Monday, November 28, 2005

Rantings of a Fence Sitter

In life so many things are presented as either or the other. Republican or Democrat....liberal or conservative....Coke or Pepsi?

In the world of mothering, there are two camps - the "stay-at-home-moms" and the "working moms". Both camps are equally adamant and equally vocal about who is making the better parenting choice. I came from the camp of the "stay-at home mom"...well, the subcategory of "work-at-home mom" to be exact. I was only a tiny bit self-righteous...shaking my head ever so slightly in pity for the kids who were dropped off of at school at 7:00 in the morning, not to be picked up until 5:30. I was raised by a single mom which, of course, equals "working mom" so I knew the other side as well.

I have realized, as of late, I am a misfit, out of place on either side of the fence. I own my own business, which of course I have to run...which would make me a "working mom" - but - I am only at the store one and a half days out of the week, doing all of my other work from home after the kids are asleep. I am home all day with my daughter....which would make me a "stay-at-home mom" - right?

Now this should not be considered a dilemma, in fact, it should be a non-issue. I said should be. Yet the "this-or-that", "either-or" phenomena pushes its way into my life whether I think it matters or not.

I have been nudged out of the "stay-at-home" mom group....
Can't make it to a parent-teacher conference at my daughter's preschool on a Tuesday - the only whole day I am in the store. Aside from the familiar glance full of pity cast toward my daughter (so that's what it looks like from this side), I get the offers to pick my daughter up to take her to the next field trip "so she won't miss out" What?!?! One freakin' day I can't make a school event and now my daughter needs an advocate?

"Melodee, seems nice. I wish she were around more." What?!? My ability to hibernate in my house makes even the most fervent recluse give an appreciative nod. Did I mention I only work Tuesday and half of Saturday?

Yet on the flip-side, I am not welcomed with open arms into the pack of "working moms" either. I don't need to find a good day care provider.
I don't have to haggle for a day off if my kids are sick or have a school play.
My deadlines are mostly self-imposed and I'm fairly confident that I will not fire myself.

So where does that leave me? I have no desire to be a member of either of these opposing teams. I would like the line drawn in the sand not to exist. I would like moms to cut each other a little slack. To not make assumptions and judgments and act in ways that are detrimental to the already fragile mommy self-confidence. How warm and fuzzy of me, right? I just think as moms we deal with amazing levels of guilt and responsibility already, without inflicting more on each other.....

Hey, who brought that soap box in here. Rant over...for today.

Someone should fine me for gross overuse of quotation marks. """"""


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