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Mommy versus Mommy?

February 13, 2013
logo by Christine Hepner

Feminists of various ideologies supported the Equal Rights Amendment, not just radical feminists. The National Organization for Women (NOW), which contributed its full resources to the passage of the ERA, was a liberal feminist organization that differed philosophically from radical feminism and often had public disagreements with other women’s liberation groups. (From www.womenshistory.about.com)

Doesn’t it seem incomprehensible that we don’t have an Equal Rights Amendment in 2013? The quoted paragraph above describes in a nutshell exactly how the ERA was defeated in 1972: Balkanization. Women are more than half of the population, so anyone who wants to defeat a pro-woman measure has to get us cat-fighting. And apparently, it works.

So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to find out that mommies are “at war” with each. Breast-feeding moms think bottle-feeding moms don’t love their children as much. Bottle-feeding moms think the breast-feeding moms are overly clingy and possibly mentally ill. Stay-at-home moms think that working moms are selfish and uncaring. Working moms think that stay-at-home moms are lazy fat asses who don’t want to work. So, ok, now that I write that sentence, maybe at least in my case there is a little truth to the lazy fat ass part, but that’s only me. Oh, and apparently childless women hate all mothers, working or stay-at-home. Check out these two sites: The Childfree Life and No Kidding.

Ladies, can’t we just all get along? Aren’t we all judged enough without judging each other?

I did go back to work (outside the home) for 4 months when the little guy was 5-months old. The first month, he was with my husband all day. The next 3, with my mom and a nanny who came from a great agency with the highest recommendations and even background checks done by a private detective. My mother is a registered nurse. I was still terrified to leave him, but eventually I found it almost relaxing to go to the office. There is no responsibility at your average office job that can compete with the responsibility of caring for a baby, in my opinion. Granted, I’m not a doctor, nurse, or air traffic controller. I fuck up at work, some paper doesn’t get pushed from one side of a desk to the other. A working-mom airplane pilot fucks up, things are potentially much grimmer. Then again, there are women whose entire family depends on her paycheck. I didn’t have that sort of stress, either. Fortunately, we are able to manage on one income for a while.

So, working mom versus stay-at-home mom, which is harder? I still have no answer. I find it just as challenging to be at home all day trying to keep my energy level up and keep up with him as I did going into the office knowing I had to fit errands, laundry, grocery shopping, and a million other tasks into my after-office life. (And I have in my husband a total partner in chores. With the exception of changing the toilet paper when it runs out, which he apparently still believes is done by the “toilet paper fairy” every night, he is as involved in childcare and household chores as I am.)

I have no answer for the breast-feeding versus bottle-feeding debate either. I tried to breastfeed for the recommended year even after I went back to work outside the home but my old girls just didn’t ever get totally on message, so I had to bottle feed to make up the volume he needed. And furthermore, he is 20 months old now, and I still give him a night-night bottle and one in the middle of the night if he wakes up. Am I worried that I will be sneaking into his dorm room at Harvard to give him a late night bottle some day? Hell, yes, I am. I have no idea how we will afford Harvard!  🙂 But am I worried that I’m “spoiling” him by giving him a bottle and holding him while he drinks it. Maybe I should be, but I’m not.

I know I’m extraordinarily lucky in the friends I have made. I have had nothing but complete and total support from every one of them. I’m still friends with my freshman-year roommate who had 4 children by the time she was 28! She is a grandmother now of 3 adorable children. Her grandson was born a day after my son, so we have had play dates. She is definitely the hot grandma at the playground, too! But she said to me, “I give you credit; I don’t know how you do it.” ME? The mother of one very easy to get along with little boy? Honestly, I don’t know how anyone of any age has more than one, let alone 4 in her 20s! I would have been a horrible parent in my 20s. Or how anyone is a single parent. I have had so much help over the last year, and I’m still exhausted at the end of the day. I can’t wait for D to get home so I can sit alone in the dark for a few minutes and scribble this nonsense I call a blog, oh, and of course, go change the toilet paper.

I guess it sells magazines and TV shows to promote the girl-on-girl pillow fight imagery. If only we could channel all the negative, judgy-wudgy energy into fighting a real enemy, once I can think of one we can all agree on. I have thousands in mind. I’ll make a list in another blog post. Feel free to recommend some; I’m sure I’ll disagree!

Next time: The day I was almost a widowed single mom

© Copyright 2013 grayhairedmom.com

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3 Comments
  1. I always enjoy your blog! You’re right about how everything is mummy vs mummy! 🙂

    Like

  2. Colleen permalink

    GREAT BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

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