The term “Working Mom” is absurd, for you can effectively do neither. One will almost always suffer. Capitalism ensures that it gets 100%, so all you are left with is the sour bitterness of all-encompassing mom guilt. Even the pursuit of joy and fulfillment outside of motherhood is compromising and you are faced with either giving up on any dreams you had, or spending your free time in a guilt-riddled panic reading Mom Blogs reassuring you that it’s okay for you to be a Mom and to also have a life.
And then two 12-year-old girls drag a friend into the woods and stab her a few dozen times, or a teenage boy takes a few guns to an Elementary school and shoots 20 kids, and everyone asks, “where were their parents? Why didn’t they know their kids were so disturbed?”
I’d like to wager a guess… They were probably out the door by 6 to do the school run and get to work, and then they had to attempt to juggle after school activities, meals, homework, laundry, cleaning, church and other obligations, and still somehow manage to notice that their kid was getting a little too close to Slender Man.
Can you imagine that guilt? The guilt of being the mom who’s daughter stabbed another girl nearly to death? The guilt of questioning whether you did anything right as a mom?
There is constant commentary about how amazing it is that these incidences happen in “nice suburban neighborhoods,” but is that a surprise? Do you know how much it costs to live in those neighborhoods? Those are two income neighborhoods. Two good income neighborhoods. Two incomes from solid careers that have high expectations, long hours, and don’t take too kindly to moms requesting time off to chaperone the field trip to the zoo.
There was a time where entire towns filled school gymnasiums or school plays, curriculum presentations, assemblies – and now these events are often canceled because of poor turn-out. Parents don’t go to parent-teacher conferences anymore. A small handful of parents go to orientation nights. The older generation looks at us in dismay and says that we are bad parents who simply don’t care – but that isn’t it. No. We are busy parents with deadlines, loaded plates full of responsibilities, anxiety over debt, education, financial decisions in uncertain economic times – we’re stretched to the absolute max.
Not attending Curriculum night at school does not jeopardize the roof over your head. Not fulfilling a deadline might.
So, we work. We fulfill deadlines and attempt to juggle families, exhausted from all of the sleep that we are losing because of all of the guilt and worry that keeps us awake at night. And all the while, our kids are cozying up to Slender Man. And we’re being judged for even giving them the screen time in the first place.
Why aren’t you using parental controls? Why aren’t you giving them books instead? Why don’t you create a Pinterest-worthy chore chart that rewards your kids for doing things around the house with screen time? Why don’t you just spend a Saturday afternoon with your kids baking homemade gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly muffins from scratch using only almond flour, the dew from a single ginko leaf, and the energy of the universe? You know, prioritize!
OH and, by the way, don’t forget to do 30 minutes a day of Yoga, avoid all processed foods, don’t give your kids sugar like, ever, and OMG if you’re not eating asparagus at every meal, what is wrong with you??
It’s exhausting. At every turn, you are failing somehow, in some area of your life. How can you work so hard all of the time and still be a total failure? That’s an easy one: be a mom. That’s how.
The problem with feminism, and the reason, I believe, that it gets a bad rap is that people think that feminism is all about women. Sure, it started with the idea that women can and should be equal to men, and it’s an honest notion. People think that feminism means that men just stand back and allow women to obtain the same opportunities as them – but that doesn’t create equality. In order for there to be equality, in order for women to be able to pursue the same opportunities as men, men have to share in the responsibilities that women have been carrying for centuries.
There are lots of wonderful husbands who help care for the children, help with household chores and the like, but for the most part, moms are running themselves ragged trying to hold up their families and hold down a career. And in the end, families suffer. And Moms read Mom Blogs reassuring them that it’s okay that they didn’t spend their Saturday afternoon baking gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly muffins from scratch using only almond flour, the dew from a single ginko leaf, and the energy of the universe because they will be alright. All they really need is your love! You don’t have to be a “Pinterest Mom” to be a good mom! It’s okay if the dishes aren’t washed because you have a deadline. It’s okay if you don’t go to all of little Jimmie’s school events, after all, what are you, a helicopter parent (damned if you do, damned if you don’t)?
And then your 12-year-old daughter and her friend drag a girl from school into the woods and they stab her a few dozen times because Slender Man told them to.
Feminism was swallowed whole by capitalism, and our country is a flaming dumpster fire. But it’s okay, Mom Blog says that my guilt can be relieved by a glass of wine and that I should stop being so negative. According to the list of “10 Things that Make you the Mom that No One Wants to Hang out With,” making statements contrary to the Mom Blog status quo makes you negative (buzzword!), and no one wants to hang out with NEGATIVE MOM!
So just drink a glass of wine and keep posting the pictures on social media of you SMILING with your family so that no one knows that you are actually slowly dying inside, because that would make you a burden to others and they will judge you!!