Friday, April 28, 2006

No, Judgmental is Not My Middle Name.

EDITED: I think my post is unclear. I AM a stay at home mom. I think that is the best choice for my family. I own my own business, but go in one day a week. All other work I do from home. I am not judging a mom for staying home. I am commenting on the fact that there is a breed of mom, who has no shred of personality left outside of their role as a mom.
The blogging world has been abuzz with talks of the mommy wars and pleas of “can’t we all just get along,” – What kind of self-respecting Mama-blogger would I be if I didn’t put my two cents in on the whole issue. Actually, it is a situation I am faced with in my world of motherdom and I needed to rant, and thought I would tie it in with the whole mommy wars thing so I looked hip and current. Pretty slick, huh? Anyway….

I want to add a new twist on the whole thing. Since I have moved to this lovely little town, I have been confronted with a different type of mom. I’ll call her the Mom, with a capital “M”. I know this type of mom exists everywhere; I just have been smacked in the face with it as of late because it is so prevalent here.

Mom, with a capital “M” is the mom who exists only in her capacity as a wife and mother. She has no interests or personality value outside her role as matriarch of her little brood. She, of course stays at home with the kids, which I am all on board with… However…She is so totally absorbed into her role as a mother, that all other pieces of her fall away.

Her social life consists of MOPS group, Little League, and dance class. Conversations revolve around the next Mom’s Club function or which grocery store has ground beef on sale.

If I sound like I’m being overly judgmental, it’s because I am. But this kind of woman just irks me. I know being a true feminist is all about choices…. and choosing to be a homemaker is still a valid choice. I am not condemning that by any means. What I absolutely can’t stand to see is when a woman ceases to be a functioning member of society outside of her little family bubble. Be a homemaker, but take a class, volunteer, go out with child-free friends. Something. For goodness sake be who you were before you had kids – at least in some capacity.

And to put the final nail in my coffin…how long do you really think your husband will find you an interesting and stimulating friend and peer, if the only conversations you are holding are regarding Junior having soccer practice or Mary still not using the potty to go poop? Yeah, he should love you no matter what…blah, blah, blah. But get real. He fell in love with you because of your personality. When you sacrifice that at the altar of motherhood, you are doing both you and your family a disservice.

And on the other side of the coin…don’t shun me because I have a life outside of my kids. Why hold it against me that I am trying to work out a balance? So you think I sound bitter? Maybe, but I’m not. Because as nice as they are, conversations with a Capital M Mom are a struggle and social activities are downright painful. I prefer hanging out with women who are able to answer to something aside from “Mom!”

So while the Capital M Moms in my neighborhood feel quiet disdain for me, I feel pity for them. I’ll take disdain over pity any day.

Look at that. I finally update and it is all filled with judgment and self-righteousness. I hate to rain on the “we’re all moms, so let’s just support each other” parade, but the Stepford wives around here have really gotten under my skin. And I was due for a nice rant. It is very cleansing. So flame away. I can take it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only speak for myself but I married and had children young (19) so this is what my life has been about for 18 years.

Yes, I have interests but while my kids are young, they are my job.

When the youngest goes to school in 2 years, I have plans to do plenty.

I do NOT look down on others who work though. For each family it is their own personal choice and not my business as long as their kids aren't abused.

Why must women battle each other?
If we stuck together, we could accomplish so much more.

2:01 PM  
Blogger jennster said...

i think it's about accepting that people do what's right for them. and if they want to work- what harm is it? and if they want to stay home- so be it!

2:44 PM  
Blogger Mama! Mama! (Mel) said...

Before anyone misunderstands...I am a stay at home mom. I own my own business, but only go into my store one day a week. All other work I do from home after the kids go to bed, for the most part. I have always been pretty much a stay at home mom. For me that was a choice that was important to me.

Yes, my kids are my job, but they are not the sole component to what makes me me. Does that make sense? It doesn't take away from my children that I have interests as person. Interests that extend beyond my children. Not that I am saying you don't...I am just trying to clarify.

I may not have much free time to pursue things aside from mothering, but you bet I give it my best shot. Someday my kids will be grown and out of the house. When that day comes I will not have to "find" myself because I will have nurtured myself as a woman and a person all along.

I appreciate what your saying.I understand the whole sticking together concept, as far as having respect for other moms. Mothering is tough. But it is human to have opinions. Sometimes those opinions are judgmental, I guess.

Thanks for commenting.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

I really do understand what you're saying and I think by now, you know I'm no Stepford mom but I gotta tell you, as much as I'd love to have interests outside my family and have this whole other identity, I seriously don't have time.

I don't choose to be this Martyr Mother person who has no life beyond my family but it's hard. Everyone else I know is so busy being a parent that trying to plan something without kids is nearly impossible. That's probably why I prefer my friend that live in the big white box on my desk.

If I had some cool mom friends with a hole or two in their schedules, I'd be all over it but the reality is that logistics rule my life and right now, they aren't in my favor.

But I NEVER talk about what's on sale at the grocery store. I'm not that far

12:24 PM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

Well, this is a perspective on the mommy wars I haven't seen!

So, how do you know they're judging you though? I'm not trying to be mean, just kind of playing devil's advocate, because I totally get what you're saying (I think).

And maybe the person they were before they had kids was a crappy person. Boring. Vapid. I mean - that's likely, no?

12:17 PM  
Blogger Stefanie said...

Oh I totally LOVE YOU. That is, I swear, why I wrote my book. I originally wanted to call it The Cult of Mommy but my publisher thought moms would find that judgemental but it's true. I can't stand being around most other mothers but especially the ones with Mommy Fever. This is quite prevalent in my neighborhood and infuriating. My childless friends are hard to drag over but I try my best and even though I stay at home for now (have a job interview this week) it's very tedious and I check my email constantly. It's not really about judging it's just that I prefer to be around women who are fun and can talk about more than breastfeeding or preschool.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Very well stated!

4:22 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

The Mom drives me insane too.

3:07 PM  

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