Wednesday, April 11, 2007

All Moms Should...

Recently, author Leslie Bennetts released a book called "The Feminist Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much?"

In it, she argued that mothers should stay on the career track and not stay home with their kids.
Her reasons: financial stability, happiness and smarter kids.

I guess that's fine, if you're into that sort of thing. Happiness and all that. I prefer poverty, misery and a brood of dumbasses. But that's just me.

Seriously, I understand her mission: to alert women that staying home with their children is a financial and emotional risk. It's a risk I'm familiar with since Justin got injured last summer and was out of work for a while. And since I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown at this very moment. (Why are the boys always fighting?!)

But for me, while working full time, I felt a constant tug at my heart. Like I was some place I wasn't supposed to be. So for me, the financial risk is worth it. And I don't understand why all women should avoid that risk.

I don't understand why all women should do anything. Any arguement that includes "all" is usually a bad one. The same goes for saying that all women should stay home with their children. As if we all have the same goals, talents, personalities and family situations.

In contrast, nobody argues that all men should do one thing...manage hedge funds, for instance.

But maybe they should.

Pro: Hedge fund managers make a lot of money and can pay for their kids to go to college.

Con: But I don't even know what a hedge fund is.

Pro: Don't worry. It's in your nature to bring home the bacon, or in this case, filet minon.

Con: But I want to stay home with my kids.

Pro: Why would you want to do that?

You know that's a pretty good question. Because staying at home definitely has it's drawbacks, and money isn't the half of it.

Boredom is number one. For instance, I have checked our mailbox seven times today. That's after the mail came. I don't know what I was adult conversation, maybe? My big break as a writer? A juggler? Instead, it was a catalogue for Domestications. With a lovely palm tree bedspread on the cover.

We did later have a police chase in our backyard. I wasn't personally in the chase, though.

Some teenage girls were running from the police, who were sure the girls were hiding in our shed or playhouse or bush or brush pile or wheelbarrow or baby pool or...Jeez, we have a lot of hiding places in our yard. The police later arrested two girls on our block, who apparently rammed a car and stole a purse.

Which leads me to the next drawback: excitement. This usually involves less serious matters than a police chase.

It is in fact sort of mundane and exciting at the same time. Like when your baby has a blowout diaper on the living room couch while your four year old throws up on the rug from the smell and your toddler tries to eat the goldfish and your editor is on the phone wondering if you could write an article that afternoon.

Winter is the third bad thing, but obviously, that happens all over the world, not just for stay-at-home moms.

I won't bore you with the advantages of staying home. Not because I can't think of any. I can. Just not right now. Because it is raining. And cold. And I have to make dinner--somehow using just a can of mushroom soup and a jar of marachino cherries. Somebody forgot to go to the store. It was J.J.

But I'm sure there are plenty of them.

You can read about these and other topics in my upcoming book: How All Mothers in America Are Screwing Up Their Own Lives and Their Children's. (And Why This Will Ultimately Lead to the Implosion of the Sun and Destruction of the Galaxy.) Reserve your copy today...before it's too late!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so good at this Bridget! There had better be a book!
Speaking of books, I was just talking about what's her name's last night. What's a mom to do??


7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree...This Leslie lady seems to not realize that all jobs suck...if you want to go to work, you must be insane. I would take J.J. as my boss anyday.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Mom said...

You're living my dream! I always wanted to stay home with you kids, but wasn't as brave as you are or willing to give up as much financially. I think you and Justin are doing a great job! Happy birthday to my baby girl! I love you, mom

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to reserve my copy today! You are one funny lady. I agree with using the word "all". Very dangerous.
Thanks for the laughs,
Derranged working mother

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make me laugh! Thank you! I needed that!

5:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone agreeing with Leslie should read, "Surrendering to Motherhood",Iris of my heros. Anyway, someone who completely encourages women to stay home IF THEY CAN. Not all of us can. We make the most of our situation and see the best in it. It irritates me when people judge. i think you are wonderful as an at-home mom. i hope one day i will be staying home and we can write a cookbook on all the wonderful recipes using cream of mush soup and cherries!

1:39 PM  

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