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11/7/11

MCB: emotional ranting until early April...and most assuredly beyond...

Can I do an "all call" to the internet asking for a bit of a break? Recently I got two "trigger" comments, comments that were not intended to be mean, but sort of made my overly sensitive soul hurt. One was on a very old post claiming that me/commenters on the blog didn't appreciate motherhood, especially SAHMhood.

I'm so tired of being told I don't like SAHMS. I like SAHMS. If you are a SAHM, odds are I like you. Good job. Is that what you want?

Said comment then proceeds to tell us all how it is much harder to be a SAHM than a working mom. (Do they have an acronym yet, the working moms?) Ask anyone, they say, it is way easier to go into work.

Because what the world needs now isn't love sweet love, but apparently yet another line drawn between women, another stupid gauntlet thrown on who has the hardest life. How about we all put our hands in a circle and agree that being a woman is hard sometimes. Having kids is hard, not having kids is hard. Working is hard, unemployment is hard, SAHMing is hard, and working moming it is hard. But it is all probably pretty wonderful, at times.

And aren't we so damn lucky that we even get to have this conversation, however belabored? That some of us are lucky enough to SAHM when we want to, and some of us are lucky enough to work and still be moms, if we want to. And really, I suppose the only truly hard thing is not having any choices at all. That. Is. The. Hardest.


The which-very-privileged-life-is-hardest argument exhausts me. So stop it. Stop saying things like "I decided my kids were more important than work" crap. Because the equation for working or not working isn't as simple as math equations where x is greater than y and kids equal x for some and work for others.
Likewise, stop trying to make SAHMhood seem like eternal drudgery for the spotless mind. It is insulting, smart people SAHM all the time. Your paycheck is not a qualitative reflection of your IQ, it is a reflection of a choice. Stop trying to make insulting a SAHM's intelligence happen. Like "fetch," it never will.

Why is the idea of "different strokes for different folks" so difficult to live by? It rhymes! Doesn't that make it easier to remember?

I want to know what exactly we gain from comments intended to belittle those who didn't make our same choice. Does it feel good to put the gold star on all by yourself?

I'm pregnant*, and I don't know if I'm going to SAHM or work, part time or full time. I expect I will do all of the above, at various times. Did you know you can work for my school district .78 time? or .625 time? Does that mean I'm only .22* of a mom? or .375? That I love this kid 3738494% less if I work? If I don't work does it mean I think Moms who do love their kids less than me? What if I confess that I want to keep working? What if I confess that I don't?

If I work, my kids will have a role model who shows them how wide the world is, how it is possible to balance the seemingly impossible (however imperfectly, at times.) If I don't work, my kids will have a role model who shows them how wide the world is, how it is possible to balance the seemingly impossible (still imperfectly.) The ratio of things balanced might be different- family, work, self-identity, but they all add up to the same thing: You have a choice.

My kids will know that feminism means choices. I like to joke** with my students that math is a pointless subject that they will never use in real life, because real life can't be determined by "less than" or "greater than," and especially by "no solution" Life isn't math, and parenthood isn't math. It is making the best choice for you and yours, and not leaving passive -aggressive comments on the internet that make pregnant women want to stab you with the pee-stick she promised never to display on the internet.

It probably isn't very fun, being fair and being kind, and giving people the benefit of the doubt, and you don't feel like you got a gold star at the end. But if x is greater than y, I'd say that x is not having a pee stick lodged in your sternum, and y is having that self-applied gold star because you claim to love your kids the mostest/ you're too smart to just parent.

Do that math.



*Yep. Not as awesome as Beyonce's announcement, but the hormones released writing this post should mean I get to avoid the "fake pregnancy" conspiracy thwarting my beloved B.

** Totally a joke! Math is important! Girls can do it just as well as boys, as it turns out! Hurray math! Can you use it to build me a time machine?

70 comments:

jordan said...

The title made me wonder and then you confirmed it. Congratulations!!

Hilary said...

Congrats Steph! So happy for you! And I agree with you 100%. Whether a person chooses to work or stay at home is completely an individual choice, and doesn't make them any less of a mother or a person. When you get to that point you will make whatever is the best decision for you and your family at that time. And it may change from time to time, like you said. But you will know what is best for you and your family. Good luck with the pregnancy!

AZ Larsens said...

Best pregnancy announcement ever.

I work at home (and get paid) and I'm a SAHM (and don't get paid). What do I call myself? I'm so confused.

Rachel Sue said...

The people who make comments like that (in real life and online) make me wonder. I find myself over justifying things that I am unsure about. So, I can't help but wonder if that is what is going on. These women are unsure if they have made the right decision and to reassure themselves must tear down the choices of others to feel better. Just my opinion.

And congratulations. Good luck!

Risa said...

Congrats on the pregnancy!

And I refuse to accept that I love my kids less because I work 2 days a week. Sheesh.

Also, yes, there was a time in my life where if I didn't work my kids did not have food. Not everyone is privileged enough to be able to be a SAHM. It's a relatively new 20th century concept.

Miranda said...

Congrats!

You have said many, many times that you love stay at home moms. You've also said you love a choice of working or staying at home. Why is this concept so hard for some people to grasp?

I'm A. said...

Congrats to you!

I'm a mom full time. And I work from home full time. And I juggle babies and deadlines and meals and me time and play groups and date nights. But I made the decision a long time ago to embrace the awesomeness in having the choices and ability to live my life this way. And like you said, I just find it really damn hard to complain or judge others when we all have it so good.

But here is the thing I find interesting. I know so many SAHM's out there, who are only able to be SAHM's because they are on government assistance while they have babies and don't work and their husbands go to school and don't work. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not judging (mostly) and each to his own. HOWEVER, when your ability to be a SAHM is made possible by the working and tax paying people of this county...I think it may be wise to GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE AND GET A FREAKING CLUE. You aren't better than me because you "stay home" and clearly "love your kids more" while I obviousy hate my child because I choose to pay my own bills no matter how late I have to stay up each night to hit my deadline and get my paycheck.

End Rant.

Fig said...

Damn you, Google, for taking the share feature off Reader.

This is perfect. I am thrilled for you. I am happy for all of us who get to choose what to do with ourselves, and I appreciate people like you pointing out the privilege in that.

Azúcar said...

HOORAY!

And welcome to the push-pull-guilt-thrill balance of motherhood and work.

Jennie said...

Congratulations!!!!! I love what you are saying about this because I don't know if I want to be a SAHM when the time comes, but who knows? The point is that I get to CHOOSE. Congrats again!

Dallred said...

Congrats to MCB.

@I'm A: I submit that you get a gold star for your (mostly) not judging rant. Well said!

Andrew and Becca said...

1. Congratulations!

2. 99.99% of us think you are always right, and that you are awesome at being right, and that you can and should do whatever you want to do for any life decision have or will make.

Lacey said...

Congratulations! I'm a lurker and SAHM, I also homeschool my children, so I'm doubly weird, and I admit, it's hard to admit I homeschool to teachers.

I've recently realized that being a feminist is about allowing women to have choices, and supporting them in their choices. I'm pretty sure being a working mom is hard, what all with having a job and doing the regular stuff, and being a SAHM mom is hard, depending on what kind of a mom you are, which I suppose is true for even the working mom. I just hope we can respect one another for the choices we make, because most of them are for the best interest of the kids, and even the mom's mental health.
I'm pretty sure life is easier when you're enjoying what you're doing, and for some that's not being home with the kids, or maybe they don't have that luxury because they need to work.

Whatever you choose, be happy and don't let the haters hate get to you.

MJ said...

First, congratulations!!!! I am so excited for you, and I'm hoping for the tenth. It's a good day. :)

Second, I just became a SAHM, and I can tell you that for me, it was harder for me to go to work than it is for me to stay home. I think the other side of the fence is always better looking when you don't have a choice. And for a long time, I didn't have a choice but to work. Now that I can stay home, I'm grateful for that. I'm sure in time I'll miss going to work, but not right now. :)

Having been a working mom, I can sympathize when a friend doesn't want to leave her kids for a girls night out cuz she's already missed being with them all day. I've been there. And now that I'm home with my kids all day, I no longer mind dropping them off at Nana's for a few hours while I get some much needed me time.

Life is hard enough. We women need to stick together.

Racher said...

Congratulations!!! I saw you at the counterpoint conference and was so excited for you.
My husband and I work both work part time (I'm a therapist, he teaches relationship classes to inmates at the jail) and each of us stays with our baby while the other is working. I know it won't last forever, but it's awesome. I don't want to affiliate with a group. I'm not part of anyone else's family and their measuring systems for righteousness or self esteem. I just want to love my life. And I do.
I'm curious, what was the other comment? (that triggered you?)

