As a blogger, I read other blogs. It’s what I do for fun, for inspiration, for connection with other people in similar shoes to mine. Those blogs are opinionated, told from the view of the blogger, appropriately unapologetic, and I love them.
As a follower of blogs of things dear to me heart, I come across a lot of posts about parenting. Motherhood, to be precise. The difficulties, the joys, the confusion, the triumphs… and I am finding that, more and more, telling a story from your point of view just isn’t enough anymore.
Stay at home moms, working moms, single moms… There is a competition for who has it the hardest. Every mom has her own hurdles to overcome, every day. Some days we make it over every hurdle just fine; others we trip on every single one, crossing the finish line that is bedtime broken, bruised, and bleeding. We turn to our blogs and social media as a source of comfort and connection. Please tell me I’m not alone in this is a common plea from all of us.
But there is a pincer movement happening around us, making a mother just looking for solace out to be self righteous and above the fold.
This movement is coming from the men, grandparents, and other people who are primary caretakers for their children.
If a woman writes about how she needs a break, there is a dad out there asking why it’s not okay for him to have one, too.
If a mother mentions the 15 minute drive her husband gets twice a day and how she is so jealous the he gets a guaranteed half hour to have his mind to himself, there is someone who can’t be a stay at home parent out there telling her that she chose her job and should just suck it up.
It doesn’t matter that we have no idea what the perspective of stay at home/work at home/single dads/grandparents are. It doesn’t matter that there is no way we can imagine what it must feel like to be parenting the next generation which we had hoped to watch and spoil from afar.
If we don’t make a disclaimer in everything we say about our experiences as a mother, we are shamed for being intentionally exclusive or demeaning towards those parenting from a different perspective.
I don’t know what it’s like to be a dad. Because I’m a mom. I don’t know what it’s like to be a working parent, because I stay home with my kids. When I write about my experiences with motherhood, I don’t generally add how a dad or working parent might feel, because there’s no way for me to know. I am not choosing to be exclusive, I am choosing not to make assumptions. Unless I specifically say “Boy, those stay at home dads need to x, y, z…” I’m not saying they should x, y, or z, so don’t read between the lines of my parenting musings.
Case in point: I really feel the need to say that this applies to all walks, so that no one gets their panties (or boxers) in a twist about me making insinuations or excluding them.
I am not you. I can not even guess at what your perspective or opinion may be.
I am just a mother, trying to be a good parent. Whether your chromosomes match or differ, if you’re married or beyond child bearing years, we’re all doing the best we can and trying to find some common ground.
Motherhood is not a war. Fatherhood is not a war.
If you are a dad that could use a break, agree with the mom who feels the same way instead of asking her why she thinks she deserves one and you don’t. We all have a common ground in parenting: We love our kids. Stop making it about you, and make it about US. We are all in this together.
Let’s start acting like it.