Thursday, June 4, 2015

Can't Stop, Won't Stop, Don't Want to Stop

by Allyson Haas
Crafts for Kids

It seems that the "Mommy Wars" are inescapable.  Stay at home versus don’t stay at home. Who spends more time doing what. Who is happier. It’s enough to make anyone go mad. Can’t everyone just mind their own fucking business?  To the Moms: Just Stop, an article that's been making its way around the interwebs this week, has my blood rising higher than the usual summer temperatures in the City of Angels.  The piece addresses the current wave of “Pinterest stress” sweeping the nation, with the main idea being that those of us moms who enjoy releasing our inner Martha Stewarts are stressing out the other Moms who work full time jobs.  

Look, I get that working a demanding job and then, at the end of a long day, coming home and putting on the Mom hat is intense. It’s high stress, it’s challenging, and it takes a certain kind of woman to be able to master its nuances.  After a short postpartum stint at my former corporate job it quickly became glaringly clear to me that I was not of this camp. So, I did what I assume most educated, responsible, and Type-A people do when they make a life changing decision: I created a spreadsheet. I’m kidding of course (but only a little). To show the Haasbund what it would cost to keep me home, I tallied up what I would have spent annually on a nanny and take-out food, and I presented it to him as a matter of fact. I showed him that the nanny’s salary was what was generally accepted in the marketplace and thus, should be seen as my financial contribution to the family. Though far less than what I used to make, we realized this was a better fit for our lifestyle. So I left my job, and I’m now “that mom” towards whom everyone is aiming their unjustified vitriol.

Harvest snack bags alphabet project for kids
Here's the thing: I actually really enjoy making things that are Pinterest-worthy; and I'm damn good at it, too.  It makes me happy to cook food from scratch and create a curriculum to guide my remaining weeks at home with C before he starts preschool in September.  I get that you might find it annoying that I make homemade Butterfinger candy bars, or that I draw designs on the snack bags for our Mommy and Me class, but my making and doing these things doesn't diminish the talents at which other Mommies excel.  

I certainly don’t begrudge you your sweet corner office and other awesome job perks like a) being able to use the bathroom by yourself or b) contributing to your 401K instead of your kid's piggy bank. I don’t get my panties in a wad that you decided to go all out for your big presentation and made it the best thing any client has ever seen, or that you won that new account and are going to get a sweet percentage of the deal. In short, I don’t take to the internet and bemoan my position in life because you decided to kick ass at your job. 

So for the love of all things civil, please JUST STOP bitching about the fact that I kick ass at mine. I love being a mom, and I’m unashamed about it. It’s granted me an outlet for a whole host of creativity I can now indulge, and it has taken me in some pretty sweet directions, including right here to this very blog.  Moms come in all different shapes, sizes and vocations. So pack up your insecurities and ship them back to the mailroom. I don’t do what I do to impress you. I do it because I enjoy it, just as you don’t rule the boardroom/operating theater/advertising agency to impress me. You do it because you like to, because you enjoy it, and because you're really, really good at it.  I’m content enough in where I’m at to celebrate your success and your good work, and I would appreciate being extended the same professional courtesy.  How about we all stop trying to one-up each other and instead celebrate our differences?

Now excuse me, but my 2pm is waiting; and he's very demanding, prone to tantrums, and really hates being in a dirty diaper.

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