Angie said...

Hooray! You and Husband's reproductive systems are in full working order! Although, can I say that I'm a wee bit perturbed that you're going to be in on "it." And you get to use the ever-obnoxious "you'll get it when you're a parent" line? (Totally not a comment on you. Or that you'd use it. And didn't I say yay for babies? Because I really am excited for you both.) But seriously, my favorite new thing to say when parents shut me out of the conversation with aforementioned statement is saying, "I get that I don't get it." And I really do.

End tangent. Redirecting focus to blog post. "Yay, babies!" covered...

I love that you incorporated "Mean Girls" into a somewhat serious and personal blog post. Dumb Gretchen.

Lisa Louise said...

well said steep, and of course CONGRATULATIONS! :)

Señora H-B said...

Aw, congrats!

And hear, hear, to what you wrote. The choice to SAHM or whatever we women decide is a privilege and I'm so grateful for it!

Risti said...

Congrats on the pregnancy! Glad to see that you're just going with life one day at a time, and telling the haters to shut it.

Mary said...

Congratulations! I'm glad someone like you will be raising a child :).

I don't fall into the SAHM vs. Working mom category. I fall into the "you must have put your career before marriage and family" category because I'm in my 30s and still *gasp* single.

For the record, that's sometimes hard and sometimes awesome too.

Melissa said...

Many congrats!

Thank you for this post. I am neither a SAHM nor a working mom since I have no kids, but I do detest the lines some women draw between the two in order to somehow proove that their life is harder/better. Kudos to you for calling them out. You're right - what the world needs now is not more lines in the sand, but rather more kindness and mutual support.

Best of luck with the pregnancy and beyond.

Aubrey said...

I was going to start quoting parts of this blog back to you to show you how much I loved them, but then I realized that I would be quoting the whole blog entry so I will just say that I LOVED IT. Stephanie every time I read your thoughts I just want to shout "THIS!" and "THIS!" to everything you say.

I agree, women need to stick together instead of tearing each other down. Life is hard for both sexes and tearing anyone down does no good for anyone. I especially appreciated that we are priveledged for having the choice. I am 32, childless and alone. And as Mary says, it is sometimes hard and sometimes awesome. I don't know if I will ever get to be a mom (I'm dying to be one so congrats!!!!). But if I ever get that priveledge I will have that choice to make, and only in that moment will I know what the right choice is for me and my child. I surely hope nobody judges me for it. I am in awe of both SAHM's and WM's (there's your acronym?). Mom's of the world you all have my respect.

PS. OMG you are having a baby!!! Yay babies! I am so happy for you!!

Aubrey said...

Also, I wanted to add, this reminds me of a Relief Society lesson I attended a few years back. It was all about appreciating ourselves as women and avoiding being in the "I'm just a mom" trap. I was vising my mother's ward and most of the women were 15-25 years older than me and well into raising or had already raised their children. I listend for 45 minutes woman after woman raise their hand and talk about their struggle with being "just a mom" and working hard to find their identity outside of it. I finally raised my hand and shared my story about how, in a church all about families, I struggled to find a worthy identity because I was not a mom. The grass is always greener ladies. Whether we are SAHM's, WM's, or NM's (not moms, haha) let's love ourselves and each other. OK?

For the record, I hate the term "just a mom" HATE HATE HATE.

TheOneTrueSue said...

Congratulations.

As for the rest of this post, TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. My gosh, if we WOHMs and SAHMs can't judge each other and take turns nailing each other to the proverbial cross, what on earth will we do with our downtime?

Ru said...

Congrats!!

Pat + Nic Holloway said...

Congrats and thank you for this post. I am due with my first in one week and the dilemma of work vs home was quite overwhelming for me. I love the perspective you put on the topic! Let's all agree to do what's best for ourselves and allow everyone else that same opportunity!

Thursday said...

There is just way too much judgment in the world. God put us here to learn to love each other, no matter what our "status" is as a mom or not or a professional or not or both or neither.

Thanks for this post, and congrats on the baby!

Di said...

Congrats and a hearty "Hear, hear!" to the entire post.

April said...

