Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Who's the boss?

Some time ago, I addressed the issue of working-outside-the-home moms vs. stay-at-home moms. I shared my distaste for the the phrase "full time mom", which continues to make me bristle each time I hear or read it because it seems to be applied only to stay-at-home moms. This happens more frequently than you might think. Any mom worth anything is a full-time mom and when it's applied to moms who stay at home, those of us who work outside of the home get understandably (I think) defensive. While I hate the phrase, I love the fact that many women have a choice. With that choice, though, comes a responsibility to our children. Just as we should not be judging one another's choices, we should be teaching our children not to judge either. From toddlerhood on, most parents and schools are all over kids about being accepting of one another's differences - but what about when it comes to moms?

A few days ago, I was shocked to hear about a teenage girl disparaging someone else's mom who works as a store manager*. When we're teaching our kids respect and acceptance, we should be broadening the scope of those lessons. The messages we convey to our kids - through our words and our behavior - deserve careful thought and consideration. Why is it that so many people feel comfortable rushing to judgment about others? Could it be that we are feeding off our own insecurities and then passing them onto our kids? Time to end the cycle.

*Just a point of clarification here - the young person in question seemed to be looking down on the woman's profession. This may not have been the best example to illustrate the point. I have overheard kids disparaging moms who don't work and moms who do.  This just happened to be an example of taking the criticism to the next level so I found it interesting and disconcerting.

In reality, every mom is a full time mom and a working mom. And we all work hard and deserve more respect (and better pay) than we get. Some of us have one boss and some have several and they're all pretty demanding. There's really only book that sums it up aptly and that's Marla Frazee's The Boss Baby. The baby gets all the executive perks while running his overworked staff of two ragged. Such fun!

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