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Working Moms Not Real Moms?

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A comment on one of our posts made us working moms see red...and is proof that the Mommy War between working moms and SAHMs is still raging on.


Last week, momlogic published a post called Moms Survive L.A. Earthquake, which recounted how the working moms in our office reacted to the 5.4 trembler. One of our readers, who only dared to sign her name as "A Real Mother," had this to say:

"How sad, for all of you, who think you are real moms. A real mom would be home with her children, not leaving them with a babysitter/nanny/daycare provider. And you guys run a 'mom' site, I find that almost as sad. You know nothing about being a mom, because you're always thinking of yourself first. I feel for your kids...they won't know what a real mom is."

We're not real mothers because we hold down jobs?! Sorry to break this to you, "A Real Mother," but some of us have to work. If we didn't, we'd be "Stay at Homeless" moms. Is that any better?

Many say the Mommy Wars between stay-at-home and working mothers is all perpetuated by the media ... but this comment proves it's not. The battle is still raging on, with both sides pointing fingers.

In momlogic's happiness poll, we surveyed over 700 moms and found almost an equal percentage of SAHMs and working moms feel judged by the opposite group. And an equal number of working moms and SAHMs confess they feel like failures as moms.

"It was interesting that both SAHMs and working moms feel judged by the other and they both feel like failures," says spiritual advisor Rabbi Sherre Hirsch, author of We Plan, God Laughs. "I think that is the truest statement. Everyone is judging everyone because everyone feels there is no exact right way to be doing things."

Why do moms feel the need to judge other moms? Isn't being a mom hard enough without us turning on each other? Moms: Why can't we all just get along?

next: Brangelina Denies IVF Rumors
51 comments so far | Post a comment now
Marina Jones August 5, 2008, 4:29 PM

This is a very sensitive topic, and I can see both sides of the story.

I could put my doctorate in genetics to use and actually not worry about a mortgage payment for the rest of my life. But when I had my kids, I saw it as an opportunity to change the world. So I am homeschooling them and they are becoming quite fine gentlemen if you ask me. Does that make me a kick ass, real mom? You bet!

There are some magnificent working mothers out there who are helping their husbands to provide for their families and also raising model citizens. Single, responsible and hardworking moms hold a special spot in my heart because it must not be easy.

Now, there’s a particular strain of “working” moms who believe they are giving their families a huge favor by bringing a lot of money into the house, when they barely spend time there. Their children are being raised by their peers, and also believe that by buying them the ultimate gadget, they’ve given love. I have a problem with these kind of moms and unfortunately, there are plenty of them.

In this chaotic world we’ve created ourselves, a real mom is one who loves her children dearly, unconditionally, genuinely and has never seen them as an inconvenience in their lives, working outside of home or staying in it.

dawntrenee August 5, 2008, 4:33 PM

I am a SAHM, but most people in this modern world have to work somehow, someway. Even I who call myself a SAHM is starting to work from home.
We should not be here to judge one another but to help and support one another. Somedays I too wish I could go back to work. I love my kids, I love my life and I’m happy to stay home and I would be happy to work if our family needed it. Working mothers make a huge sacrifice for their family unit to go to work everyday and then come home and work as mom everynight.

alwaysamom August 5, 2008, 4:44 PM

I find it funny that “A Real Mother” calls herself a real mother. How can you take such pride in yourself and your ability to be a SAHM when you are judging other mothers who work? A woman who is a real mother is a person who does whatever it takes to raise healthy and great children into great responsable adults. A real mother will work or stay at home and provide what is necessary for the good of the child.
I have worked many years FT and now I am currently a SAHM. I value the fact that I have done both because it makes me a better parent for MY children.
There are mothers who need to work to provide a home and food for their children. Others have the good fortune to be able to stay at home while the husband provides. No mother is better than the other because we do what is right for our families.
Instead of judging other moms, “A Real Mother”, why don’t you focus on your life and how to make it better for your children and your family? Everyone’s situation can be better when you focus on the good.
I urge you to stop being a bored, SAHM and improve your life and leave the other moms who are doing a great job being moms alone.
You obviously have nothing better to do than to criticize other moms. Clearly, you should get a job to keep your mind occupied, because maybe your children are in school and you are alone at home w/nothing better to do. Do yourself a favor and go get yourself an education or a hobby and shut the HELL UP!

