Hardy Boys Merger
Since you asked ...

Stop the madness against mothers already!


This is a post to compliment my column running in the News-Register today. By “compliment” I mean, a place to put everything I had to cut to make my word count.

I started writing this article a couple months ago after a few friends asked me within a week of each other if my husband had ever asked me what it is I did all day. Then, my husband happened to come home, survey the day’s damage and wonder out loud what we did that day.

I started taking notes in the margins of my days on ways the day got derailed by minor things (spills, potty accidents, meltdowns and the dog getting out) and major things like falls down the stairs, etc).

As I started to list the things I do on a sample day as a stay-at-home mom, I quadrupled my allotted word count before I even got to noon, at which point the afternoon becomes a blur of crafty activities, clean up, supervising sharing practice, explaining why it’s not okay to tow each other by the neck, hunting down all remaining strangulation hazards, trying to keep one kid relatively quiet while the other one naps, dinner prep, bum-wiping, re-wrapping the toilet paper on the roll, Google contents of Sam’s giraffe as well as ideas for how to fix the tail, etc. So, I decided to make my “day-in-the-life” post it’s own online column.

I meant for this to run last month, the week of my deadline I followed my (at times super inconvenient writer’s intuition) and held it for this month. I didn’t know why at the time, I just knew I needed to. So I wrote about something else I’d been taking notes on for awhile: playground rules for parents. Then, I waited for” the knowing” to make sense.

As I was working out one morning, I happened to catch the co-hosts of “The View” talking about a survey conducted by TheBump.com and ForbesWoman.com. I wish I had the clip so you could see Joy Behar’s face when she said it, but she implied that the only reason stay-at-home moms would be stressed was because of the boredom.

And in that moment it was clear to me why I’d held off on publishing this. Instead of being another rant about being misunderstood, I had a news hook.

You do understand that I’m not complaining about the job itself, yes? I love having the opportunity to do this. I chose it. I’d choose it again tomorrow. The part I have an issue with is the misconception that I’ve got nothing but time. That I’m not really working. That, for the love of all that is holy, I’m bored!

The part that makes me most insane is that choices and circumstances about parenting, particularly mothering—I might argue exclusively about mothering—are turned into some kind of a contest where there are right and wrong answers – there aren’t. It’s personal for every family. What works for mine might not work for yours, and vice versa.

The whole pitting women against each other thing is so old already, and yet we keep participating in the destructive nature of these kinds of debates.

I invite you to join me in stopping the madness against mothers and simply celebrate the fact that it takes all of us doing whatever it is we’re doing to contribute to the community of children we’re creating.

{Hops of soapbox}.

p.s. the survey also addresses a key issue about parenting, resentment about imbalances in co-parenting. Trust me, we’ll revisit this soon!