Reinventing Mom

February 12th, 2013 posted by Kellie Head

Victory run Throughout my thirty-some-odd-years of life one thing has remained constant… society’s confusion about the best place for a mother. In the not-so-distant past, a mother’s place was well defined and not often questioned. She stayed home, kept the house and took care of children. Enter Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug and a handful of others, telling the country that for a mom to be truly happy and fulfilled she had to be working, earning a wage, contributing to society and taxing her brain. The women’s movement opened the workforce doors and we ran through in droves. After all, we wanted it all and this was the way to get it. The “all” in “having it all” changed again in the early 90’s. “Our nations children are being ignored, mothers must return home.” was the battle cry heard from coast to coast. So we quit our jobs, lived in our bathrobes, gained 30 pounds, enlisted as room mothers and became Soccer Moms. We caught up for lost parenting time by micromanaging our children’s lives. They enrolled little league, signed up for dance classes, practiced Ti Kwon Do, and joined playgroups. We truly had it all, and so did a country of previous latchkey children. In more recent years the trend has changed once again. We combined both worlds and created the work-at-home mom. What could be better? These moms are on-site for first steps and bus stop duty, yet are able to make interesting conversation at cocktail parties about their daily mergers and acquisitions. Of the three basic types of mothers (the stay-at-home mom, the working mom, and the work-at-home mom), each has it’s own stereotypical cross to bear. Working outside the home is deemed selfish and neglectful; staying home is viewed as lazy and mind numbing; creating an at-home business is given hobby status and often considered second rate. Is there one right place for all mothers? Shouldn’t the decision to work or not to work, to stay home or not to stay home be made on an individual basis instead of an across-the-board societal expectation? Case in point: A mother of three working as a paramedic for the county hospital. In the course of a day, her skill and prompt attention saves the life of a car accident victim and administered CPR revives a near drowning victim. Who’s to say that she made the wrong choice to work? Certainly not the families of the individuals she saved. Are her kids suffering due to her not tending to them around the clock? Five-year-old Teddy rode his bike without training wheels for the first time while his stay-at-home mother and younger sister cheered from the sidewalk. Was her physical presence required? It was to Teddy. And, when he fell off the bike because he had forgotten how to work the brakes, his mother was happy that she was home to bandage his skinned knee. Why not allow each mother to determine what is best for her and her family. In fact, lets take it one step further. We’re all in the same boat of being, or feeling judged by others for our mothering styles. Let’s make a pact to support each other, whatever the Mommy role. If you are a working mom, call a stay-at-home friend and ask her advice on a work related matter. Let her know that her opinions are valuable in areas that do not pertain to parenting. She has a mind with capabilities surpassing diapering and laundry stains, and it wouldn’t hurt to remind her of that. By the same token, a stay-at-home mom can seek parenting support and guidance from a working mom. Just because a mother works, doesn’t mean she isn’t active in the lives of her children and the issues that face them. Offer to take a work-at-home mom’s kids to the park. Suggest she spend a relaxing afternoon at the Beauty Shop or take in a movie. Although it is convenient to have your children and your office under one roof, it’s especially hard to get away from it all and regroup. Make your choice, and proclaim it with the same conviction of former Congresswoman Bella Abzug whose slogan stated simply: “This woman’s place is in the House – the House of Representatives”

RESOURCES:

Mothers at Home http://www.mah.org Work at Home Moms http://www.wahm.com Working Mom’s Refuge http://www.momsrefuge.com

Kellie Head (20 Posts)


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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!


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