Welcome to the inaugural blog post of The Unapologetic Mom. It's funny how life's circumstances can move you in a new direction. Two years ago I moved across the country with my husband and have been a stay at home mom ever since. Being so far away from friends and family gives one a lot of time to think. Before I get into the meat of my post I want to take a moment to explain exactly how the Unapologetic Mom was born. If you stop to think about it, so many of us stay on the defensive side of things always ready with an explanation, which is really a form of apology, for why we do what we do. We apologize and defend our beliefs, our views, our jobs, income, our bodies, what we eat, and the list could go on and on. For me I was only acutely aware of this, but then one event happened. A catalyst if you will. It suddenly hit me that in a world full of defense, explanations, and intolerance I am done. I am no longer apologetic, nor do I feel the need to explain myself in an effort to apologize to someone who offers judgement instead of kindness, and derision instead of consideration. Thus this blog, The Unapologetic Mom was born. Will every blog post be in the tone of this one? No, but I will unapologetically lend my voice, experiences, observations, and wisdom to the world to do with what it will. With that being said, let's kick this off with a bang shall we?
I am a stay at home mother, and I am not sorry. It's bad enough to see the "mother shaming" online between complete strangers where stay at home moms and working moms take pot shots at each other. At least in that forum you can achieve a distance because it's complete strangers. It's something different when certain people who occupy a fairly personal space in your life make it known to you, and everyone else that they don't approve. There's the, "Oh just refusing to get a job" song and dance because apparently being a mom isn't work. There's the picture of the stay at home mom sitting at home eating bonbons and watching "stories" with a glass of wine stereotype. (Why this is the stereotype I have no idea. I kind of feel like a crazed, disheveled woman with babies strapped to her back getting ready to march through the gates of hell would be a more accurate stereotype, but whatever...)
There is the parade of disapproving comments, back-handed insults, a stream of seemingly never ending criticism, and in some cases blatant attempts at sabotage. Let me just set the record for myself straight once and for all. I like being a stay at home mom. *pause for gasps* I have the perspective of being a working mom, and stay at home mom, and to have been the daughter of a stay at home and working mom, and my only question is in what kind of backwards society is it okay to demonize a woman who chooses to stay home, and concentrate on her child and creating a nice home for her husband? (I realize that the demonization also goes toward the working mom, but I'm talking about me.) What is worse is sometimes the comments seem to argue that said husband didn't have a say in the decision. In my case, it was my husband's idea, and he has been supportive ever since. What galls me is the idea that I made him do it, and that if he dare suggest that I rejoin the workforce that I would chain myself to the couch screaming, "But who will eat the bonbons?1?" This kind of blind, small minded judgement is, in my humble opinion, precisely what is wrong with many facets of our society today. I don't understand and I disagree with your opinions and decisions...therefore I will demean and tear you down.
Did you know that it is possible for two people to have two different sets of life experiences, come to two different decisions about the same issue, disagree and understand that it doesn't give anyone the right to demean the other side? Furthermore, were you also aware that both parties could actually occupy space on the same planet, amicably, with the mutual understanding that you don't have to agree to respect the other person, and the planet would actually survive? So here it is. If you are a working mom by choice or otherwise I respect your decision, and realize that on no plane of existence do you have to defend it to me, just as I don't owe anyone an explanation about why I am a stay at home mom. This goes for anyone who isn't a parent as well. If people don't understand the decision, you know what...it's okay if they don't get it. They don't have to. All they have to do is respect it. So...sorry, not sorry, but I like being a stay at home mom, and that's not changing anytime soon.