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Ding, Ding, Round Three!

Once again stay at home and working moms are being pitted against each other in another round of Mommy Wars.

Thanks to the muck slinging that accompanies political campaigns, that age old argument has been aired out for debate once again; working moms versus stay at home moms.

Last week Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen commented that a potential presidential candidate’s wife “hasn’t worked a day in her life” because she chose to stay home and raise her five boys.

So once again the “Mommy Wars” have been catapulted back into the headlines.

In one corner we have the women that decide that they will put their careers aside and stay home with their children. Most return back to the workplace when their kids are in school, sometimes back to the careers they had before.

In the other corner we have the women that decide to juggle motherhood with working. Once maternity leave is over, they put the baby in daycare and go back to their job.

Before we put on our boxing gloves and take sides, let’s take a moment to consider why this is even dubbed the “Mommy Wars.”

I can empathize with both sides of the debate because I have done both. When my oldest was born I gave up teaching and stayed home. I eventually returned to work when our youngest was four years old. Neither “job” is easy–when I stayed home, there were days I dreamed of dropping them off at daycare and letting someone else deal with the teething, potty training and arguments. Now that I work, there are days I dream of having a whole day to clean, grocery shop and do laundry instead of running around like a chicken with its head cut off all weekend.

I’m not complaining, I love being a parent and I knew what I was letting myself in for, however, staying at home still felt like a job to me, I just didn’t get paid, have a lunch break or have vacation or sick days. When I went back to work, I did what millions of other moms do, I learned how to juggle.

What puzzles me is why this is even a debate? The media perpetuate it by sensationalizing the latest research telling us we should stay home with our children, yet in the next breath telling us that children who don’t attend daycare have poor social skills. It’s enough to make your head spin.

Why can’t we just be respectful of each other’s choices? What works for my family may not work for yours, but that does not make it wrong. Do these arguments stem from guilt? No matter what you decide to do there will be some guilt, it comes with the territory of being a parent.

Michele Antisdel April 17, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Hi Doreen, I agree that we need to respect each other's choices. Some people just can't live on one paycheck so both parents have to work, and I'm talking about people who do not live outside their means. Especially in CT, this is a very expensive State to live in no matter how much you try to cut corners. On the other hand, the women who stay home usually have husbands who make enough of a salary to carry them, but that's just not possible for everyone although many people will say "well, if they just live inside their means, or cut corners, or do without, etc etc etc" than the wife can stay home. It's just not always that easy. For me, I worked full time up until I had my children, then worked part-time at the same job (again, not always possible for everyone). I could not stay at home full-time because even though my husband made a good salary, the health benefits came from my job. If I had quite work, we would either have no insurance or unaffordable insurance. So please people, before you bash the other for their choices, remember that everyone's situation is different.
thomas April 17, 2012 at 07:20 PM
i am a baby boomer[50 65 crowd] we will be challenged, supporting our parents, kids and grandkids, they are all in this sorry odd condition. God bless this luckiest generation. disco disco duck.
Lise Cavallaro April 17, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I think it's a personal choice that is made according to your circumstances and shouldn't be judged. Personally, I have always worked full time. However, I have been lucky enough to have a job where family was important, so I was able to have generous maternity leaves, either work from home, take time off for school functions, vacations, etc. I wish all jobs could provide benefits like I had for all employees.

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