The Mommy Wars

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There is a battle raging on the internet.

It’s not about birth control or abortion or health care.

It’s not about the economy or oil prices.

Nope.  This war is about working. But it’s not about the unemployment rate.

It’s about whether or not moms should be working.

And unlike the birth control debate, this isn’t a topic that old white dudes are discussing. No, no.  Moms are arguing with each other on this topic.

It makes me sad because, well, why?  Why is this a debate?

It not only bothers me that people are all judgey about how a mom chooses to spend her time providing for her family (because yes, as stay at home moms, women are providing for their families too), but that moms are judging EACH OTHER.

From all the mom blogs that have been up in arms about this debate, these are what I have gleaned as the two sides:

Stay at Home Moms (SAHMs) Say…

  • Working moms are letting someone else raise their children, which is apparently lazy.
  • Daycare is not as healthy for your child as being home and being monitored and brought up exclusively by a parent.
  • Bonding and values are not as strong if you send your child somewhere else.
  • Working moms are selfish for putting their own desires to be “successful” before their family

Working Moms Say…

  • SAHMs smother their children.
  • SAHMs are lazy and sit around all day.
  • Women who went to college and got a degree are “wasting” their career by staying home.
  • Children who only stay at home with a parent are not as socialized or ready for school as daycare kids.

There are more points to each side, but truthfully it hurts my brain to think of any more of them.  Because to me they are ridiculous over-generalizations and imaginary “grass is greener” garbage.

Thankfully not ALL SAHMs and not ALL Working Moms are in this battle. But there are enough of them that shows, like Anderson Cooper’s CBS daytime show, have had entire programs dedicated to this ridiculous non-argument.

As a teacher, I like to think I am blessed at being both.

When school starts up in the fall, it is hard as hell to send my kids away for five days a week and go at least nine hours a day without seeing them.

But once things get going, I realize I am a better mom when I am away from my boys. I have more patience for them. I want to do more playing because I am not sick to death of playing play dough for the 10th day in a row.

And I am doing something that I am incredibly passionate about:  teaching high school.

In the summer, I am a total SAHM.  Each June I jump into summer with big ideas of places we will visit and fun activities we will do and how FUN it will be to be together ALL SUMMER.

That usually lasts about two weeks.  Then I am all, “THIS IS HARD!  How do women do this EVERY DAY, ALL YEAR??”

The point is this:  being a MOM is hard. It doesn’t matter what KIND of mom you are.

Being a working mom is hard. I miss my kids, it’s hard to find time to get every day chores done, I rarely see my husband. But being a stay at home mom is hard too. I get sick of my kids, I don’t want to the same damn chores every day around said kids, and I see my husband so much that I have little to talk about with him after a while.

I could never do either full time, year ’round.

Even if we could afford for one of us to not work, it wouldn’t be me staying home.

But that is another post for another weekend.

So is the fact that I don’t see any wars out there about whether dad should stay at home.

But anyway.

Right now, my message is this: Moms, we need to support each other instead of pointing fingers and judging each other.

Lift each other up instead of blasting each other for choices made.


  1. Great post. I think there are tons of pros and cons to either side. We definitely need to stop judging each other and just agree that it’s a completely personal decision and what is right for one mom is not for another.

  2. Just like with anything, it’s easy to get on a high horse and spew judgment, criticism, and an air of Know-it-all-ism. The bottom line in either side of the “debate” is what kind of parent are you to your children, whether with them 24/7 or only a few hours a day. I look forward to a day where the majority of people can focus as much attention on looking inward (or in the mirror) as they do at looking at those around them. Imagine how productive we’d be if we took the energy from all the debate and put it toward supporting one another. Some call me an idealist, but I don’t care! 🙂


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