Dear Everyone: Here’s Why I Don’t Want To Read Your Crappy Opinions On What Mothers Should Do

25 Mar

Earlier today, Lydia Lovric, a Montreal-based “columnist, talk-radio host, stay-at-home mom,” wrote a scornful response to piece from 2013 about why Sasha Emmons chooses to work outside of the home. Don’t ask me why Lovric is responding to a two year old article, because I’m as baffled as you are. I’m sure she has her reasons, such as maybe she some type of wizard who exists outside of the linear bounds of time and space; this would explain why she is writing about the evils of mothers who work outside the home in 2015.

You guys, it’s 2015. It has been two thousand and fifteen years since the alleged birth of Christ and we are still having this goddamn argument about whether or not a mother is morally obligated to stay home with her kids, should finances permit. And as much as it’s tempting to write off Lovric as a Throw-Back Thursday with outdated opinions, the truth is that the question of mothers working outside the home is still burning up parenting blogs, websites and message boards. As far as parenting wank goes, the debate about whether or not mothers should stay home is right up there with breastfeeding, circumcision and cloth diapering. Lovric is certainly not alone in her belief that women who choose to work are selfish.

There is nothing more disheartening to me than watching women tear each other down, especially within the context of parenting. It’s sad and it’s gross and it’s the purest example of internalized misogyny that there is. There’s no benefit to these discussions; they’re just endless cycles of women shitting on other women’s happiness and security under the guise of concern for The Children. What’s even more enraging is how gendered these arguments are – even when they say that it’s best for “a parent” to stay home with their kids, what they really mean is mother.

I’m not going to get into the layers and layers of privilege that have allowed Lovric to write this article. I’m not going to address her claim that “you need not be rich in order to live off one income.” I’m only going to mention in passing how fucking shitty it is to refer to a mother as “absent” because she works outside the home – I’ll just say that I know my fair share of absent parents, and I promise you they are not out there working to pay the bills and feed their kids. I’m not even going to discuss the fact that plenty of single mothers raise their kid on one income and, by necessity rather than choice, work outside of the home. Instead, I’m going to talk about how gross and oppressive our persistent cultural biases about motherhood are.`

No one ever says that fathers are selfish for working outside the home.

No one is writing think pieces about how “absent fathers” letting strangers raise their kids just so that they can pursue an enjoyable and fulfilling career.

No dads are out there penning thoughtful letters to their children about why they chose to work. If they were, they’d probably read something like this:

Dear Daughter,

I chose to work after you were born because it literally never occurred to me to do otherwise. I certainly did not consider disrupting everything I have known and loved about my life outside of the home because I decided to have kids. I do not feel guilt or shame for my decision, because why would I?

Much love,

Dad

As a culture, we have a weird obsession with women being “selfish.” Mothers especially are prone to accusations of selfishness any time they make a choice that doesn’t directly and obviously benefit their children. Even when mothers are encouraged to practice self-care, it’s often approached with the idea that feeling happy and rested will make them better partners and parents. And while that may be true, why can’t a woman ever just be happy for her own damn self? Dudes don’t need to come up with excuses for why they should be able to do things they enjoy, and women shouldn’t either.

And by the way, here’s a list of the reasons Emmons gave for going back to work that Lovric found “selfish”:

“I work because I love it.”

“I work because scratching the itch to create makes me happy, and that happiness bleeds over into every other area, including how patient and engaged and creative a mother I am.”

“I work because this nice house and those gymnastics lessons and those sneakers you need to have are all made possible by two incomes.”

“I work because I want you and your brother to be proud of me.”

So: just to clarify, Emmons is selfish because she enjoys her job, a dual income helps pay for the lifestyle her family enjoys, and she hopes that the work she does will make her children proud of her.

In what world is it selfish to love your job? What is it about women specifically that makes them terrible people if they aren’t prioritizing their children 24/7? I mean, yes of course parenting involves some amount of sacrifice, but the idea that you should only live for your children is a pretty dangerous road to go down and, again, not one that any dudes are being told they have to travel.

