Apologies, Mom, JD readers, but this is going to be a rant-post… I just have to get it out of my system…
I was visiting Mother Lode (NY Times parenting blog) & came across a fluff piece about the royal wedding. Actually, it was a touching post about caregivers who remain important figures in a child’s life into adulthood. It also mentioned a speech Amy Poehler gave at the Times 100 Gala thanking her children’s nannies & childcare providers generally. The post finished by asking readers whether they would hope to invite a child’s nanny to their wedding or would thank her in a speech. Aw, of course, who wouldn’t …
Screech! Wait! It was s trick question!! The comments weren’t filled with answers to this question but were instead peppered with screed straight out of the mommy wars playbook. “I … was raised by my actual parents. And I believe I am better for it.” “All this nanny stuff and being so close with a ‘caregiver’ to that extent kind of turns my stomach a little bit. What is really means is that these ‘mothers’ think they have something better to do with their time than take care of their own little kids, let’s be for real!”
OK, are there class issues tucked in here? Of course! Um, the post was about (1) a prince’s nanny & (2) a Hollywood actress’s nannies.
I’ll just go ahead & say it: I can’t believe women are this judgmental about the decisions of other women. No, I’m not naive & I haven’t been mothering under a bush… But wow!
I’m not going to try to add fuel to the fire. But I will say that I’m glad for the many women in my life who have stayed in the workforce, even with young children. My son’s amazing pediatrician (who returned to work after a 3+ month maternity leave), a favorite law school professor (raising young children and researching policies affecting families), my law school friends (who had babies & returned to school & created a great support group), to name a few. And, of course, my own mom (who did a mix of working outside the home & then staying at home to raise her family)!
The world is a better place for families in general when mothers are working, those of us who want to work & those of us who must work. Without us, anti-mom & anti-dad & anti-family policies remain the norm. With us, change happens!
Happy belated mother’s day to all the working moms out there (whether you’re working in the home or out of the home)!