Meg Rosslin August 5, 2008, 5:54 PM

Dear A Real Mother,
Please stop teaching your kids who’s inferior without having any kind of superiority to back it up. It will come back to bite you when they’re adults and are ashamed to bring new partners home to meet Mom. They’ll either be ashamed that you’re so judgmental, fearing they won’t measure up; or ashamed that you’re now beneath them. Either way, it’s a sad, lonely thought, isn’t it?
Signed, A Compassionate Mother

I agree that the “Mom Wars” should be gone, but that a few unenlightened souls choose to try to stir up battles now and then to feel important or responsible for something. Too bad they can’t see what the real important things are that they’re responsible for. Motherhood is the biggest, most important job in the Universe, and there’s no room in it for pitting mothers against mothers. It’s just another case of tearing others down to avoid building yourself up in a healthy way.

anonymous August 5, 2008, 5:59 PM

One hopes “A Real Mother” will read these comments. She’ll be defensive, but over a few days, some of it might sink in.

If she is reading this, she’s probably pretty pissed at this post right now. “How dare you tell me what…?” Backatcha, ARM.

bloggingmom67 August 5, 2008, 7:07 PM

Please. Can’t even believe someone said this. What type of mom are you to criticize other moms — especially those who just went through an earthquake.

Why do moms bash each other? What does it gain? I work; I love my kids; and yes, I’m a real mom.

Gilly August 5, 2008, 7:18 PM

Maybe we could just start supporting each other. Stay at home moms, working moms, we are all women just trying to do the best we can for our kids and for ourselves. And just for the record, there is nothing wrong with thinking of ourselves somewhere in between diapers, bottles, dentists, bedwetting, multiplication tables, upset stomaches, tball…
Yes, sometimes I think about me. I think about shaving both legs in the same week, I think about actually getting a haircut and not trimming it with kitchen scissors over the sink.
I just went through a divorce and I have primary custody of my two kids. My eldest is 13 and severly disabled. She is tube fed, in a diaper and cannot sit up, walk or talk - and just for the record I adore her and so does her 9 year old brother. The point is I am now scrambling to train for a job I can attempt at home because I don’t get any kind of nursing care for her and cannot work outside of the home. What I need, and I think you’ll find most mothers need, is the support of other mothers. SAHM’s, working moms, we just need to help each other instead of tearing each other down.

Allena August 5, 2008, 7:55 PM

I’m a little miffed that your first defnse is the old “but I have to work” defense. Who cares WHY someone works? The WHY makes no difference at all to the children. When my kids whine about me working (I WAH) I tell them I work because I ENJOY my work, I have a TALENT at my work and I WANT to work. By putting forth this attitide, I don’t connect work to “stuff/material goods” nor do I make work this negative, “have to do” in their eyes.

I worry about kids of parents with THIS SAHMS attitude, because, my my, how are they going to view WORK when they grow up?

Katie August 5, 2008, 8:16 PM

I can’t believe that someone would have made such a comment! Working or staying at home has NOTHING to do with how good a mom you are. In fact I give props to those who hold down a full time job and still manage to do all the mom things that stay at home moms have all day to do.
I am currently a stay at home mom, I suppose. I am on a paid maternity leave and I’m currently looking for a more fulfilling career than the one I had before I had my daughter. I love staying at home with her, but I would love to be back in the work force, and I’m excited to be going back next month, even though I will miss my daughter a ton. I would LOVE to be the stay at home mom her whole life, but financially that is NOT an option, and I don’t think it makes me less of a mom to go back to work.

Anonymous August 5, 2008, 11:49 PM

This is horrible, I’ve been a single mother, I am now married, but in order to keep food on the table, have a roof over our heads, and clothes on our backs, I have no choice but to work. I am lucky in terms of my SAHM sister watches my kids and doesn’t charge us very much, but I know there are parents out there that have to pay expensive day care. Quit judging others, my kids are happy normal kids.

