I am a working Mom. I leave at 7am and I am home by 5pm.
My husband works the same hours (or more when he has to travel).
Our kids never sleep in our bed.
We have a Nanny.
We do not drive the kids to every practice or lesson.
Did you just read any of those things and think any of the following:
What? Really? She does that? She has that? Why would she do that?
Welcome to the Mommy Wars. A term used so often that when you google it, you come up with more than 20 Million hits. 20 Million?? It was originally a stay-at-home Mom versus working Mom kind of thing but has evolved over the years to include pretty much every single major decision we make as parents. It’s us, as women, judging other women for the parenting decisions we make.
I recently read a comment on a friend’s Facebook wall where a Mom discredited something a woman was saying in an article because she has a Nanny. It really struck me. We have a Nanny. If people knew that would they think that I’m some rich woman who has no interest in being around her kids so she hires someone else to take care of them?
In my mind, nothing could be further from the truth. When you have three kids and only one in school, someone who comes to your house can actually make financial sense. Our childcare arrangement has nothing to do with anything but making sure the kids are loved and cared for while we’re at work. They are and they’re happy and that makes us happy. Our girls were interested in guitar and Highland Dancing. Lessons happen while we’re at work. We are blessed with incredible friends (and our Nanny) who help us manage the driving schedule so the kids can pursue things they’re passionate about. It’s our choice and right now, it works for our family.
On the surface, if you take the choices we’ve made and the realities of my life that I listed at the top of this blog, I could see how you’d judge me as being removed from the lives of my children. But here are some things you don’t know…
I pack every lunch. I pack every backpack. I tuck them in every night. I read them stories every night. We eat meals together. We dance. We sing. We laugh. We don’t schedule any activities (unless they are family activities like skiing) on the weekends so that we can do things as a family. We never miss a recital, a performance or a parent-teacher interview. We make the most of moments. We are fun. Our kids know they are loved. We escape to our camp (that has no electricity) every weekend in the summer for swimming and campfires and outdoor play. We hug and snuggle and kiss and play wrestle a lot. Nothing lights up my life like our kids.
But I admit it. I’m guilty. I’ve judged other Moms and in doing so, have been a contributor to the Mommy Wars. And now that I’ve looked at my life how others could perceive it, I feel pretty badly about it. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual. We all do everything we can to be the absolute best parents we can be. The simple facts are that I want the best for my kids just like you do and I love my kids just as much as you do. I’m now committed to judging less and supporting more. I hope you’ll join me in that.
Unless of course you hurt or mistreat your children. Then I reserve the right to judge.
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller