Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The "Mommy Wars"

Hilary Rosen, a Democratic consultant, has found herself in some hot water after she made the statement that Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, isn't qualified to discuss the economy because "she's never worked a day in her life." Ann apparently chose to forgo a career to instead stay home and raise their five young boys. Hilary Rosen has gotten an earful from moms around the country, but her comments have also stirred up the age-old debate between working moms and stay-at-home-moms (SAHM).

There was a time - only a few short months ago - that I would have found myself leaning more towards one side than the other. I had always been a professional woman - until I had children. I morphed into the SAHM that I never dreamed I'd be and constantly felt like I had to defend my choice. I have felt like I'm "less than" my peers that are working. I have felt the need to list off my accomplishments of the day to my husband so that he knows that I'm not just sitting in front of the tv all day. I have found myself scouring Pinterest and mommy-blogs, making long and irrational lists of things that would make me a better, more productive mother. What gets us into this mess?

Yes, our society, our friends, and even our families, all send us messages about what we should be doing with our lives - what can be classified as an accomplishment and what can be classified as sub-par. But in all honesty, us mother do this to ourselves. Sure, it would be great for my husband to think that being a SAHM is the most awesome job on the planet and worth double the salary he makes as a doctor. I'd love to appear in magazines for my homeless-looking kids, dusty furniture, and Stouffer's cooking. But if there's one thing in this world that will probably never go away, it's judgement. The single most important person I have to answer to is myself and even I judge myself too harshly sometimes.

It's easy to get sucked into the debate over what I, as a woman, should be doing with my life. Even if I feel like I've finally felt peace over my decision to be a SAHM, all it takes is an encounter with an old, professional, working-woman friend or a segment on tv about powerful, working women for me to feel some doubt that what I'm doing is "correct." In those moments, the single greatest thing I can do is to have a little pow-wow with my self.

I remind myself that I am more than a mother.

I check in with my soul - the very essence of who I am - and remind myself that all I have is the present moment. The past has happened, the future isn't here yet, and in this moment, I am free of both.

The is no internal struggle. I am enjoying this time spent with my children, so, right now, it is enough. However, I know that if I felt called towards another direction, a career, perhaps, that I could easily start moving my life in that direction too.

There is no judgement. Just an acknowledgement that I feel at peace right now, or an awareness of what actions I might take to bring more peace into my life. NO JUDGEMENT.

I know all of this sounds cheesy, but I think we make things a lot harder than they should be. This life is OURS. Peace comes from within ourselves, not from our friends, our family, or our community. We don't have to participate in things like the "Mommy Wars." Everyone does not have to be doing the same thing with their life to be doing the right thing with their life. If we'll take a moment to examine it, we'll become aware of whether or not our life feels balanced, or at peace. If it does, then we're doing the right thing. If it doesn't, then we are the ones who have the ability to find what WILL bring us peace. Judgement comes from everything around us at some point or another, but peace - REAL PEACE - comes from within.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely said! YOUR inner peace is shing bright for all to see.