Thursday, July 23, 2009

Back to Work, So What's Up with the Mommy Wars?

Yesterday it hit me like a bolt out of the blue that I was walking around, drug-free, and nothing hurt. When something hurts for a long time, it's hard to explain how frickity fracking AWESOME you feel when it stops. I am a big bag of energy. I'm celebrating with my first bourbon in like two months... which may have a somewhat deleterious effect on that energy, but totally worth it!

Tomorrow I'm heading back to the office. And I got to thinking how much I'm looking forward to going back to the office, what with the makeup and high heels and grown-ups. This in turn made me think about how nice it was to be home with Laney all this time and how much I'll miss spending the whole day with her, even when she drove me up the razzafrazzing wall. Which, in turn, got me to thinking about the topic-du-jour of a few months ago: the Mommy Wars.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the battle that wouldn't end : Stay at Home Moms vs. Working Moms.

Which was, of course, a ginormous, media-fomented fabrication. In my world I've got women friends who work outside the home and women friends who are stay at home moms. Sometimes I envy the stay at home mothers and sometimes they envy me. But what we don't do is assume the other side has it wrong, is selfish and is on the way to raising damaged, fucked up kids.

Here's the thing about feminism: it's all about choice. And these days, most of us are mature enough to recognize that you never choose to do anything without choosing not to do something else. There's no such thing as having it all and none of us are free of doubt and self-recrimination about what we've chosen. This keeps most of us too humble to judge people who've made different choices. "Most of us", of course, excludes your average TV talking head which loves nothing more than a good cat fight. The love of a good cat fight (also known as, from this moment forward, bellofelinophilia) is really the root of them there Mommy Wars.

The great thing about living in this modern world, and the thing that I assume will keep on getting greater, is that our range of choices open up. It's hard to choose, but a lot easier than having the choice made for you. Soon enough, we may even get to a point where men will be subject to the same kind of media-driven, cultural judgment about their choices to go to work or stay at home as women. Plan on this happening sometime after our media-driven culture recognizes that women may actually think of beer as something to drink and not something to point at with their breasts and also that men sometimes do laundry.

Not in this house, but I hear they do!