Family / Life / Parenting / Parenting / Rant / Thoughts

Our place at the table: Contributor

That word still pings around in my head. Contributor. I’m a contributor, failure; I’m unambitious, lazy, selfish. These, and many others, I have been called for being a stay at home mom. You’d think moms would have this amazing thread tying them together, something so much bigger than us that binds us all in some greater cosmic tribe. Nope. Today I’m bitter toward working moms. Wanna know why? A working mom called me a failure because I’m not providing my family with an income. As a stay at home mom, the moms who seem to be the aggressors are working moms. They’re always saying they have it harder. They’re always envious of us. They’re always thinking our lives are the easy way. How selfless they are that they leave their babies to provide them with more money and a better life. {Look, always is far from always, but I’m pissed, so yeah, always.} Well, on days like this you know what I wish I said? I wish I told them that I’d love to pay someone else to take care of my kids. That they’re so lucky they get to have a life outside their home, that they don’t constantly have to prove their worth to the wider world, that I wish I had the luxury of making more than childcare costs, that I think it’s lazy to pay someone else to raise their kids. But I don’t. Mostly because I only think of those things when they’ve said something nasty. Because I don’t really mean them. But why, why do they mean them? Why do they say them when we just want to be seen? This fight that we’re in to do and be everything only leads us to claw and stomp on each other to do it. Whether for practical reasons or passion, stay at homes moms are more than contributors. Most of our society doesn’t see it that way.

The people we pay to do “women’s work” are looked at as failures right beside us. “Do something more with your life”: that’s what she said to me. The people we need every single day so we can live, they are the untouchables who wouldn’t dare to fight for their place at the table. The janitors, nannies, housekeepers, cooks, nurses and moms are the people we use and then bad mouth. The world wouldn’t work without us. Ours is the work that needs done. If society broke down all the current male dominated fields- management, CEOs, lawyers, accountants, etc, all of that would be worthless. They’d be useless, but we’d still have to cook and clean, raise babies and tend the sick. We are the essential workforce. We are the table. We don’t have to fight for our place at it, we set the damn thing and created every person around it. And just like those spoiled brat children who had a wonderful mom, they take it for granted and bitch and moan about how we’re keeping them alive, how we’re holding up their dreams. They turn and face us one day and call us stupid because we’ve finally succeeded in enabling them to be better than we are. At our highest peak of success, we are failures to those we’ve promoted. That’s our work. And God forbid we enjoy it sometimes.

I always think of that scene in Wild where Cheryl tells her mom that she is just so much smarter than her and how the mom reacts. That’s us. We raise them. We teach them everything and provide every opportunity for them to surpass us, but when they do, they forget, take us for granted, and it hurts. Sadly, no one cared enough about that scene to post it. 

One thought on “Our place at the table: Contributor

  1. Thank you for another superb post. In the UK over many years government(s) said stay-at-home mums aren’t contributing with all the rhetoric that follows. We have established “free childcare” paid by the government (i.e. “us”) so mum’s can get back to work (and contribute). And mums have bought into it massively. Always the reason being “we can’t survive on one salary”.

    I have seen both sides. And as always never one-size-fits-all. My own thought is that there is nothing more important in society than nurturing the next generation. It is – like all that we do – filled with moments of drudgery and wonder, duty and obligation, pain and pleasure.

    But to choose to create life – and then choose to have both creators absent … I find that an odd choice / preference. And then to denigrate those who (for whatever reason) have this 24/7 “job” – without holidays or sickies or the perks of “employment” – AND who are mums themselves doing the denigrating … that I think really sad.

    Love your writing. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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