Anonymous August 6, 2008, 8:31 AM

We assume the “war” is alive and well bu it really only takes one bad apple to make us all look bad. 95% of the moms I know, both working and SAHM don’t really give a hoot which is better or worse. We all seem to get along and respect each other’s positions. Then one fruit loop like that commentor posts a reply and it makes it seem like all moms are like that. However, I can bet you that the person who made that comment is in the minority. Most moms are not in this so called “war” that the media trys to make exist.

Di August 6, 2008, 8:41 AM

Why does parenting have to be a competition? And I’ll bet that many SAHMs want to be there to help their kids educationally, get them into good colleges and help them be successful in their careers. So, should they abandon that part of their job for their daughters? I mean, if she can’t be a “real mom” if she has a job, why bother with the education and work experience? And who better to be a role model than her own mom?

I’ve done both and am currently staying at home and working part time from home, so I have a foot in both camps. I don’t feel better or worse as a mom based on whether I’m working or not. I feel better or worse based on my behavior, my patience, etc.

Sara August 6, 2008, 9:30 AM

The urge to write nasty things about this woman who doesn’t even have the guts to put her own name is overwhelming! But I regress and will not as I know that would be setting a poor example for my children. I work because I need to but also because I love what I do! If I didn’t need to work I think that I would probably still work because that is who I am. I think it is great that some people are able to stay at home with their kids, but I really don’t think it is fair that someone would pass judgement on others due to a situation they may not have any control over. Kind of reminds me of oh lets say highschoolers who talked nasty about things they knew nothing about ( or things that they were intimidated by)!

renee August 6, 2008, 9:36 AM

i work because i have to.if i didnt my kids wouldnt be wearing the clothes they want,have ever gone on a vacation or just have extra money to go to the movies and get a ice cream after.

Ki August 6, 2008, 9:47 AM

Being a mom is everyone with children’s first and most important job. Some of us just have to work a second job aside from being a mother, either for our sanity or to make ends meet.

I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I’ve been a SAHM and a I’ve also at times held an out of the home job, occasionally 2 to make ends meet. My kids will be the first to tell you, reguardless of if I am at home or in an office they know they are my first priority.

Anonymous August 6, 2008, 10:06 AM

This is crazy. Our children can’t get along because we don’t get along. I would love to be a stay at home mom. But the buy and sell system we live by won’t give in. I think that the “Real Mom’s” comment was scary, because it just means that there are still people out there who has the i’m better than you complex that divides this country everyday. So sad for her that she’s too closed minded to open her heart to how other mothers feel everyday not to mention being away from you children during a natural disaster.

C.M August 6, 2008, 11:02 AM

Being a stay-at-home mother is a luxury that many women don’t have.I stay at home with my daughter but that’s only because I plan on going back to school.My husband is working over-time just to make up the lost wages.I have nothing but respect for both sets of mothers.Neither is easy and both have their own sets of pros and cons.Bad-mouthing just because is ignorant.No set is better than the other so people need to get over it!

Cynthia August 6, 2008, 1:03 PM

I have had the privilege of being a working mom and a stay-at-home mom. For me personally, I am a better, organized, more devoted mom when I am working. I am raising two boys and I feel it is important for them to see that women are just as able, as men, to provide for their families. In these economic times, many women have no choice but to work. I feel lucky I have the choice. I do not think I am being selfish by choosing to work. Because I do, I am ensuring my children that they will be provided for when they go on to college and beyond. I would hate to deny them the opportunity because I didn’t want to work.

bluewolfchick August 6, 2008, 1:08 PM

For now I’m a stay at home mom. That was a choice that was made by my husband and I. Eventually I want to go back to work. I have nothing against mom’s who work and nothing against mom’s who stay at home. For someone who says that the working mom’s are not real mother’s really need to take a look at society again. I hate to see what she says about the mom’s who go to school full time. Either way a mom will do what a mom has to do for her family.

PROUD WORKING MOMMY August 6, 2008, 2:34 PM

I am a proud working mom to a 15mnth old boy. I do not like the fact that I have to work but my husband who by the way is only 29 had open heart surgery and is unable to work. So, he stays home with our son and I work. Plus, some people have personalitys that would make them go crazy if they were in a house all day, me being one of those people. I mean if you want to stay home thats fine but don’t criticize me for making a a living for my family. It is 2008 not 1938.

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