I am also a lurker to your blog. I enjoy how you write and what you write about so much. Congratulations on your pregnancy!

And a big thank you from me personally for this blog post. I work full time AND I am a full time mom. I try my darndest, and yes, sometimes I fall short on both ends of the spectrum, but I love my life and I'm lucky to love my job because I don't really have a choice to work or not work at this moment in my life. You are so very right. When we do try to compare ourselves as women in any light it never helps the situation or the conversation, it just makes the other side defensive and want to rectify themselves and their position. Unnecessary criticism never changes minds.
Thank you for always sharing such honest opinions, and congratulations again!

The McBrides said...

amen girl. Congrats on your pregnancy!!!

Steven and Wendy OBryant said...

Love this, Steph. And love you! Can't believe there are STILL people out there who turn it into a competition...I'm better than you, etc. etc. Totally a personal choice (and sadly, not always a choice). I'm THRILLED I don't have to work every day because, guess what, I hated working!!! It's my choice. If I loved my job, I'd probably still be doing it AT LEAST part time, if not more. So, to quote the brits, "BUG OFF, SNOBS!" I feel like this topic is addressed every 6 months in conference and yet people still aren't getting the fact that they need to mind their own business. You're going to be a great mom, with spunky, adorable little democrats trailing behind you... most likely decked out in argyle. :)

Kayce said...

Congrats! I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that the hardest thing is not having a choice. Choosing to stay at home was not an easy choice for me. I have an awesome family, I really had a choice. Life was so much better when I realized that no matter what someone wouldn't like my choice, but that I was awesomely blessed to be able to make the choice. Enjoy being a mommy, whatever that looks like for you.

S.A.R. said...

Woot woot! Congratulations!! I can't wait to see the mini MCB/Spouse man combo spawn! I am so happy for you. Please don't stop the ranting before or after April. Because I don't know if I could handle that.

Also, we all know working moms and stay at home moms. They're all capable adults who can make mentally and spiritually sound decisions without input from the world's peanut gallery.

Christi said...

My husband and I discussed this last night. Women really can't win. If you're a SAHM you're just a lazy freeloaded who can't support herself. If you're a working mother, you obviously don't love your children or care for their well-being. When will the judgment stop? I also find it sad/ironic that it's women who pass the harshest judgments. Why can't we just give each other a break?

Unknown said...

Just wanted to say congrats and agree that we as moms should all support each other.

To "I'm A" I wanted to say lets also support the moms on welfare. I was unable to work for awhile while hubs was in grad school and we were on welfare for awhile. It was humiliating and difficult, but felt like the only option. You don't know why people make the choices they do, but everyone's circumstances are different and hard.. and different.

So let's all just support each other. Cause we are moms and it is hard...and so wonderful...and so hard. And if we could all just support each other maybe it woudl make things a little eaiser.

Joni said...

Congrats!

And bless you for writing this. I get so tired of feeling guilty for, in many ways, not wanting what I'm "supposed" to want. I know they're good things, or at least, that I can accept that the Lord/prophets have said they are good things - but it isn't my natural man tendency to like them. Like toddlers. They're cute and all, but the idea of staying home with them all day and playing blocks makes me go a bit crazy. I'm a language person. I need conversation and mature vocabulary to not go nuts. Now, this doesn't mean that I don't hope to have a family some day. But it also doesn't mean that I expect to drop everything that keeps me sane in favor of block palaces for dozens of years just because the church tells me that it's supposed to make me happy.

But you know what? I'm also willing to accept that maybe someday I'll throw everything I love now out the window in favor of something that maybe I'll love better, and I'm ok with that. The point is that it has to come from a choice I make, not from some society expectation that is pressured on to me. That's Satan's plan, folks. And, being the donkey I am, I will walk the other way on principle if people start forcing me into a box that isn't pretty enough.

Jen said...

Congratulations!!
That is one lucky kid!

The Boohers said...

First-world problems! I love that we can choose what type of moms or non-moms to be, and I personally like to alternate between working and not working just so I remember that I always think the one I'm not doing is better. Oh wait, I mean to appreciate what I'm doing more.

And congrats on the baby!

And I love your blog!

Amber said...

