October 11, 2013

I Don't Owe You an Explanation

So unless you are living under an internet rock you've read the post by some guy who got all defensive in regards to some friends asking what his stay home wife did all day. If you missed it Google it. It, all too predictably, went viral and ignited a response that seems to be boiled down to two hyperbolic camps: 1) Stay at home moms who feel vindicated and grateful that this man stood up for his wife  (if your husband doesn't stand up for you already you've got bigger fish to fry than the mommy wars) and 2) working moms who have decided this man is an asshole of the highest order who believes that working mothers (especially ones who work to be able to afford the extras in life) are the scum of the earth and will essentially eventually be the downfall of all humanity.

::Cue hair ripping out and carving out of eyes with a grapefruit spoon, because seriously, y'all? This? Again?::
Mommy Wars: 1,987,652
Reason & Sanity: 0
Just let me say this: if the opinion of one person who you've never even met, who you'll probably never meet, who has no idea what your choices are based upon, who has never ever seen you interact with your child(ren) and family, but just happens to write on the internet has the ability to invoke such a strong response in you, you need to step back. Step back and re-examine your choices and why you made them. Perhaps they aren't your ideal. Perhaps you would like to work but cannot find a job. Perhaps you would like to stay at home part time or even full time but finances do not allow it. Perhaps you enjoy your job and have always wanted to work. Perhaps your calling is to stay at home with your children. Your choices may be dictated by circumstances beyond your control, or they may be what you want. Either way they are your choices. Examine them. Change them if you want to and can. Either way, own them.

You do not owe anyone an explanation for your choices, especially some snarky dude on the internet, the person who says someone else is raising your child while you are in an office all day or the lady who says it must be nice to have all that extra time being a stay at home mom. You don't owe them a diatribe or a justification. You only owe it to your child to be the best mother you know how.  I cannot express that to you enough.
That's all any of us are doing day in and day out: we are being the best mothers we know how to be. We slip up, we yell, we curse, we craft, we sing lullabies, we kiss boo boos, we get dinners fed one way or the other, we give baths, we hold hands during cautious first steps, we make cookies for bake sales, we keep track of ten thousand different things at once and we love our children more fiercely than the sun burns bright. And that? That is enough. You don't have anything to prove to anyone. You are a mother, and you love in a way you did not know before you became a mother. I promise you that love shines through no matter what your parenting choices are, and that light of love is the only explanation anyone really needs.
Stop feeling inferior, own your choices and understand that we all fall down, but that getting up again is what really counts. Remember that on the day our children graduate from High School there will be no special awards for any of the things we are fighting about now. There will be no accolades given for having moms who stayed at home, who worked to provide extras, who breastfed, cloth diapered, vaccinated or made homemade baby food. There will us, the mothers sitting in the front row, clutching red roses and our spouses' hands, holding back tears as our babies again take their shaky first steps, this time into adulthood. Maybe when they are out on their own, when we experience the commonality of setting our babies free and the bittersweet heartbreak that accompanies it, maybe then we will admit how much we've needed each other all along.
Follow on Bloglovin