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Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

Ending the Mommy Wars One Glass at a Time

Since Aaron’s birth five years ago, I’ve had a plethora of experiences related to the mommy wars…the feud in which working moms and stay-at-home moms underhandedly engage. I’ve turned the other cheek as moms disparaged my choice to work and clucked their tongues. I’ve listened to women make comments, Why bother to have children if you’re not actually going to be the one taking care of them? I’ve let the comments feed my frequent bouts of mommy guilt and sometimes, every once in a while, I admit I’ve gotten mad and lashed back. I’m not proud of myself for participating, but I’ll own it.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate over the last academic year to have clicked with two other moms from my son’s school. Between the three of us we have five 5-year-old boys. Getting together is crazy amounts of fun that normally includes at least one skinned knee, pockets full of insects and half a truck of watermelon.

Since these friendships are relatively new, we’re still learning about what makes each other tick—our hot buttons, philosophies, experiences and passions. Ironically, Facebook has provided insights that in a previous unwired generation would have taken years to gather.

One of us routinely posts links to articles with specific political ideologies and current events. One of us gathers and shares a mother load of information about health and nutrition, and one of us randomly posts links and information about domestic violence and child abuse (guess who). We all throw items up on the walls related to education, and since all five boys will be in the same Montessori kindergarten next year, it’s fair to say our ideas about education jingle and jive. These women are funny, politically-up-to-date, well-read and intelligent, and the absolutely critical component—they share my penchant for sarcasm and sangria. We can go on and on for hours discussing everything kid related, or nothing kid related at all. It’s like intellectual lesbianism.

Why am I telling you about these new, budding friendships? Well, in many ways these two women have really made me think and provided an opportunity for a change of heart (No, it has nothing to do with the fact that one of them lovingly referred to me as a Starbucks whore on Facebook). Both women are stay-at-home moms. Like many well-educated Gen X women, they’ve opted out of the workforce to raise their children and focus on their families. Their SAHM status would normally make them unlikely friendship candidates, but somehow, for some reason, there’s simply none of that cranky condensation from either side of the fence. And you know what, I love it.

I love that we can support each other’s choices, lend an ear or a hand, and not require we share the same working status. We can empathize without an expectation to walk in the other’s shoes and in those moments when they get it and I get it and we share it, they’re restoring my faith in what women can bring to each other’s lives…one glass of sangria at a time.

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7 comments to Ending the Mommy Wars One Glass at a Time

  • I’ve never been a participant in the mommy wars, because I’ve got perspective from both sides. You do the best you can with what you have.

    It’s wonderful that you’ve clicked with a congenial group of mothers!
    Smalltown Mom´s last blog ..Piano RecitalMy ComLuv Profile

  • Tricia

    Smalltown Mom: A dual perspective is wonderful and I bet it’s helped in so many ways as you navigate life. Sometimes I know I’m narrow minded. I’m working on it.

  • What works for one may not work for others … but indeed seeing the different needs of each family/person is huge. I agree so much that it is time to unite!!!
    Amy @ Six Flower Mom´s last blog ..Giggle!My ComLuv Profile

  • Jan

    I understand your guilt – I really do – but I also know that you’re making the best of the choices you’ve made in life. Yes, you work, but you work at home, which gives you options that women who go to offices every day don’t have. Aaron’s mom is always there for him, in some way, and that’s what you need to focus on.

    Having said that, I’m so glad you’ve met these two wonderful women. I’m also glad to see you “hanging out” over at lipstickdaily.com; Elaine and Kate are two of the most wonderful “working moms” I’ve had the good fortune to meet.

    Oh, can you tell I’m back from vacation? I’m doing the “long-winded comment” thing on your blog again…
    Jan´s last blog ..And It Was Good…My ComLuv Profile

  • It can be difficult to be compassionate and understanding of choices different than your own. I am so grateful to be in friendships that challenge me and help me grow. And y’all are so much fun too!!!
    Danielle´s last blog ..My ComLuv Profile

  • That is so rare to find! I am glad that you have all found each other!

    Also, I am staying out of the Mom Wars. I have my own stepmom wars to fight.
    WickedStepMom´s last blog ..Beautiful Like Me: A Moment in Time My ComLuv Profile

  • I have stayed out of the mommy wars myself just because I don’t think it’s a fight that is ever going to be won. I don’t believe in this kind of fighting. I actually believe both sides are right…that they both have truth to be told. I believe each mom has to do what she thinks is right. I have been on both sides of this coin and I can honestly say that regardless of which side I was on at the time, I was doing the best I could and loved my children just the same. I can also honestly say that I wasn’t looking down at the other side…I was too damn busy being a mom to worry about what other mom’s were choosing. I have always been friends with mom’s from both sides…what we have in common is that we love our children, we are women all seeking to connect with other women.

    Right now I am a working mom and while I love my job, I miss my kids most of the time, I am gone. I say most of the time because I will not lie, there are days I am happy to leave them at daycare. Yes, I feel guilty a lot of the time, for leaving them, even though they are happy. On the days that they cry and say things like ” I just want to stay home with you.” it breaks my heart. I spend a lot of the day feeling bad, then to come pick them up and they want to keep playing…to find out that they had a most wonderful fun day.

    Glad you found these new friends!
    Lori´s last blog ..Jumping in Mud Puddles & Jumping off Bridges My ComLuv Profile

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