Lovric’s counter to all of Emmons’ selfish reasons for working includes the following:

“I stay home because although writing and radio did make me extremely happy, I knew that you seemed happier when I was around. And your happiness was more important to me than my own. And making you happy also made me happy.”

“I stay home because I want you to learn that family and love are more important than material possessions. A large home or fancy sneakers will not make up for an absent mother.”

“I stay home because I want you and your brothers to be proud of me because I gave up something I truly loved in order to put you first.”

In short: a healthy relationship dynamic between a parent and child does not involve the parent supporting their child financially by working outside the home, but does include expecting your children to appreciate the fact that you made the ultimate life sacrifice for them.

I am just so exasperated by the continuing circle of shaming mothers for whatever choices they make. It seems like no matter what, the conclusion is always “MOMS: STILL PRETTY MUCH THE WORST?” It’s the 21st century and at the very least we can all agree that we want to raise kids who are proud of us, so let’s work on building each other up us parents and caregivers and mentors instead of fighting to push each other off the Pedestal of Motherhood. We’ll all be better for it.

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103 Responses to “Dear Everyone: Here’s Why I Don’t Want To Read Your Crappy Opinions On What Mothers Should Do”

  1. robertmgoldstein March 25, 2015 at 1:59 am #

    Isn’t it odd that no one questions women of privilege who work.

  2. c0ral33 March 25, 2015 at 2:03 am #

    I feel like sighing in relief after reading these words. Enough with the mommy shaming. Just do what’s right for you and don’t form judgemental opinions of me because we are ALL mama’s in the trenches of love. Excellent read.

  3. B1004 March 25, 2015 at 2:04 am #

    You took the words right out of my mouth. I avoid these articles now as they just make my blood boil. How someone lives their life is nobody else’s goddamn business. Her comment about only needing one income made me laugh, though. My mum had to go back to work just a few short weeks after she had me because my dad didn’t earn much back then. But I guess she’s selfish for working rather than staying home with me and letting us starve!

  4. Rebecca Meyer March 25, 2015 at 2:20 am #

    I completely agree! It makes me so angry that women are shamed for just about everything. Every decision we make or aspect of “being a woman” is up for debate. “Can women be happy without kids?” “Can a mother have a career?” “Would mothers be happier at home?” “How do mothers balance kids and work?” Like you said, it’s this obsession with tearing women down. And it’s absolutely always about women. They never ask fathers about balancing work and kids, or if men can be happy without kids, or if fathers can have careers, or if they would be happier at home. It’s as if we’re still living in 1950, for God’s sake.

    I hope our world progresses towards the day where women build each other up, and society builds us up as well. I look forward to a world where women are celebrated, and where we celebrate all of our choices, no matter what they are.

  5. Rebecca Meyer March 25, 2015 at 2:26 am #

    Reblogged this on Humyn and commented:
    This is from one of my favorite blogs, The Belle Jar. She wrote what I have also been thinking about for a while. It’s insane that in 2015, women are still shamed for basically every decision they make, yet men live without judgement. Women tear each other down and debate what is “right.” I have an idea: How about we let women make their own decisions?

  6. ainsobriety March 25, 2015 at 2:42 am #

    Whenever I hear the words I gave up everything I loved and enjoyed to make you happy, I cringe. I tried to do this for my kids. I became a depressed, anxious drunk.

    Sooooo, apparently sacrificing myself for the good of the little people was not a smart idea.

    I think kids need role models who choose to do what they love and make it work. Regardless what that choice is.

    • Melissa March 25, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

      I work (and we could afford to live on one paycheck) for this reason. I believe that if I put my kids first my mental health would fail and I would become a depressed hermit.

  7. neighsayer March 25, 2015 at 3:08 am #

    spot on, Belle. Nice work, so true.

    • Heart March 25, 2015 at 3:31 am #

      I love this to the seventh level of heaven! THANK YOU! Sharing.

