Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mommy Wars

I unconsciously observe people, without realizing I'm taking in their mannerisms, or the things they say and how they say them.  It isn't until I'm telling my husband about my day or thinking about how a character would behave or respond to something that I become conscious of the little things I caught during my accidental observations. This is how it usually goes.

Every once in a while, though, something a person says grabs me, and I become wholly aware.

A few days ago I overheard a “working” mom who was volunteering for something complain to another working mom, “I can’t believe it’s us working moms who come in to volunteer”.  She then went on and on about all the super important things she does, day in and day out. Her attitude and stance while talking was very off putting.

I dearly wanted to say something to her, but the comment hadn’t been meant for me (even though it was loud) and I thought it would be rude to insert myself into a private (though loud) conversation. Now I wonder, should I have spoken up and asked her if she knows the personal lives of every mother in our vicinity?

Now, to be fair, I’ve also heard stay at home moms say of moms who work outside of the home, “I’m sure they drop the ball somewhere”, and this also makes me sad/mad. 

I don’t understand why people think it’s okay to make assumptions about other people’s lives: no one has any idea what another person’s life is like, day after day, hour after hour, unless they are specifically told every single detail.  These assumptions show a lack of respect for other people’s choices. These are real people with real lives, not a character you're reading about or creating.

So here’s the thing I want to say to people who judge without having a clue: belittling others to make yourself look more capable, intelligent, sacrificing, and heroic makes you sound inept, ignorant, selfish, and just plain mean. There’s a reason the term “mommy wars” was coined: the assumptions people on both sides make are negative and conflict-inducing, and nobody wins. And I'm getting off my soapbox now. Anybody want a turn on it :-)?

1 comment:

  1. I agree. We are all mothers and work hard at home and within the community. As one parishioner said, 'It takes a community to raise a child.'. I believe there are days we have time and days we don't in volunteering, yet, we don't see the behind the scenes. Maybe someone made the calls for prize donations, watched a child so somone could volunteer.

    Great article, Ines!