around today :-)

But it's okay to suck sometimes. It's okay to make mistakes as a mom. It's okay to be nervous to take 2 kids to the grocery store because you are afraid that you will get too distracted picking out a loaf of bread and your 2-year-old will run off somewhere and in the time that it takes you to grab the baby in the cart and chase her...she will be gone. Yes...I worry about that. I freak out about safety. I have irrational fears about kidnappers. It's not that I can't take two kids to the grocery store when I need to...it's just that I prefer to go at night when I can go alone and concentrate on my coupons, shopping lists, and potential kidnappers.

I guess what I am trying to say is that no mother is perfect. If there were such a thing as a perfect mother, she would have written a manual and we would all be following it right now. And I know we all say that we understand that no mom is perfect, but yet we continue to judge. Guilt and jealousy being the two biggest motivators. I think we all play off each other's insecurities and that is where all the negativity and defensiveness comes from. Just after reading one of the comments from my last post, I feel the need to explain that I usually only blog late at night when the kids are asleep. I feel guilty now for blogging because I think that other mother's out there are judging me for spending time on the computer and not with my children. But why does it have to be that way? Why does it always have to come down to a pissing match?

"I have one child and it is SO hard"

"Oh yeah, well I have FOUR children so don't complain to me"

"Oh yeah, well I have to work and make time for my family"

"Oh yeah, well I am a single mother and I have NO ONE to help me"

So who wins in this scenario? Who is the better mother? The one who can do it alone, the one who can balance work and a family, the one who can juggle multiple children vs. just one or two? I just don't see the point in always arguing about this subject when it seems so simple to just accept the fact that we are all good mothers and we are all doing the best we can with what we were given. Sure, there will always be mother's out there that make us look bad. But using them as examples to make others feel bad about themselves just seems wrong. And sad.

So again, I apologize for opening up this can of worms. I try very hard not to complain, or post about subjects that bring out negativity because that is not fun for others to read. I suppose the best way to end this post...and this conversation...is just to say thanks to everyone who shard their opinion.

Now...lets talk about something fun and happy. Any suggestions? :-)


13 comments:

  1. Well said.

    Let's take about fun things our kiddos do with their daddios! Evan just helped Ben wash his car yesterday and it was so cute!

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  2. You are an amazing Mom! I love you!

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  3. Jen- I liked your article and did not find it offensive whatsoever(but I am a stay at home mommy too). Aaaannnddd I liked this article because it was well put and thoughtful, so way to go again on a good blog! Maybe the overly sensitive people should simply . . . .look at another blog! This one is yours - so you can say what you want, when you want. Love it!

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  4. You should be able to express your feelings openly. Discussion is a good thing! :) and, its healthy to not be 'la dee da everythings perfect' all the time!

    Love ya!

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  5. Oh, I so hope you don't think I was debating this with you! There is a part of me who wants to be home and another who would go nutso. I don't judge a SAHM, a working mom, a single mom or anything else. It's just what we do to make life better for our kiddos! Like you said, it's a choice you and your Eric made, just as we did in our house! I didn't find the article offensive at all and I love that you shared your convictions on your blog! Say it proud, sista!!

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  6. You are an amazing mother. And anyone that questions your parenting methods, and chooses to make their own assumptions about SAHM's based on what they think they see on facebook or a blog or 45 min out of a 24 hour day should take a look at their own insecurities.

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  7. Thanks ladies...you are the best! I heart ALL of you :-)

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  8. Jen- Just got through reading all the comments and the article. I have to say that I thought your post was great...I even thought the fact that people got riled up over it was great in a way. I think this post made every reading stop, think and analyze which side of the debate they are on, or at least find a balance of the two. Not only do you teach your children everyday, but hopefully in reading your posts, you've educated a few of your readers along the way.

    Jan- I smiled when you wrote the comment about blogging mothers, I love to see a mother defended her child...I guess great mothering just runs in your family.

    Thanks for keeping your readers on their toes Jen...

