Monday, September 12, 2011

Zen Soccer Mom


Friday I spent the entire day in self-inflicted suffering:

A friend posted something negative about stay-at-home Moms who write blogs on Facebook. I felt sorry for myself all day. Do career women really think that women who stay home should be ashamed of themselves? Apparently some do. It ruined my entire Friday.

The biggest detriment to women isn't that so many of us stay home and perform traditional roles.  It's that we are openly hostile to one another. No matter what we think, we do not need to judge one another for our circumstances. (This holds true for so many things.) Sometimes our roles are conscious choices, sometimes fate has brought us where we are. Sometimes it's a bit of both.

With all the reflection this weekend on who we were 10 years ago, I need to jump off the animosity superhighway. 10 Years Ago today I was fully on the other side of the working-mom scale. 10 years ago Saturday I was flying back from a business trip in Brussels, and I only by luck was home on the 11th. I had 2 small children but still managed a job with monthly international travel. 10 years ago I didn't understand WHY women would stay home with their kids by choice. I wanted to work and I LOVED my job.

Worst of all: all this conflict between women leads to self-doubt and self-hate. I've been on both sides of this working/non-working parent conundrum. Part of my life has been as a career woman. Part of me is a cookie-baking, carpooling stay-at-homer. When I worked full-time I sought balance. I still do.

I want to let go of some of the anger I have towards women (especially those who live here in 08807) who make me angry about things that have little to do with their career choices. It isn't helping that we hate each other, no matter what we do with our days. Most importantly I need to be kinder to myself. If I can't be accepting of myself, why should anyone like me for me?

Although not a particularly typical lesson of 9/11 - it's good to remind ourselves not to judge those who are SIMILAR to ourselves. The message of 9/11 is complicated. Love coming out of hate. An act of war resulting in 10 years of lingering wars. People now afraid to fly with people who "look religious". Regardless of religion, regardless of class or nationality or age. We women have to stop judging one another. And then it will be easier to stop judging ourselves. 

1 comment:

my4grlz said...

I have finally been able to read this blog! I have to say you are right in how women treat each other about whether they are working away from home or at home as I like to say. I am one of those woman who had a wonderful career who is no longer able to work away from home, but truly feels luckier than every to be able to spend so much time with my wonderful daughters!!!

My career had great flexibility that would allow me to go to my children's activities and take them where ever they needed to go, but I now realize there was so much more I was missing.

If women at our age want to be so rude and ridicule woman who have to "work" at home without knowing the true reason, such as disabilities, then so-be-it. Who needs them, I know I don't. I want to be friends and be part of a circle of friends who are like me who care about a woman for who they are not what they do!!!

As for 10 years ago - this was a very difficult time for me. I was in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. at a conference and our entire area was locked down because they thought some of the hijackers may still be in the area - the apartment the main one was from was just around the corner from where our hotel was. I also had just found out I was pregnant with (what I now know to be) my 4th daughter. My 3rd daughter was starting her first day of pre-K when the planes hit and my husband at the time - was on the MRT (NYS - Swat Team) and had to leave ASAP. I was stuck in Florida and had NO WAY home. It was aweful for everyone - but especially everyone who lost lives and the families involved!!! My husband was gone that entire time (he was helping with rescue and recovery at ground zero) and retuned home April 20, 2002 and I had my 4th beautiful daughter on April 22, 2002 I was not due until May 13, 2002. It was not easy but we all make sacrifices - so just remember don't make judgements until you know the whole story!