I have been formulating this blog post for almost two weeks now. Ever since the Washington Post published an article related to recent Census results regarding stay-at-home moms and the New York Times piece regarding the guilt of working moms. And of course there was the huge buzz surrounding Dr. Phil and the infamous “Mommy Wars” episode which showcased a few of my favorite mommy bloggers (Jessica Gottlieb and Heather Armstrong). Both articles created quite a debate both on the MomConnect Facebook Page and in a couple of threads in MomConnect forum.
The culmination of these recent articles and what I’ll just say was an embarrassing Dr. Phil episode, have got me in quite an uproar. You see I’ve been a working mom with an infant in daycare. I’ve been a SAHM, a daycare provider and have now found some peace as a WAHM. So moms, I’ve been there. And I have no doubt that each choice I made was the right choice for my family and me at the time. And NO ONE can ever tell me otherwise. No one can ever tell me I should feel guilty for any of the choices I’ve made. And quite frankly, I’m tired of other people talking about it.
The NYTimes piece discussed a survey that was done by the Pew Research Center. The poll found, when asked how they would rate themselves as a mother, that of the at-home mothers, 43 percent rated themselves 9 or 10, at the top of the scale, while 33 percent of working mothers did so. Basically showing that only 13 percent of working mothers think that they’re doing the best they can.
This survey couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. That same week the Washington Post printed an article talking about the recent results of a Census analysis of stay at home mothers (the first ever), which showed that stay-at-home-mothers tend to be younger, less educated and have lower family incomes.
There’s much more to both these articles, but I’m covering the gist. So the consensus is that if you’re a working mom you’re going to feel bad about yourself and be a bad mother. But if you’re at home then you’re young stupid and poor. Now this may not be exactly what these articles said, but isn’t it really what they’re feeding us?
Add to these pointless pieces of reporting the great Dr. Phil jumping on board to make more moms feel bad about themselves. Only this time it felt like the target was the stay-at-home moms. At any rate the episode created some nasty discussions between working moms and SAHM’s across the blogosphere. The reality about this episode is that it didn’t really talk about anything we moms need to hear. A great post was written on the blog PHD In Parenting that brought up some of the notable topics that were not discussed by Dr. Phil on the show.
My own personal opinion? We don’t need Dr. Phil to tell us it’s ok to work, we don’t need the Washington Post to tell us if we’re home we’re young & dumb, and we most certainly do not need the NYTimes telling us that if we’re at work we should feel guilty about it.
Ladies, there is no right answer. Some of us work or stay home because it’s our only choice. Some of us work or stay at home because it’s the choice we made. Either way, it’s ok. The most important thing we can do is stand together as moms and tell society and the media that we are moms and that’s all.
We are all in this together. And we are all doing the best we can in a bad economy, in a dangerous world, and with everyone watching us waiting for us to fail. Well, we’re not going to. Because we are going to work harder to support one another and the choices we make.
There should be no divide here. There should be no “mommy wars” and there should be no debate. Wherever you are today if you’re a mom and your child is loved and being taken care of, you’ve done your job and deserve a pat on the back.
I leave you with this simple message I posted to twitter.
Dear Dr. Phil, NYTimes, & Washington Post,
We don’t need your help. We’re doing just fine.
This post is a cross-post from MomConnect-The Blog!