  8. peabodyrus March 25, 2015 at 3:19 am #

    When is somebody going to figure out that, as with most things, the best family choices are going to differ for each family, and differ based on many considerations, beyond just finances and focus on material possessions – not to mention it’s best for each family to make its own decision(s) about values? Also, what’s best for the children also depends on the children – some thrive with a lot of mommy-attention, some are better off with less. People are all different from each other. Including moms and dads and kids. Who is anybody to tell anybody else what’s best for somebody else? Lordy!! That Lovrac woman is a fine example of why moms need not to listen to other moms preaching at them!

  9. Heart March 25, 2015 at 3:31 am #

    I love this to the seventh level of heaven! Sharing on FB. ❤

  10. Kristina Campbell March 25, 2015 at 3:32 am #

    Thank you. Well said. Daughters can be proud of both mothers who work and mothers who don’t work. It can be hard to figure out what makes you really happy in life – and if you’re one of those lucky people who knows what keeps you ticking – whether it’s corporate law or raising kids – go for it.

  11. Josh Wrenn March 25, 2015 at 3:32 am #

    I think after reading this that I will write a post shaming men for working outside the home. Not because I believe it, but because I don’t believe women should be shamed for it either. Just to make the point and see if anyone notices. Great post!

  12. kristinmh March 25, 2015 at 3:35 am #

    Er, how is someone who writes newspaper columns and hosts a radio show NOT working? You can write while looking after your kids I guess (though it’s hard), but you can hardly take a 2-year-old into the broadcast booth.

    I think this lady’s kick against “working mothers” has more to do with her own brand than her choices, because clearly she is still pursuing a career. Even if that career is telling other women not to pursue their own.

  13. jdanielverdin March 25, 2015 at 3:41 am #

    You are right that the topics of motherhood degenerate to name calling pretty quick. It is just such a delicate subject. There are too many variables to track. Too many of those variables are subjective. And yet, the topic is too important to drop. We need more pushy grand mothers so we can all find unity in avoiding our grand mothers instead of arguing online.

  14. AthenaC March 25, 2015 at 3:44 am #

    As a working mom with a stay-at-home dad husband, I completely agree. I will add that for me, I work because I put my family’s needs first – I earn ~5 times what my husband would, so this is what makes sense for our family. Yes, I still have needs as a person, but it’s not all about me anymore; my needs as well as the rest of the family’s needs are my priority.

    And now for some comic relief:

    “I work because scratching the itch to create makes me happy, and that happiness bleeds over into every other area, including how patient and engaged and creative a mother I am.”

    Hehe – I read that and thought “I drink wine because wine makes me happy; and also because when I’m tipsy I’m a much more patient and engaged and creative mother.”

  15. neighsayer March 25, 2015 at 3:52 am #

    I personally find it interesting and amusing that everyone is sure that their kids are going to be better off with themselves and no-one else parenting them while they work. Like 3,000,000,000 of us, we all think we’re the only sane one, and we all think that we’re automatically the best possible caregivers and educators for our kids, one out of a billion. That’s a huge part of the myth that keeps things the way things are, that only you can save this child from some terrible fate presented by some other of the three billion parents in the world and you choose not to. The rest of us are going to eat your child, don’t you know that?
    But the idea that there is some magic in a child raised by it’s bio-mother that has nothing to do with the real world, like whether every parent is educated enough to do it, has resources to feed, etc., whether there is a violent or abusive environment in the parent’s families, poverty, etc., etc., etc.?

    That is not a society that is giving a damn about its children, either.
    The world is full of sad people, I mean we all have problems – but it must be something that happens to us under somebody else’s care or something. If we could all just be raised in poverty by a teenage single mom, as long as she was our mom her youth, poverty, vulnerability and inexperience wouldn’t matter, her kids would be set up for a chance in life, because why, because in America you can make it if you try?

    But you get it, right? You gave that kid up, and you were just about to become the world’s two hundred and twelfth Great Parent to date. Imagine the odds! When it’s our kid, suddenly we are the only thing for the kid, no-one else’s skills and knowledge matter . . .
    I don’t know what they do where you come from, but around h’yah we screw our own kids up.

