Earlier this evening I read a blog post titled, “I Look Down on Women With Husbands and Kids and I’m not Sorry.” My first impression involved an assumption that the blogger was using a play on words to create a scandalous headline for more hits.
Boy, was I wrong.
Let me throw out a few of the statements I found remarkably bold:
“Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes I have to fight back vomit. Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself?”
“You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids.”
“I hear women talk about how “hard” it is to raise kids and manage a household all the time. I never hear men talk about this. It’s because women secretly like to talk about how hard managing a household is so they don’t have to explain their lack of real accomplishments.”
“Doing laundry will never be as important as being a doctor or an engineer or building a business.”
My initial response was to shoot off some crazy, hot-headed comment about how ridiculous her perspective is and that it’s incredibly insulting to the entire gender from the perspective that I’ve lived as a full-time professional and I’ve lived as a full-time wife and mother. I’m able to address both perspectives from first-hand experience.
Right now I land somewhere on the fence between both working full-time from home and home schooling our children and I can testify… beyond a shadow of a doubt… that parenting is actually hard work! (Can I get an Amen?!)
Being a Mommy is harder than my hardest day in a professional career that included periods of manual labor, emotional turmoil, conflict management, and long range visioning. I believed my professional decisions had the potential to change the world, but now my parenting decisions literally change the world of these four children who occupy my life.
It’s a shame to run across a person who doesn’t see the value in freedom of choice. Freedom of choice, liberty of action, these are things we’re willing to die for when it comes down to it. The American Revolution was largely about the desire for people on the North American soil having the privilege to make decisions for themselves. (Freedom of choice.) Feminism? Largely about the ability for women to have a chance at equal footing in a world immune to disparities. (Liberty of action.) These are two simple examples from a list that could be as long as Rapunzel’s hair.
Yet when I think about my insane desire for freedom, I have to also acknowledge this blogger’s freedom to have a firmly held opinion, no matter how offensive I find it myself. (I’d also like to state for the record no one has ever come up with a professional sense of accomplishment quite as rewarding as the first time your toddler tinkles in the toilet. Just sayin’.)
I support her freedom to choose a philosophy I find insulting. And I support my choice to disagree vehemently.
While Ms. Glass is spewing venom toward gals who follow the traditional path and invest in a world that is perhaps outlined by four walls and a laundry room (and possibly tiny toes and fingers), I’ll be over here investing in something I’ve intentionally chosen because I believe it has an eternal significance.
And maybe, just maybe, I’ll still be able to find the time to be exceptional.
I’ve blogged about this Mommy War before. If you’re interested in more of my opinions on which lifestyle is harder, check out Working Mom vs. Stay-at-Home Mom and More Thoughts about Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom.