August 27, 2010


          The other night, after our daughter had gone to bed, my husband stood in the kitchen, let out a huge sigh and exclaimed, "I am exhausted!" Assuming he had been up until the wee hours of the morning (which does often happen) I asked, "What time did you come to bed last night?"
          Exasperated, he responded, "That's not it! I'm swamped at work right now!" I nodded intently, displaying what I thought was understanding and sympathy. Silence, then, "You obviously don't remember what it's like," he huffed. I didn't respond. And that was the end of the conversation.
          What I wanted to say was, "Au contraire! It hasn't been that long. I do in fact remember what it is like. I remember being able to take a shower every morning, style my hair, put on makeup and real clothes and actually leave the house. I remember what it was like to interact with other adults on a regular basis. I remember my job involving sitting at a desk. I remember when a 10 hour work day felt long.
          I used to plan major corporate events, rather than play dates. Was in charge of multi-media marketing campaigns, not changing diapers and cleaning food off the walls. I sat in meetings with high level executives; now I read Moo Baa La La La 100 times a day (or so it feels sometimes). I remember a lot of things about having a career."
          Probably best I kept my big mouth shut. I do not mean to belittle my husband, or anyone else. The corporate rat race is brutal. I remember that all too well. And, despite my sarcasm above, I don't miss it one bit. I have never regretted my decision to stay home with our daughter. However, I was not the least bit prepared for how hard my new job was going to be. I have found it to be far more challenging than any position I ever held in the business world.
          My point is this. Perspectives change as our situations do. And we have to try to recognize other people's points of view. Put ourselves in their shoes to understand where they are coming from. We often become so caught up in our own issues that we are unable - or unwilling - to see the world from a different perspective.
          The other night in the kitchen, I was caught up in my own world. I was exhausted, too, as I usually am at the end of the day. So I was unable to offer my husband the empathy and support he was looking for. On other nights, the situation has been reversed.
          On the whole we are very happy with our life and the decisions we made for our family. I believe we make a great team, support each other very well and are building a wonderful foundation for our daughter. But we have our moments. That's real life.
          I think this is often the foundation of the so-called "Mommy Wars" phenomenon. As moms, we sometimes have a difficult time seeing the world from a different perspective. I understand how it can happen. But I hate to see the results when it does. Working moms versus stay-at-home moms. Breastfeeding versus formula. Disposable versus cloth diapers. I could go on and on. The disputes certainly will.
          Can't it stop? Shouldn't we take it upon ourselves to accept, if not understand, the perspectives of our fellow moms? Yes, there are some very supportive communities of moms out there. But there is also a great deal of bickering. And I for one am sick of it.
          Rather than focus on the things that make us different, let's embrace what we have in common. We are all moms. And that provides a strong foundation for mutual respect and support. There is a great deal we should be able to relate about. Let's build on it!


  1. Amen! :)

    Sometimes we get so caught up in pulling our own load we can't see what the other person is dragging behind them. A little understanding, and respect for different lifestyle choices, goes a long way.

  2. Sometimes its hard to step back and put yourself in other peoples shoes, but you have to.

    Great post.

  3. I love your article. It is so true & I know my husband & I have had that very same interaction more than once. Thanks!

  4. Great post! There is no way my corporate job is anywhere near as difficult as being a full time mom - your job is 24/7! No weekends or holidays... all mommy all the time.

  5. @ Linda - It certainly does!

    @ Kelly - Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.

    @ Megan - I'm sure plenty of husbands and wives have had this sort of interaction. The dynamics of our marriage changed a lot when I quit my job to stay home, and we both had to adjust. It's a journey...

    @ Miss Kitty - You know what's difficult? Having a full time job AND being a mom. Those are women I really admire. I don't know how they do it. But they really have my respect. All moms do. :)

  6. It's true! I am a working mom and what I wouldn't give to be at home with my kids. However, on days when I am home with my kids there is no time to be on Twitter, read blogs, etc. When I'm at work I seem to find time to do those things... Lol

  7. @ Stacey - Thanks! And thanks for being one of my regular commenters! I appreciate it! :)

    @ Lindsay - It's call nap time. But it's not nearly long enough. LOL

  8. You're a wise lady to have bitten your tongue. I would have been tempted to blow off a bit of steam if my husband had said the same thing but I know it doesn't help anyone when it becomes a spitting contest over who works harder or is more tired. I also agree that it's ridiculous for moms to start debating re: breastfeeding vs ... etc. I am convinced that there is no ONE right way to parent. What's right for each of us is unique! Loved this post.

  9. @ Karyn - I have ranted before. Not a good idea! LOL And you just about nailed the tag line for my upcoming book! Click on the About the Book tab and you'll see what I mean. ;)

  10. Oh, well said! It's so interesting how you tied this back to "mommy wars," it is completely all about perspective!

  11. My husband works from home so he gets to come out and if he doesn't like what's going on in the house he can go back into his office and close the door. I wish I had THAT job! ;)

  12. visiting from the RDC .....the husband and I sometimes get into little tifs like these... we're just both so tired, it's hard sometimes to have empathy for the other.

  13. @ Booyah's Momma - It just made me think of the Mommy Wars. What's the root of the problem? That eats at me all the time. And I think perspective is what it boils down to. If we can just be willing to look at a situation/decision from another mom's perspective, maybe we can stop the judgement/bickering/negativity. We can always hope, right?

    @ Cheryl - I think it would be hard to work from home with children. Even if the other parent is there. But I am sure YOU would love the opportunity to close a door every once in a while. I know I would!

    @ Christina - Nice to "meet" you! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm sure many couples have had interactions like this. Regardless of their situations. I shared it b/c I figured others would be able to relate. ;)

  14. Oh, we had one of those "I'm tired/I'm tired, too" exchanges tonight. He had to a work a Saturday for demanding clients, I had to stay home and parent alone after both working and parenting all week. Why were we fighting? Because seriously? No one wins that argument.

    I cut it off before it got nasty, cause here's the truth: we're all tired here in parentingville!

  15. Great post. I'm glad you linked up over at the RDC with this one. I'm not a mom but can't stand that these wars exist between the moms I know.

    Free will and choice are freedoms we just seem to ignore when it comes to so many things in life. Acceptance sure gets kicked by the wayside when we choose to think we have the one right answer to any dilemma.

  16. It really is hard to weigh the differences and show empathy when life gets in the way.

    Great piece showcasing the difficulties moms face.

  17. @ Move Over Mary Poppins - Indeed, we ARE all tired. As a matter of fact, I think you may have just put your finger on the cause of this whole Mommy Wars mess. I know that when I am tired I can be sort of - what't the right word? - bitchy! Since we're all tired... ;)

    @ Cheryl - I think the Mommy Wars do a disservice to all women, those who have children and those who don't. And, as you point out, the inability to see or accept another's perspective has far more wide reaching consequences. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    @ Angelia - Thank you!

  18. Great post (sorry, I'm behind).

    It's difficult for me with MacGyver, because I see what he does all day. And when he comes out from behind that desk and tells me how exhausted he is... well... let's just say he gets "the look." Which I am perfecting as I age.

    But you're right. We all have our own view of tired and our own perspectives. Excellent POV. Again :)


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