Hi -
Congratulations on your pregnancy. I need to appologize, I think it may have been my comment that upset you awhile ago. I was accidentally logged into my husband's google account when I made the comment (our last name is Jack, that is the name the comment was made under). I had been reading through your blog for the first time when I made the comment. i thought most of it was hilarious and insightful. There were a couple of things that, at the time, made me feel picked on...and I can't even remember what they were now! At the time I had recently been critisized for my decision to stay home with my kids by a few different people and so I was feeling defensive. I felt angry that some peopel who called themselves feminists were putting down other women for chosing to do something so good. Admittedly, I was even questioning my own decision to give up a promising career. I was just feeling defensive and snippy overall I did not mean to say that people who work are not as good of parents. Obviously, I just didn't think before commenting. I was in a bad place. I am a bad communicator. Right now I can't adequetly communicate what I want to say other than to say that I am sorry. I have watched many working mothers raise amazing children. I have seen super lazy stay at home mothers too. And everything in between. But like you said we all just need to support each other and not judge other peoples' decisions. I think overall we are all just trying to take care of our families the best we can. Again, I appologize 10000 times and realize I looked like a total ass and thank you for your blog as it has made me examine my own opinions and beliefs about certain things.
-Amber "Jack" Jack.

Crystal said...

Congratulations on your pregnancy! :D

The Cotton Floozy said...

This Stay-At-Home-Mofo agrees with you! even though I totally glazed over during the math bits.

Bev said...

Having done both (SAHM) and working mom (WM) at different times in my life, I take issue with anyone who is compelled to elevate themselves by degrading the efforts of others. We all love our kids regardless of our choices. In both circumstances I had crappy days and wished I could do the opposite. In the end those who feel the need to bash one side or the other have their own crazy, internal demons to fight. Live in your own essense, be who you are and you will find JOY! Congratulations!

Stephanie said...

@Amber

It was not you! Don't feel bad, but I don't remember a jack person leaving a bad comment. I think the comment that inspired the post was a random drive-by commenter: say something mean and then run away.

But, we all have bad days and feel defensive (see my last two posts) so live and let live. I'm happy you are here.

Tammy said...

I agree with you 100%. I think that people need to stop worrying about everyone around them and stop looking for validation from everyone around them. Be happy with who you are and what you are doing. Those who are not happy with themselves tend to bag on others to deflect what is really going on.
And congrats on the pregnancy. Awesome.

rae said...

It's the never-ending ego in all of us involved here:
Working Mom, Stay-at-home Mom, woman who chooses to not have children, woman who works and stays at home and chooses to not have children...any and all of it: our egos' constant search for identification.
I love what Eckhart Tolle says (shout out to Oprah!)about it:
"{The ego} doesn't mind what it identifies with as long as it has an identity". It can be through a thought form, possessions, or a mental position ("I am a SAHM, I am a working Mom")
"Through it you can make yourself right and others wrong...making yourself right and others wrong is one of the principal egoic mind patterns, one of the main forms of unconsciousness."

Unfortunately I think this sort of female cannibalism among us will continue because it is so ingrained in our human selves. But there is hope and some form of transcendence when we can at least recognize it for what it is! Others choices for THEIR lives in no way diminish the effectiveness of my choices in MY life. So more power to ya ladies, whatever you choose to do with it! Great thoughts!

So glad you've announced, congrats again!

love,

PAM

JennyX said...

Agree. I am currently a SAHM with a PhD because that is what is working for us right now. I previously was a working mom at a major university because that is what worked at the time. I most likely will be going back to work in the very near future because that is what looks like will work for us.

It is all about choices. I am grateful every day that I have choices like these. Maybe the ones making these comments don't feel like they have choices for whatever reason.

And I am happy do hear you think girls can do math. :)

Catherine said...

Congrats!

In my life before (7) kids, I was a secondary Ed. teacher. I was blessed with a choice at that time--to continue working at the school or be home with the kids. I chose to be at home. When people hear I have 7 kids, the usual response is "Oh! You must be so busy!" My usual response is "Yes. But we're all busy in our own way. Mine just happens to be with kids."

Good luck with your own decisions. I have a feeling you won't be letting anyone else tell you what the "right" choice is.

NIKOL said...

Congratulations! I look forward to reading posts about parenthood adventures.

I work full time. Most of my friends are SAHMs. I think we can all agree that being a mom is hard, whether you work or not. What I resent is when people call SAHMs "full time mothers." I don't stop being a mom when I'm at the office, thanks.

