Offensive to working moms? or not?
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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Default Offensive to working moms? or not?

    This is kind of a soft debate. Not really sure if it can really be debated well. This blog post is making the rounds on facebook and a lot of working mothers have taken offense to it. What do you think? If you were a working mom, particularly one who chooses to work and is not forced to work...would it have bothered you?

    Do you feel like he was critical of working moms or not? Overtly or covertly?

    ?You?re a stay-at-home mom? What do you DO all day?? | The Matt Walsh Blog

    It?s happened twice in a week, and they were both women. Anyone ought to have more class than this, but women ? especially women ? should damn well know better.

    Last week, I was at the pharmacy and a friendly lady approached me.

    ?Matt! How are those little ones doing??

    ?Great! They?re doing very well, thanks for asking.?

    ?Good to hear. How ?bout your wife? Is she back at work yet??

    ?Well she?s working hard at home, taking care of the kids. But she?s not going back into the workforce, if that?s what you mean.?

    ?Oh fun! That must be nice!?

    ?Fun? It?s a lot of hard work. Rewarding, yes. Fun? Not always.?

    This one wasn?t in-your-face. It was only quietly presumptuous and subversively condescending.

    The next incident occurred today at the coffee shop. It started in similar fashion; a friendly exchange about how things are coming along with the babies. The conversation quickly derailed when the woman hit me with this:

    ?So is your wife staying at home permanently??

    ?Permanently? Well, for the foreseeable future she will be raising the kids full time, yes.?

    ?Yeah, mine is 14 now. But I?ve had a career the whole time as well. I can?t imagine being a stay at home mom. I would get so antsy. [Giggles] What does she DO all day??

    ?Oh, just absolutely everything. What do you do all day??

    ??Me? Ha! I WORK!?

    ?My wife never stops working. Meanwhile, it?s the middle of the afternoon and we?re both at a coffee shop. I?m sure my wife would love to have time to sit down and drink a coffee. It?s nice to get a break, isn?t it??

    The conversation ended less amicably than it began.

    Look, I don?t cast aspersions on women who work outside of the home. I understand that many of them are forced into it because they are single mothers, or because one income simply isn?t enough to meet the financial needs of their family. Or they just choose to work because that?s what they want to do. Fine. I also understand that most ?professional? women aren?t rude, pompous and smug, like the two I met recently.

    But I don?t want to sing Kumbaya right now. I want to kick our backwards, materialistic society in the shins and say, ?GET YOUR FREAKING HEAD ON STRAIGHT, SOCIETY.?

    This conversation shouldn?t be necessary. I shouldn?t need to explain why it?s insane for anyone ? particularly other women ? to have such contempt and hostility for ?stay at home? mothers. Are we really so shallow? Are we really so confused? Are we really the first culture in the history of mankind to fail to grasp the glory and seriousness of motherhood? The pagans deified Maternity and turned it into a goddess. We?ve gone the other direction; we treat it like a disease or an obstacle.

    The people who completely immerse themselves in the tiring, thankless, profoundly important job of raising children ought to be put on a pedestal. We ought to revere them and admire them like we admire rocket scientists and war heroes. These women are doing something beautiful and complicated and challenging and terrifying and painful and joyous and essential. Whatever they are doing, they ARE doing something, and our civilization DEPENDS on them doing it well. Who else can say such a thing? What other job carries with it such consequences?

    It?s true ? being a mom isn?t a ?job.? A job is something you do for part of the day and then stop doing. You get a paycheck. You have unions and benefits and break rooms. I?ve had many jobs; it?s nothing spectacular or mystical. I don?t quite understand why we?ve elevated ?the workforce? to this hallowed status. Where do we get our idea of it? The Communist Manifesto? Having a job is necessary for some ? it is for me ? but it isn?t liberating or empowering. Whatever your job is ? you are expendable. You are a number. You are a calculation. You are a servant. You can be replaced, and you will be replaced eventually. Am I being harsh? No, I?m being someone who has a job. I?m being real.

    If your mother quit her role as mother, entire lives would be turned upside down; society would suffer greatly. The ripples of that tragedy would be felt for generations. If she quit her job as a computer analyst, she?d be replaced in four days and nobody would care. Same goes for you and me. We have freedom and power in the home, not the office. But we are zombies, so we can not see that.

    Yes, my wife is JUST a mother. JUST. She JUST brings forth life into the universe, and she JUST shapes and molds and raises those lives. She JUST manages, directs and maintains the workings of the household, while caring for children who JUST rely on her for everything. She JUST teaches our twins how to be human beings, and, as they grow, she will JUST train them in all things, from morals, to manners, to the ABC?s, to hygiene, etc. She is JUST my spiritual foundation and the rock on which our family is built. She is JUST everything to everyone. And society would JUST fall apart at the seams if she, and her fellow moms, failed in any of the tasks I outlined.

    Yes, she is just a mother. Which is sort of like looking at the sky and saying, ?hey, it?s just the sun.?

    Of course not all women can be at home full time. It?s one thing to acknowledge that; it?s quite another to paint it as the ideal. To call it the ideal, is to claim that children IDEALLY would spend LESS time around their mothers. This is madness. Pure madness. It isn?t ideal, and it isn?t neutral. The more time a mother can spend raising her kids, the better. The better for them, the better for their souls, the better for the community, the better for humanity. Period.

    Finally, it?s probably true that stay at home moms have some down time. People who work outside the home have down time, too. In fact, there are many, many jobs that consist primarily of down time, with little spurts of menial activity strewn throughout. In any case, I?m not looking to get into a fight about who is ?busier.? We seem to value our time so little, that we find our worth based on how little of it we have. In other words, we?ve idolized ?being busy,? and confused it with being ?important.? You can be busy but unimportant, just as you can be important but not busy. I don?t know who is busiest, and I don?t care. It doesn?t matter. I think it?s safe to say that none of us are as busy as we think we are; and however busy we actually are, it?s more than we need to be.

