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Jen

Working Mothers Unite and Other Dreams of this Wishful Mother

Posted by Jen on June 20, 2009 at 12:07 AM
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Speak Kindness

Whose working harder? Who has it worse? Who is the "real mother" in the bunch? These are the questions stalking the blogosphere this last week as mothers hash it out over who has it harder in life--the work-at-home mom or the work-outside-the-home mom?

This supersister is pretty sure that the grass is always greener no matter which side of the fence you're on, and there's no perspective more skewed than the one you have when you're knee deep in the trials and tribulations of your own particular stressed out existence.

Here's a thought: What could happen if we could offer kindness and empathy to the other mother by letting her know we recognize the hard parts of the particular choice she has made? What kind of encouragement and connection would be possible then? What if we focused on the positive aspect of our own choices and asked for help when we struggle to accept the inevitable limitations inherent in each and every path? What would happen to the mommy wars then?

I think the primary issue is our own insecurities about the choices we make. We each and everyone of us have moments when we wonder if we're doing it right, if we made a fatal error, if our kids will hate us for not being there enough or for being present and constantly distracted. Instead of dividing ourselves up into who works where, how about acknowledging our common ground. We all work. And it's hard. And because of that, we need each other so, so much.

Don't you think?

6 Comments

Jess writes...

Hear,hear! I have noticed this one-upmanship not only in the "mommy wars" but in just about any relationship. How often do we get embroiled in combat with a spouse or other family member over who has it worse, who is more deserving of a break?

Ultimately, we're all best served by validating each other's stresses, recognizing that the things that are hard really are hard. No sense in comparing which is harder, there's no way to judge that competition and nobody wins, anyway.

GailNHB writes...

Amen, amen, amen, Jen. It is time for us to simply and quietly support each other in each of those enormously difficult challenges we face. We do all work. Hard. We are doing all that we can to be good mothers and women and to leave a legacy that outlasts us and means something to our children and the world far beyond them.

I think if we could do what you suggest in your post here, the mommy wars just might come to a halt. What a concept!

Thanks again, Jen, for your words of calm love and wisdom.

Vanessa writes...

Word.

;)

Amy writes...

Jen, your soothing words do bring peace. From my perspective, not being a mother, but having friends who are. I think this "rivalry" stems from jealously.

My friends who are working moms tend to be jealous that stay-at-home moms have the opportunity to spend so much time with their children. Most working moms want to be there more, but can't. On the other side, my friends who stay at home are envious that a working mom gets to go out, converse with adults, and continue on a personal career path.

Both stay-at-home and working moms are lucky in my opinion, just in different ways.

JaneEyreVN writes...

That's great. No words can express my emotion

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Cornelia writes...

Moms who work outside the home but are still very much able to perform their duties with their quality time for their children are perfectly fine.

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