Aloicoius said...

I love this post times infinity. You do the math. I love your blog. I love your outlook on life. You make me feel not so alone in my awkwardness amongst the LDS culture. There's no one right answer for every woman. you make the bet choice you can for your circumstances and don't worry about what anyone else thinks of you. And congrats to you!

Love, Ali

Erin said...

Congratulations! This stay at home mom likes you a lot. I think we as women would being doing ourselves a great favor if we would stop comparing and trying to one up the other so much. It only gets worse from the Stay at home/work at home argument. Breastfeeding, crying it out, there will always be something that other woman will hold against you to make themselves feel better. Anyway, sorry for the rant. Again, congratulations!

MamaBear said...

i love you MCB.

WOTH: work outside the home
SAHM: stay at home mom

WAHAGCJKWE: work at home and go crazy juggling kids, work, etc.

can you guess which category i identify with?

i'm also a student again.

i think you love your work and don't really want to give it up 100%, but when you hold your baby you'll be torn, just like every other mother since the dawn of time. all we want to do is cuddle them close while they're still little and sweet and CAN'T ARGUE! (i'm also the mother of teens, yep.)

i missed you when i lost my bookmarks. i'm glad i found you again in time for the big reveal, and i'm very happy for you. (((hugs)))

Val said...

You put things so well. I don't know you but I think we might have been separated at birth or something.

I'm a mom that happens to stay at home for various reasons. Two of which are my twins. Daycare would just be too darn expensive. I've found that being a mom is actually easier than any other job I've had. The reason is because I'm the boss. No one can complain to my supervisor about what I do. I get to set my schedule (granted I have to work around the twins, but with 24 hours in the day it is doable). And I get to wear jeans or even pajamas whenever I want. It's great.

The only downside is there isn't a really great title for staying at home. I got called a domestic engineer once and I almost took the guys head off.

Keep blogging, I love it!

Jenna said...

Congratulations!

AZ Larsens, when you figure it out, let me know.

I love being able to stay home AND work. I have a college degree and a minor. I use both. I have ovaries and a uterus and I've used them, too! Maybe I should just be called Your Highness.

ChristyLove said...

I know what you mean. I tried to look up helpful hints on breast pumps this weekend and everywhere I looked the articles/comments sections/blog retaliations deteriorated into nothing but a war between SAHMs and Work-Outside-The-Home's (WOTH). It's like, give me a break!!

I completely empathyze with you, and think we're internet friends for life (IFFLs), and CONGRATUFREAKINGLATIONS.

Are we going to get to hear details about how far along you are??

I'm so glad you have more to rant about now. I particularly enjoy ranty-Stephanie.

Gudridur said...

You too, eh? Next woman to drop an egg, have sex and achieve implantation, and then announce it as I wander innocently thru the blogosphere trying to avoid such information is going to incur Hell's fury. Luckily I happened upon you before I happened upon her. Happy for you, I guess. You and Michelle Duggard and Stephanie Nielsen.

Stephanie said...

Gudridur:

I felt the same way after my first pregnancy failed. (I don't know your situation, but I empathize with angry feelings.)

I'm sorry you are having a bad day. It sucks ass. I'll punch something for you on my way to bed. It makes me feel better.

Liz said...

Love this. Love you. Congrats on the pregnancy!

LC said...

Oh, I liked this post. Nice job. I'm constantly slamming my head against a wall when people tell me how simple it must be to work from home (yes, there is a way to do that profitably), and raise my kiddos in "all my extra time." We all have our own brand of difficult.

And congratulations on your pregnancy! You're joining the rest of us who are frequently second-guessed by non-parents who know much more about raising children than the rest of us :)

bunkersdown.com said...

I'm a little late to this party but just wanted to shout out some congratulations on the whole baby front. That is completely fabulous news.
Additionally, I just want you to know that whatever decision you make about where you work after this baby is born will be the right one for you and your family. Because it will be YOUR decision built on your needs and your desires.
And if you ever need any baby advice from a complete stranger living half way across the country just ask me. Until then I will struggle valiantly to suppress any advice giving urges I have. You're welcome. It's my present to you.

Miss Kendra said...

Congrats! Babies are wonderful, I have 4 of them ranging in age from 7 to 13.

