The Mommy Wars

I was visiting Tertia’s page the other day and I came across this link: “Why the mommy wars tear us apart”. I have copied the first paragraph here to whet your appetite, but it truly is a fascinating piece, especially since it’s so regularly a bone of contention in our society. Tertia refuses to discuss it on her blog anymore because it gets so heated that her comments page actually catches fire (I promise- I’ve seen it!) and it upsets her no end. Here’s the first paragraph:
When Gaby Wood returned to her old school in New York City for a reunion she was struck by how vexed the issue of work and motherhood had become for her generation. No one seemed happy with the choices they had made. Forty years after the birth of feminism, the ‘new moms’ who believe their place is in the home have added a new twist to the gender wars.
Honestly- as much as I berated myself for leaving Damien in daycare and nursery schools when I started working, I had to suck it up and go on because I didn’t have a choice. I have always been a single mom with one income- mine- and as often as I still dream of having my own business (one day) I cannot take the risk of having a possibly wildly fluctuating income when I have a child to house and feed and school fees to pay and petrol to budget for. And in working, I have been able to give Damien a much better life so far, than if I had stayed home and attempted to scrape an uneducated living out of South Africa’s sometimes dodgy economic climate. I say uneducated simply because I was 17 when Damien was born and I didn’t get any tertiary education. Since Damien was born, I have surprised myself with just how resourceful I can be, and although we live far out of the cushioned lap of luxury, we are comfortable and neither of us wants for anything. I own my car and if I save properly I can even afford to take us away on holiday and send my boy to a school of his choosing! All his life he has wanted to be a marine biologist- and even if he changes his mind in his choice of career- I should one day be able to help him pay for university or college (perhaps even pay all of it).
Do I wish I could have stayed home with him?
Of course!
Do I regret working full day?
Of course not!
I leave you with this absolutely brilliant quote from her article:
A mother is by necessity a chameleon, shifting shape to meet needs she is always trying to teach herself to identify.

3 thoughts on “The Mommy Wars

  1. I think this is a very personal choice and sometimes our very owb choices leave us in a situation where we kind of have no choice. Either way, it is no-ones place to stand in judgment of anyone – not only in this situation, but any. For me, I want to know that what ever cicumstances I found myself in, I would want to know that I had done the best I could. That ultimately is the most important thing. I haven’t read the piece and will because listening to other people’s opinions can go a long way in expanding our own and maybe casting a new perspective on things. As a woman who has been fortunate enough to be in a secure marriage and able to work when I wanted to and not have to when I didn’t want to, I admire single parents so much – I can’t imagine parenting on my own. As a step mother who has been raising her step children for the last 7 years, (my step children were with their mother for 6 years before this) I have only more admiration and respect for you for not only doing it single handedly, but being the sole icome provider. I truly acknowledge you, Angel. xox

  2. Sorry to say, but this debate has always sounded to me like a case of the “grass being greener on the other side of the fence”. Mothers who have had to work saying they would give anything to be stay-at-home moms. Stay-at-home moms saying they would welcome work! The problem is … neither world is perfect! I personally feel everyone – moms, children and even husbands where involved – turn out better grounded when all adults in the household work.

  3. A mom has to do what she has to do. I can’t understand people judging other people for their decisions.

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