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  9. i didn't mean to offend anyone either. i have LOVED being with my kids this summer and it is hard at times. if i could, i would gladly trade in my job for the sole role of "mommy". i know so many sahm's and would love to be one too. i feel like a bad mom because i have to work. sometimes i feel working moms are just as misunderstood. is it wrong to wish that i could be a sahm??? anyways, next topic.....what do you REALLY do when your kids are napping?

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  10. Kris - you did not offend anyone honey. You have the right to feel frustrated and jealous about not being able to stay home with your kiddies. I would feel the same exact way if I were in your shoes. And that is my point...we all just need to be sensitive of each other's feelings when we start making judgements because in the end, we all just want to be the best mommies we can be :)

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  11. Jen - love you, girl! I knew you back in your "working girl" days, and I have to say - you were BORN to be a SAHM. I remember you telling me "oh I am so not ready to get married, have kids, etc." and then it all happened so quickly and everything fell in to place right where it should be. Don't let people judge you because of your choice.

    As you know - I am a married 20-something with no kids and while I am jealous that some of my friends are SAHM's, I also know that it's not easy. After 3 hours with my nieces and nephews, I am ready to throw in the towel & lock up my uterus for good! :) There's crying, and whining, and running around, and wanting to play games like "dog catcher" that I have no real interest in playing, and I can't imagine doing this 24/7. It takes a special person with an insane level of patience - and you are that girl!!

    I think that sometimes, when us career women think about SAHM's, we get jealous because we think "oh, I'd like to stay home from work today instead of getting up at 4am to fly to Buffalo for a meeting" but I don't think we always stop to think that most likely - you're up at 4am too, comforting a crying child, or feeding a hungry baby! I think the jealousy just comes from an uneducated perspective.

    At the same time - there are SAHM's who make their job seem like the hardest job in the world, and like us career women have it so easy. I think we all need to understand each other and realize that while being a SAHM is a hard job, it's hard to be a career woman too - children or not. Most of us don't work a 9-5 and then come home and hang out. We work long hours, we travel and are away from our husbands and/or families, and we deal with an entirely different kind of stress. I know you are completely understanding about this- but so many aren't.

    Can't we all just get along? :)

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  12. You need to get together with Nina. Her sister in law isn't speaking to her because of her opinion on this issue. :)
    Being an elementary teacher, I've seen it both ways. I've seen working parents who knock themselves out to be involved in their children's lives and stay at home parents who can't get their asses out of bed to get their kid to school on time EVER.
    On the flip side, I've had working parents who were impossible to reach and stay at home parents who were excellent. So it's no indicator of good parenting.
    So I say do what's best for you and do not judge others for their choices. The. end. :)

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  13. First of all, Jen, NEVER EVER apologize for being the best mom and wife you can be. Everyone has their own way of parenting and running a household. My kids don't watch a lot of TV but they do watch it while I take 10 minutes for ME. Being a stay at home mom with the kids 24/7 I think that I am entitled to 10 minutes to hop on facebook or blogger. At the end of the day when my husband get's home, the house is clean and the kids are happy * ok well sometimes* I often get upset with my husband for coming home and sitting in the garage relaxing, I often ask " when do I get to relax" oh wait that's right I am a MOM, there is no relaxing, and as often as I ask myself that, I also remind myself that I wouldn't have it any other way. The dishes will still be there in the morning, the dust will still be there in 3 hours, Austin learning to find his nose is a one time shot, I will never get that moment back, or watching Elizabeth model one of my tutu's singing some random song about how pretty it is and how it makes her feel like a princess, If I was doing the dishes or dusting, I would miss some of those moments. I respect working moms for many reasons. I don't know if I could do it. I don't know that I would be ok with someone else spending more time with my children that I would. But some don't have the luxury that we do. They have to work to provide. Then you have mom's like me that are working SAHM's. I run my business when the kids are in bed. With that said, Take pride in the fact that your kids and husband love you whether or not your house in perfect,if bibs are worn,if tv is watched,exc.... The kids are only this age once and you will never get these moments back. Embrace it!

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