    We get a lot of things wrong in our culture. But, when all is said and done, and our civilization crumbles into ashes, we are going to most regret the way we treated mothers and children.
    Emma 08/31/01
    Aodhan 07/24/03
    Lillian 03/04/05
    Nathalie 07/01/07
    Cecilia Marie 1/10/10


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    Prolific Poster bunnyfufu's Avatar
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    I think it is ham-fisted and paternalistic to say the least. And I am a Stay-at-home-mom. I blog, as many of you already know and I call myself "the housewife," as a badge of honor because I am not 'just' anything. Neither is anyone else. Or maybe at least anyone who I find interesting.

    We figured out that in our particular family-corporation that this was the best tactic. And hell-no I do not want to be put on a pedestal for it. Feminism 101 will point out the massive danger in that precarious perch. As a humanist, I tend to take a more nuanced stand and not put any person on a pedestal; man, woman or child. It's kind of a ****ty thing to do = put them in a corner of the ring that they then have to defend. Boo- hiss--.

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    I think it's great that he appreciates what his wife is doing and values it as highly as he does. What I don't like is the (barely concealed) assumption that women who work only do so because they have to for economic reasons and that the BEST way to raise children is for the mom to be home. How about for the dad to be home? How about for the parents to demonstrate that they're living happy fulfilled lives? There are many options and I don't think one is "the best", so I don't like anyone else's assumptions that they DO think so, especially when he's talking about something his wife is doing and not something he's doing.

    I agree that stay-at-home parents (not just moms) sometimes have the annoyance of people thinking they're sitting around all day. When kids are older, sure, there's more free time, but when they're babies, toddlers, little? Omg.

    Anyway..there is a nice sentiment in there, which is to truly value what a mother does. That part is quite lovely. The rest just feels like judgment and it also feels sexist as there is no talk of stay-at home dads. I know a few. They're pretty awesome.
    Laurie, mom to:
    Nathaniel ( 11 ) and Juliet ( 7 )




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    Posting Addict Rivergallery's Avatar
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    not sure I homeschool so for me.. yes WHEN I am home I work . Many "stay at home moms" do not Mother.. when at home.. they send the majority if not all their children off to school for the majority of some of the days (non-summer). I also can/garden/clean and cook, and do not hire outside help and deal with chronic illness.. and have a husband that works 4 on 4 off.. so one could say he doesn't work "fully time"? though he does have a "full time" job he doesn't work 9-5 like a "typical" job.. he is gone from midnight till anywhere from 10am till 5pm depending on the tanker loads (drives double long tanker delivery fuel trucks.

    Not sure that adds anything to the not really offensive argument.. lol. I am off to make 10 loaves of sourdough bread, make apple butter, help my youngest type up his report on Frank Lloyd Wright (complete with References and annotation), along with all the regular homeschooling, housework and regular home duties.
    Have a great day.. heres to hoping my headache stays low today.
    DH-Aug 30th 1997 Josiah - 6/3/02 Isaac 7/31/03

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    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    I am surprised that working moms are offended, I read it and liked it.

    I have been a stay at home mom, a full time working mom (Dh was home during that time) and a part time working mom. The only time I ever felt like people looked down on me was when I was stay at home. As seen here on this board some people believe that moms that stay home are not contributing to the family or society. I think this dad was put in a place where he felt the need to defend his wife from people assuming she is doing nothing.
    Lisa
    Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivergallery View Post
    Many "stay at home moms" do not Mother.. when at home.. they send the majority if not all their children off to school for the majority of some of the days (non-summer).
    So the only legitimate mothering is done by homeschooling moms? Interesting. That leaves all dads out in the cold unless they get a free pass for being men.

    I didn't realize that all the moms who send their kids to school aren't actually mothering their children. Wow.
    Laurie, mom to:
    Nathaniel ( 11 ) and Juliet ( 7 )




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    Sorry...part of it is offensive. It's true you only have 1 biological mom, but others shape and mold the lives of young people. They aren't expendable.

    How about the fact that there are many biological fathers who up and quit their job as Dad or never take it on in the first place? There are many, many factors that have caued society to feel the effects he equates to women quitting their role as mothers.

    Also, I think asking if his wife is staying home permanently is a fair question. The same question is asked when someone becomes ill or has another life-changing event where they take an extended leave of absence.

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    Just another knee jerk reaction... Knee jerk reactions normally don't make sense. So no, I'm not offended because I know better,
    ClairesMommy likes this.

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    Posting Addict Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Meh. I saw that on FB the other day and it did remind me of a statement that someone made when T was a baby that made me cry: why do people have children if they don't plan on raising them? Meaning of course that us WOH moms don't raise our kids. Drat those new mom hormones and that new mom guilt. These days I'm much thicker skinned on that whole topic because I realize that I'm happy, my kids are happy, my husband is happy, and if we're all happy and healthy, what's the point in feeling bad? So no, I'm not offended. I think "hamfisted" is a perfect way to describe that essay, but whatevs.
    blather likes this.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    I think people do look down at SAHM. And they look down at WOHM. It's stupid.

    I work at home and I raise my kids. I am home Saturdays and Sundays. Daddy is home Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and the grandmas have them the other 3 days. It's a huge help to have them and they do help with them. It's awesome for them to have their quality time with their dad and their grandmas. I like to look at it that we're kicking it like the olden days where the grandparents lent a hand in the child rearing only they don't live here .

    Be happy with your choices or with your circumstance. Enjoy the time with your kids. That's it. That's all we need to worry about.
    Mom to Elizabeth (6) and Corinne (4)

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