I am a WM but I have not always been. I was a SAHM for many years when my kids were young. I started working off and on part time. When my kids were old enough to talk they told me that I am a nicer mom when I am working and could I work more. This DID NOT hurt my feelings at all. I realized that when I work I get everything done because I am on a tighter schedule. I also realized that when I work I make my tie after school just for them and I do "my jobs" at night after they are in bed. It also helps that I work at their school and so I am on their schedule. I have the same days off as them, including summer break, and I go to work and come home the same time that they do.
I guess my point is that sometimes a WM makes for as happy a home, or happier in my case then a SAHM.

Shan said...

Whoo I knew IRL before this! I feel so special!

Also thank you for the post, it's great to hear I am not the only one who feels this way.

I like to tell people I can't be a SAHM. I tried it and hated it and I shouldn't have to be ashamed to say that. It's hard work, I just like my other work more. It makes the hours I spend with my kid that much more wonderful. Oddly enough, working outside the home makes me a better mom.

Rachel said...

I thought this post was amaing. I absolutely agree, and I think it I terrible the way women (men too? that is harder for me to tell, but probably) are so quick to judge each other for our life decisions. What about support and acceptance? I especially like how you said that we all have the choice. My mom used to say that to me all the time--she has worked my whole life, and once someone was asking her (jokingly? I don't know) if feminism really thought the best thing for women was to have them be so busy (since, you know, most people are) and she said, "Sure, but I get to choose how I spend my time." I know plenty of people can't choose, because sometimes they have to work, or sometimes they can't work (both even for financial reasons-- childcare is expensive! some jobs don't pay very much!), so when you do get to be lucky enough to make a choice, that should be enough.

Jessica said...

Amen!

And congrats on the pregnancy. Hard choice lie ahead, but good choices all around.

Emily said...

Steph! A big congrats! I hope your puking is to a minimum. :)

I loved this post. Thank you, thank you. What do we get from comparing ourselves non stop? We all have different situations to work with, different issues to overcome,and different people to go through this life with.

Being a SAHM is hard. It's exhausting. Being a working mom is hard. It's exhausting. Not being able to have a baby is hard. It's exhausting. Whatever life a woman has you can bet she's going to be exhausted.

Yeah, I'm pretty tired right now. But it's a good tired- it means I'm not sitting on my ass doing nothing all day! I'm living!!

Congrats again!

Farmer Julie said...

*All* Moms are "Full-time Moms".
*All* Stay-at-Home Moms *work*.

Have I confused the issue enough yet? :)

Mandi said...

Congratulations on having made a human with your genitals!
(Picture the card from Pinterest. I'm really, quite addicted.)

I work 2 jobs, am in school full time, and have a husband, house, and 18 month old son. It is ironically amusing to me that I get fired on from all sides of the fence. You probably feel the same way.
Here is a random sampling of comments I have received within the last WEEK.
Why aren't you just a student/nurse/wife/mother?
Do you not get enough gratification from knowing that you are raising a human being?
Don't you think your son will suffer from not having a mom? (SERIOUSLY.)
Your poor child.

Also, insert more questions about why I'm not pregnant again or trying to conceive.

I am so frustrated by all the negativity that surrounds womanhood and motherhood in general. What works for your kid/family/spouse won't/doesn't work for mine. I don't care about your choices, so should you demean mine with snide comments about my parenting abilities and love for my child?

*End rant*

Sorry, I've been feeling pent up. Clearly.
Thanks internets, for being great listeners.

Mandi said...

I just hit publish, and am immediately regretting it. Sorry for the random rant- I have been a long-time follower of your blog and I feel like if I knew you in real life, we'd probably be best friends.

Don't let anyone influence you in your decision of when/if/how much to return to work. You will regret it. It should be between you and your husband, and maybe some advice or insight from close friends and family. Seriously. I still can't forget some of the cruel, well-meaning advice that I received.

Thanks for being such a great writer and expressing questions and frustrations we are all wondering about.

Jessie said...

Congrats!

Love your blog! It often mirrors my own thoughts. I know any decision you make will be the best decision for you, your family and your situation. That is all that matters, and those that judge have no business doing so. Best wishes!

Janssen said...

I think we just like to make life so much harder than it is, sometimes. What a luxury THAT is.

Congrats on your pregnancy!

Bradford said...

Your blog is so dumb. I can't believe how many people read it.