  16. mtyokum March 25, 2015 at 4:20 am #

    Wow & yay for getting it all out. I don’t even wan’t to read her article.
    Meh, maybe later if I need something to get mad about before I work out.
    Great post!

  17. AmandaS March 25, 2015 at 5:20 am #

    My father spent the first fifteen years of my life telling me about how he had to give up all the stuff he loved because of me. As the child in that situation, let me assure you that it is pure passive-aggressive emotional blackmail and devastating to the parent/child relationship. So “I gave up doing what I loved most to look after you” is, as far as I’m concerned, an absolutely vile thing to tell your child. Believe me, I know from experience.

  18. Marisol Flores March 25, 2015 at 5:36 am #

    Well said. Our job as women is to build each other up, listen, learn about each other, and be compassionate. I find that when I’m open to listening to someone with a different point of view than mine, I learn something and become less judgmental. Women who don’t understand other women’s choices should talk to women who make those choices before they throw stones. They might just learn something.

  19. rixlibris March 25, 2015 at 5:57 am #

    I wonder if Ms. Lovrac has stigmata to go along with her ‘martyrdom’?

    For most folks life in the 21st century is a financial balancing act, based on individual circumstances, not some one size fits all philosophy.

    Each family unit has to assess their own needs and attributes and act according to their own best interests.

    Perhaps it took Ms. Lovrac 2 years to respond because she couldn’t concentrate with the kids underfoot.

  20. anawnimiss March 25, 2015 at 7:17 am #

    Oh, so women are “good” only when they’re sacrificial goats, sacrificing their careers and material possessions for the sake of their children? What a load of crap.

  21. jmdilts March 25, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    It actually turns out that I was damaged by my mother working when I was growing up. It’s funny, because even though I +knew+ she and my dad were doing what they could for me and that they loved me and stuff, I still was fucked up because of it. Now, since their deaths, I’m working on getting over my fears that no one cares about me, and that anyone I care about is going to die. It really sucks because I’m getting married and the anxiety of planning a wedding is bringing up all this that I thought I had worked through.

  22. Amanda Martin (writermummy) March 25, 2015 at 7:55 am #

    Isn’t it part of the misogyny of society that women are encouraged to tear each other down though? I agree completely with your article, but it does show that she’s as much a victim of society as anyone, because she thinks tearing other women down is the only way to validate her own position. I found myself going round the same justification cycle when I ended up a SAHM (largely because I was contractor and couldn’t parent and do a 16 hour day without becoming a psycho.) I didn’t really choose to be a SAHM, so I find myself finding reasons why it’s better for my kids than if I worked. Equally, if I enjoy my life and I see others struggling with their choices, I feel that I have to justify that by blaming them. It’s nuts. Women have been raised to think doing something for themselves is decadent and wrong and if they’re not sacrificing something then they’re lazy and selfish. But mostly women have been taught to hate other women because if we all got together and supported each other we’d realise we could run society much better than the men and there would be a revolution.
    My husband finds it hard that he has to hold down a stable 9-5 job rather than do the more risky work he did before he was married with a family to support. He’s making as many if not more sacrifices (and possibly resents them as much!) but no one ever seems to criticise him or pity him because it hasn’t become society’s game to analyse every tiny decision he makes.

  23. inkh March 25, 2015 at 8:22 am #

    I had to go to daycare since i was two, because there was noone to take care of me while mom was at work, and i dont have scars for life from it, it was cool actually 🙂 my mom was and still is very much present
    (note that this was postsocialist Yugoslavia, so she worked 7 to 3, allowing her to be with me the whole afternoon)

  24. hibahoward March 25, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    Amen! It always aggravated me the shaming of mothers who work and on the other more ultra-feminist side, the shaming of mothers who don’t. As if by giving up their careers to raise a family they have somehow betrayed their sisterhood to live under the thumbs of their husband and family. That’s total bull in my opinion. Uplifting women, supporting them in their decisions; be it stay at home mom, or working mom, that is real feminism. Bravo on an amazing post.

  25. habibilamour March 25, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    I say feck the idea that women must be 100% selfless…..I’m not having babbyz, I want a career, and if I did change my mind, statistically I would be a step mother or adopt a child.

