I thought about writing a follow-up blog to the one I wrote last week -- The Housewife Gene -- to respond to some of the mean moms and their meanie comments. But then I thought, maybe that's counter-productive, because the mean, judgmental people (you know who you are) are usually that way because they're unhappy about something in their own life -- that kind of mean-spiritedness usually comes from a dark place of resentment or jealousy, and that has more to do with them than it does with me. I did consider asking our nanny if she could please stop making our bed and doing our laundry while Preston is sleeping, because the mean moms on my blog said that's not what her job is! And please, Nanny, please do not offer to cook us dinner anymore. I know Preston naps every two hours and you like to keep busy, but that's no excuse! We don't want our bed made, our laundry done and our dinner cooked, and that's final!
Yes, our nanny has cooked us dinner before. She offers to sometimes. And yes, we've actually been guilty of eating her food. Ugh, I know, I can't believe I just admitted that out loud. If you scroll down, you'll find the comments section, where you can leave nasty, hurtful, anonymous comments about what spoiled brats my husband and I are...you can drone on and on about how "entitled" we must have been growing up... because obviously you would know, mean moms. Obviously we must be disgusting human beings because we both work and thus have a nanny three days a week (oh, and a housekeeper too, whom we haven't fired yet! Don't forget the housekeeper!). Sick people, my husband and I are. Terrible, awful people.
I also thought about writing a blog this week about how jealous I am of all the SAHMs who don't need nannies, or daycare -- jealous of how much time they get to spend with their kids while I do this horrible thing called work for a living. I thought about telling them how worried I was, as a new mom, that I wouldn't be forming as strong a bond with my son as I would if I were home more, because I only see my precious boy for three hours a night during the week, if I'm lucky. And I wanted to tell them how fast the weekends go by, how it's not enough time, how hard it is to go back to work on Mondays, for 10 hours a day, five days a week, where I can't see or smell my adorable, perfect little child.
Thanks to the Bumbo seat, Preston is almost sitting up on his own.
I considered writing about how difficult it is for me, as a new mom, to reconcile that I'm a career woman whose number one priority is my family, and how those two identities don't always mesh so seamlessly. And poor me, I also don't get to gush about my son at work that much, because I work in an office of mostly men, who are mostly childless. I was thinking about telling the mean moms about how difficult it is sometimes to work in an environment where the last thing people want to hear about is how Preston is about to sit up on his own! And how much he loves his Saturday music class! And how verbal he is already! I think he'll be talking before he's walking!
But he's not quite there yet... (This is him with our lovable dog Barkley.)
I thought about asking the blog bashers if they have the "human decency gene." But then I thought to myself, that won't change the fact that I need to work to help support my family. Some of us moms have the added responsibility of helping put food on the table. Some of us don't have the luxury of not working. And since my husband is a business owner, and makes his own hours, he's the one home with Preston part-time (two days a week), and I bet those mean moms have no idea how hard it is for me, a new mom, to go to work while my husband is the one who gets to take my son to lunch with my mom some days. I bet they don't know how much I would like to be the one taking my son to lunch, or going on play-dates, or putting him on a swing for the first time, which my nanny did a few weeks ago...
Preston's music class this Saturday at Bubbles Academy: He loves it!
But I realize, none of this is their fault, all those SAHMs who pass judgment on me for working and having help... it's my juggle. My life. My family. And frankly, I don't spend too much time worrying about what I don't have and what I can't do. I don't waste my time fretting about those things. I know how blessed I am to have a healthy and extremely happy, well-adjusted baby. Preston is off the charts perfect in every way. But what fun is a blog if I can't make light of some of my shortcomings, or start a heated debate among my readers? (Answer: Um, not very.)
All those mothers who think I'm "missing the mom gene" can chew on this: Even if I had the choice, to work or not work, I'd still choose to work (albeit many less hours). As hard as this juggle is sometimes, I am a career woman through and through, and I'm proud of that. I am fortunate to love what I do for a living, but it's still work and it's still not where I'd like to be 50 hours a week with a baby at home. There are still some mornings I wake up and wish I didn't have to leave that sweet little face, but I do what I have to do. And, frankly, I think I'm a better mom for having these two identities.
As far as my homemaking skills -- I've come a long way since Preston was born, but it has never come naturally to me like it does for some people. That's all I was trying to say last week. Side note: My husband and I have started our post-baby diet this week, so we did a major overhaul at the grocery store yesterday -- we'll be cooking dinner every night this week instead of ordering in! (Sarah the homemaker: 1; Sarah the anti-housewife: 0.) I'll be sure to let you know how it's going next week. This is a serious diet, too, as in no carbs (which is what my whole diet consists of currently).
Anyway. That's what I'd write if I were going to defend myself in this week's blog.
So in all honesty, have you ever been guilty of passing judgment on another mother -- maybe it's your sister, a friend, a co-worker, ahem a blogger -- for making parenting choices that differ drastically from yours? I'd also love to know what you think of women who work: Do you think we're bad moms for not being home more? Or, if you're a mom who works, have you ever felt discriminated against? Do your play groups, or circle of friends, have both working and non-working moms in them, or do you mostly mingle with moms like yourself? Maybe it's time we all come clean with each other. Remember, you can comment anonymously; I can't.