A web article has been making its rounds on my Facebook feed lately. It's one of those "gotcha!" posts in which a man vigorously defends stay at home moms everywhere by lambasting working moms, because the best way to defend one group is to demean another, amiright?
In his article, popular blogger Matt Walsh hashes out how much our society degrades stay at home parents. To quote him,
"It’s happened twice in a week, and they were both women. Anyone ought to have more class than this, but women — especially women — should damn well know better... I shouldn’t need to explain why it’s insane for anyone — particularly other women — to have such contempt and hostility for “stay at home” mothers."
Yes those damn women MUST know better since, ya know, they have vaginas which automatically makes them knowledgeable in all stay-at-home mom things. The catcher is, the things those women said to him? They weren't contemptuous or hostile, they were conversational. I can't tell you how many times I've said dumb things in the course of a conversation because I just don't know what to say. Does Matt really need to mock these women publicly?
The crux of his article focuses on how stay at home moms aren't valued in society (absolutely true, they are much more valued in those crazy socialist countries we in 'Murrica are trained to hate) and how easy working moms have it given all the down time they have.
Sure, it's important we recognize the role stay at home parents play in our society. Given astronomical childcare prices, and ridiculously low childcare regulations, many parents have opted to stay home with their kids rather than jeopardize their income (valid) or their child's well-being, all of which I have great empathy for. However, Matt Walsh isn't writing about how society has ultimately failed to accommodate all working parents who wish to have more family time, he is basically writing an essay glorifying his wife for all the sacrifices she is making for their family that clearly those other moms are not willing to make.
He doesn't delineate how the US has ultimately failed to support stay at home parents, instead he chooses to pit women against women by 1) vilifying those two women who made off-the-cuff remarks (that cannot show their real attitude towards parents who stay home) and 2) fails to acknowledge the difficulty all moms - heck, all parents - face when attempting the work/life balance.
This whole stupid debate that has raged on since the 1950's pitting women who stay at home versus those who work just needs to end. It hasn't helped a single woman I know in her daily life. Instead, it has added to the enormous mommy guilt we all feel. So, let's just stop it, okay? Parenting is hard work and we certainly don't need societal pressure on top of it.