  26. Faith Dandois March 25, 2015 at 10:41 am #

    “There is nothing more disheartening to me than watching women tear each other down, especially within the context of parenting. It’s sad and it’s gross and it’s the purest example of internalized misogyny that there is. There’s no benefit to these discussions; they’re just endless cycles of women shitting on other women’s happiness and security…”
    Women do this all the time and not just about motherhood. Phyllis Schlafly, Joni Ernst, Michelle Bachman, Terri Lynn Land…these women are the enemies of all women. They wouldn’t even be where they are if it weren’t for the Betty Friedans and Gloria Steinems of this world yet they shit on women practically every time they open their mouths. Grrrr!

  27. fullmetalfeminist March 25, 2015 at 11:20 am #

    Well said. My flatmate, while we watched a show recently in which a woman ran for mayor of a large city, commented that he’d never seen a man asked how he planned to balance being a father and being a politician. When even non-feminist men can see how unfair and stupid it is, the system is borked.

  28. Lisa March 25, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

    My mom stayed home and was miserable for it, and made us all miserable for it – my entire childhood would’ve been exponentially better if that woman had had a job. Just because you’re someone’s mother doesn’t mean it’s best for them to have you around all day. Not all moms are good at it full-time (but who wants to admit that to themselves?!). The good news is: whatever choice you make that is true to YOU as a woman will be the right choice. So, hooray to all those with choices, use it wisely, thank your lucky stars, and stop shitting on all the women that have no choice at all.

  29. Petal and Mortar March 25, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    You can’t see me, but I’m clapping & dancing. My mother gave up working on & off through my childhood, more out of guilt than want, and she drove us NUTS at home. When she worked, she had an outlet, and adult conversation, and we had a focused mother on the weekends. I have always made it clear to employers that I have a child, and husband & I juggle things to be at important events in her life. I’d like to think she looks up to us as role models, pursuing our passions outside and sharing the load at home.

  30. Francesca March 25, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    To me asking children to appreciate that you sacrificed your career etc is really dangerous. Stay at home with your kids if you want to. It might be the right decision for you. But never ask them to feel grateful about it.

  31. TS March 25, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    You know Anne,

    As a dad… I would rather stay at home with my two sons. I feel as shitty about sending them to daycare as my wife does. I would quit my job if I could…..

    You could have written a thoughtful article without shitting on and generalizing all dads.

    • Andie March 25, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

      Okay cool, but when was the last time someone made you, specifically, feel shitty about not giving up your career to stay home? When was the last time YOU, specifically, were blamed for any negative outcome that may occur as a result of your kids having two working parents? An overwhelming amount of the time, that blame falls on the Mother for not staying home with the kids. Just because you feel shitty about not being home with your kids doesn’t mean that society, on the whole, is A-OKAY with dudes working when they have kids.

      • TS March 25, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

        “Dear Daughter,

        I chose to work after you were born because it literally never occurred to me to do otherwise. I certainly did not consider disrupting everything I have known and loved about my life outside of the home because I decided to have kids. I do not feel guilt or shame for my decision, because why would I?

        Much love,

        Dad”

        I’m not talking about how society feels about Dads working after we have kids. If that’s the view of society well then it needs to change. I’m talking about Anne writing a fake letter in her article that completely shits on Dads.

        I’m just saying I know lots of stay at home dads because their wife makes more than them.

        I know a lot of guys who work that would rather be at home with their kids than spending long hours at work and feel guilty about it.

        If this article was designed to put an end to the “Mommy Wars” it could have been done without bringing dads into it.

        It’s hard to say feminism isn’t about shitting on men when she writes things like that.

      • MB March 25, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

        You’re missing the point of that letter, TS.

        The point is that a man COULD write that letter without anyone batting an eye, but a woman couldn’t. Men, like me and I imagine you, are allowed to go through life without being shamed or expecting to feel shame for working when we have kids. Women don’t get that luxury.

        That “letter” had nothing to do with wanting to stay home or not, and wasn’t demonizing anyone for their decisions.

