Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mommy Wars: The SAHM Debate

SAHM=Self Absorbed Hedonistic Momzilla???
SAHM=Submissive and Humble Matriarch???

Which is it? Both and neither. A Stay at Home Mom is just that, a mother who stays at home with her children. But I have seen her vilified and degraded and praised and exalted. The thing is "she" can be good or bad. Staying home with her children does not in of itself make her selfless, though it can. And it doesn't make her lazy, though it can. It doesn't make her a bimbo or a martyr. This is a long post, but it is a very important one for me to write.

Apparently, Dr. Phil had some "mommy bloggers" on his program yesterday arguing over whether moms should stay at home with their kids. Just to put it out there (and I know this is not a popular opinion) I think that IN MOST CASES, children are best raised by a loving caretaker in a home (notice I didn't say that the female member of the family that physically gave birth to the child necessarily needs to be the one). However, there are obvious exceptions. And in MANY cases, it's not possible finicially. However, I think there are also many cases in which parents just don't want to make a lifestyle sacrifice. I'm not trying to offend, I just wanted to go ahead put my opinion out there. And I'm not talking about people who geniunely want to work or who really need the dual income; I'm talking about those that are working to pay for a house that is above their means and many other things that our materialistic, self serving culture has told us are important.

I posted the other day about a SAHM mentality that I take issue with. It is the mom who contsantly complains about anything and everything and is not enjoying her children at all. She thinks it's all so hard and is so bored with it. She wants her career and resents her children. I had just read this article and it just got me fired up. But, after talking to some dear mommy friends, I realize I seemed a bit harsh and judgemental in my post (I need a real baby to put me in my place, right Carrie?). I don't want to come of as acting like my life is perfect. I've always said that I wanted to be very transparent on this blog. But, to me, there is something that is more important than even that. It is to cultivate an attitude of contentment and to appreciate the blessings of this life. I want these pages and all my interactions to show that.

I guess that AP has spoiled me and I think it also had to do with the fact that when I was pregnant no one around me was really acting like this was going to be a breeze, like the article suggested everyone does. In fact, many people were shockingly blunt about the realities of rearing children. My own mom really questioned if I was up to the challenge. There were no rose colored glasses. And then Annie came and she was a great baby. But I don't want to pretend every day is a walk in the park. It isn't. There are days when I am utterly exhausted. There are times when I lament the fact that Peyton and I didn't really learn to be husband and wife before we learned to be Mommy and Daddy. There are days when I really wish I had gotten to teach school for a year or two. And there are times when I feel totally isolated and like the days are very long. But what of it?

I don't think that I have ever resented her a day in her life and I know that I would never, ever change the way God ochestrated things to happen, even if I could. And that's the thing. I don't want to be sitting around complaining to everyone I see about what a burdern this is, what an imposition children are. Because they are not and this is a holy calling, one I take great pride in.

Just an important note here: I have to say that if I was doing this by myself if would be much harder. Yes, I'm glad I have a few people that I feel like I can gripe to and it will be okay. I am so thankful that my parents and Peyton are always willing to carry my burdens when I need to just get some things off my chest. And I am so thankful for sweet friends who are doing EXACTLY what I am right now. God was so generous to me, because not only are several of our couple friends on the parenting journey right now, but I have made some wonderful new friends that bless me so much.

So, that's the end of this spill. I think that the whole situation of "mommy wars" is unfortunate, but it is something I'm sure I'll be exploring my thoughts on more on the blog.

1 comment:

Rachel Bolanos said...

I will be asking you for lots of advice when we have kids! :)