Yowza. Did anyone see the October 14th Dr. Phil show? The topic was Stay-at-Home Moms versus Working Moms, aptly named “Guilty Moms”. You can view the video and access show information at Dr. Phil.com. Dr. Phil had brought in women who represented both sides of the fence,a few of which were all fired up to defend their decisions. Now, I typically tend to pass on watching these types of shows because, quite frankly, I hate conflict.You know those people (and, maybe you’re one of them) whogravitate towards “entertainment” which centers itself around physical combat, relationship break-ups, and truth reveals (i.e. you thought you married a woman but I’m really a man)? I am not one of those people. I have an actual physical reaction to the conflict and Icringe at the awkwardness of it all. More often than not I end up turning off the program or changing the channel until all that drama is over. I get so uncomfortable. It’s weird.
To me, most of the time, the Dr. Phil show falls into that category. Nothing against the Doc himself but he has had some conflict-ridden show topics. Therefore, it is not DVR-worthy and does not hold a place in my “scheduled recordings.” Until yesterday. I was cruising through my guide on the TV looking for something to watch while I (guess what…folded laundry) and there I saw it…today on Dr. Phil…are SAHM’s better parents than working mothers?
Whoa, doggie! Now that’s a debate and a half. Against all my good judgment, I watched it.I won’t go into too many details of the show because it wasn’t very riveting anddidn’t give me any new insight. However, the unofficial “spokeswoman” for the stay-at-home mom section wastotally off-base and I was a little angry that they chose an overlyjudgmental woman who held such an ugly prejudice against working moms. Through her ignoranceshemisrepresentedall of us non-judgmental SAHM’s. And that ticked me off. It alsoreminded me how ridiculous this debate actually is.
Having made the decision to stay home full time after Jack was born I obviously mulled over the age-old question, “Would staying home make me a better parent?’ And I can honestly answer that in my case, no. I was an awesome mom before I quit working and I’m still an awesome mom now that I stay home buttherehave been definite bumps alongthe road. They were there when I worked. They are there now.The dynamics of my parenting have continually changed out of sheer necessity. Sure, I have more time now for one-on-one interactions withAvery and Jackbut often less patience because I spend my entire day with them (however, thanks toBoston and the invention of public schooling in 1635 one is gone from 8a.m.-3p.m). It’s a balance.
But I really just wanted to post this to tell all you working moms out there…”I ain’t mad at ya.” I know how much you love your kids. I don’t doubt your commitment to parenting. I understand the need to have a life outside of your family. I firmly believe that kids gain a ton of perspective from socializing outside of your home in daycares and preschools. I envy you your grown-up conversations andI bet you don’t have a tendency tofuriouslyhurl dirty diapers out the backdoor after you’ve changed your 5th one that day. In many ways I bet your “normal” is a heck of a lot more normal than mine.
I want it put on record that I am not one of those sanctimonious SAHM’s who claim that working mothers are substandard parents. Heck, I’ve seen plenty of substandard parenting from all kinds of voluntarily non-employed mommies. Idiocy does not discriminate.
I just thought I’d put it out there.
Love to all, Mindy