      • mgpcoe March 25, 2015 at 11:57 pm #

        TS, you know lots of stay-at-home dads? That’s great. Seriously. My original parenthood fantasy was exactly that–I’d run a company, nominally working from home, but really just being home with my kids.

        Turned out I can’t stay from adults that long; did some freelancing before I got married and realised it wasn’t for me.

        But that’s beside the point. Anne’s pretty clearly saying that men don’t experience the same social pressure to stay home; if anything, we experience social pressure to keep right on working, and *not* stay home with the kids. Enough so that most new dads don’t consider anything else as a possibility.

        Which means she isn’t talking to you. Which means shut the fuck up and quit making this about you, dipshit.

  32. Lacey March 25, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    Thank you so much for writing this. I shared via fb after reading the Lovrac article this am. As a mom who works because it’s necessary for survival of her family (I also drive an older car, live in very modest housing, don’t go on vacations, rarely eat out, blah blah blah) these types of articles really sting to read. If I felt I had a choice, I’d love to try staying home, but I don’t – so we do the best we can, just like every other family.

  33. briana1010 March 25, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    I almost think that instead of saying enjoying work isn’t selfish, say that being selfish is okay. I don’t think selfish and selfless are mutually exclusive things, they just happen in different situations (if that makes sense?). Personally, I think it’s good to teach young women especially that being selfish isn’t a bad thing. It means having self respect and not apologizing for what you want, who you are, and who you strive to be.

  34. N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ March 25, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

    Well said.

    “I’ve yet to be on a campus where most women weren’t worrying about some aspect of combining marriage, children, and a career. I’ve yet to find one where many men were worrying about the same thing.” ~Gloria Steinem

  35. hbusse March 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    I had a stay-at-home dad around when I was in elementary school. Just saying, it happens. There is hope for gender equality!

  36. Chantal Saville March 25, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

    Reblogged this on Send Me to Paris and commented:
    There is so much that I love about this post that I can’t even write what I love about this post, so just read it.

  37. jennjilks March 25, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    Well-written. I’m 58, I worked when I was a parent, as well as when I was a single mom. My daughter works, and my grandkids are bright, happy, beautiful kids. My late mother went to work when I was 5. I turned out ok. Crikey.

  38. UltimateGlory March 25, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    This was the best response-to-OpEd that I have ever read. Bravo on challenging the root of the problem instead of getting into a pissing match about their reasons!

  39. th3hbomb March 25, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

    God bless you. I needed to read this after Lovrac’s inane drivel. Now I need to go read the rest of your blog, which I’m assuming is an awesome as this post.

  40. Ebony March 25, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

    Super glad my Mom worked. It taught me that her role on this planet was bigger than just tending to my needs. Also I got karate and ballet and private school and plenty of time with my Dad and grandmas. Thanks Mom!

  41. Melissa T. March 25, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    BRAVO!!! Thank you so much for this balanced, well-written article! I couldn’t agree with you more.

  42. MamaTrader March 25, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    BRAVO! I couldn’t agree with you more.

  43. bluestgirl March 25, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    Dear moms who work outside the home, including mine: Thank you. Thank you for showing me that women can be defined by more than their relationships. Thank you for providing art lessons and music lessons and theater lessons that have continued to enrich my life as an adult. Thank you for bringing other people into my life as caregivers. Megan who was fabulous and inspiring, Kristen who was helpful and caring. We made cookies and took trips and sang songs and I felt loved and cared for by ALL the people in my life.

  44. Kevin O in Brooklyn March 25, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    Being a gay adoptive dad, I get to be privy to a lot of these conversations between my women friends, and I ‘m always wishing people could just be kinder to each other.

    In that vein, it’s hurtful also to make blanket statements about fathers. I work, it’s tough, and I hate leaving my kids every day. I DO think about it. I DO wonder if I’m doing the right thing. I DO actually care about my kids and how my choices affect them. So this, from your otherwise very thoughtful essay, is just mean:

    Dear Daughter,

    I chose to work after you were born because it literally never occurred to me to do otherwise. I certainly did not consider disrupting everything I have known and loved about my life outside of the home because I decided to have kids. I do not feel guilt or shame for my decision, because why would I?

    Much love,

    Dad

    • M.A. March 25, 2015 at 6:50 pm #

      Kevin, I’m also a stay-at-home dad, so I get where you’re coming from. But that passage didn’t bother me because I didn’t take it as applying to me or to all men. I read it as a characterization of *society’s* expectations and views of fathers, namely, that no one expects us to be the primary caregivers for our kids; no one criticizes us if we chose not to be, whatever our reason for making that choice–or even if we have *no* reason at all. *No one* asked me as a prospective dad, “Are you going back to work after the baby is born?” No one asked me as a working-outside-the-home dad, “Do you feel conflicted about going back to work now that the baby’s here?” The point isn’t that no dads feel conflicted; the point is that no one expects it, asks them about it, or criticizes them if they don’t.

  45. Shannon Boyd March 25, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    Reblogged this on Mimologics.

  46. Amy March 25, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

    I worked outside the home the entire time my girls were growing up and don’t regret it at all. Even if it hadn’t been financially motivated (which it was) I would have wanted to any way. My mom was too ill to be able to work, and I would have given anything to have a mom who was capable of doing what many of my other friend’s mom’s were able to do. The bottom line is that now that my girls are grown (27 and 31) and one is a working mother herself, they both wholeheartedly agree that I was a good mom and a role model for them. They were very proud of what I’ve done and glad that I raised them to be independent women. Rather than being an “absent mom” I was a mom who was able to share my experiences with them and include them in my life as well. They have the benefit of knowing my other female co-workers and have been mentored by them along the way. It is sad that some women still see this as such a black and white issue. I see it as a non-issue.

  47. momtheobscure March 25, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

    “why can’t a woman ever just be happy for her own damn self?”
    Yes, why can’t we? And I do believe we are our own worst enemies, judging each other to make our ownselves feel better. I have found myself doing it on occasion, but I let it pass and never fall to shaming anyone. As another commenter said above, each family is different and each family should be free to make their own decisions of how their family is run. The problem is it’s easy to tear down the Working mom for being “absent” (ridiculous) or the SAHM for not being true to the cause (or whatever); it’s easy because society (especially here in the states) is not setup to support families. ‘It takes a village’ rings true and there should be more understanding, support and social services available for every type of family.
    I love reading your blog, btw.

  48. svarnerwatt March 25, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

    The letter from the dad, you nailed it. When my husband was unemployed last year and stayed home with our two boys (then 5 and 13 months) from May-September, people acted like he was a g.d. super hero for doing so. He found it incredibly hard, isolating, and yet amazing to be home with them. When I was home with our boys during my two maternity leaves (a year long each, thank you, Canada), I found it incredibly hard, isolating, and yet amazing to be home with them. No one thought I was a super hero, though sometimes I felt like one and sometimes I didn’t.

    Thank you for this.

  49. nikkispeaks March 25, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    I’m not a mom but but I hope to be one day. I never read articles like those because I just find them to be destructive. I’ve just concluded that women like Lovric aren’t really secure in themselves and their choices. She has to constantly bring down anyone whose decisions doesn’t reflect hers, because there’s the possibility that her way, may not be the right way, and her way MUST be the right way. Except there is no clear cut right or wrong when it comes choosing whether to stay at home or work. We should be thankful that women live in a time where they are able to make a CHOICE, and there choice should be respected.

  50. Max March 25, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    As I read this I can’t help thinking how tough women are on each other. I realize that there are judgmental men out there (and you could safely say I’m being judgmental right now), yet not nearly on the scale of women hating on women. I think the best line in this article is “let’s work on building each other up as parents and caregivers and mentors instead of fighting to push each other off the Pedestal of Motherhood”. I personally believe all mothers are inspiring – just carrying a baby around inside of you for nine months is an incredible sacrifice – whatever choice a woman makes after that is hers and she should never be judged for it (except the circumcision one – that one shouldn’t even be a choice, and I consider myself an expert in that area).

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