The Mommy Wars may never end. Both working mothers and stay-at-home mothers feel the incessant, constant need to justify their positions, but whenever a study comes out saying working mothers are happier than their stay-at-home counterparts (which, by the way, is so true in my case), the comments on such articles are just vicious. Isn't part of being a mom having some compassion? One wouldn't know it from the comments sections on the Internet.
Isn't anyone besides me sick of this yet?
A recent study showing that working moms (and particularly part-time working moms) are happier than stay-at-home moms brought out the worst in Internet commenters, mostly the stay-at-home ones.
In an article in Time Magazine about the study, someone comments:
Does the study go into what it's like for a child to be dropped off at daycare @ 6:30/7:00 in the morning and picked up after 5:00? How healthy is it for a child to be taken care of someone that gets paid hardly above minimum wage and a majority of the time has no vested interest in the child/children they are caring for?
I am not sure who thinks this is appropriate or kind to write. And it also makes me sad that someone is so desperate to justify their own choices (and so clearly miserable) that they're lashing out in the comments. While she is busy bashing working moms, who do you think is taking care of her kids?
Also, it's huge leap to always assume daycare. No working mother I know has the exact same childcare arrangement. There are nannies, moms who work at home with mother's helpers, sports camps, Hebrew school after-school care, grandparents, home day-cares, and center-based day-cares. Many children thrive in these programs. They learn not only that they're independent people capable of spending time away from mom and dad, but also that they can trust other people besides just mom and dad.
Clearly, judging from the comments, stay-at-home moms really are feeling unhappy and in need of some validation for their choices. I was a stay-at-home mom for three years, so I know how isolating it can be and how hard it is. It's a good choice and one I believed in when I made it. But once my youngest was about 2, I stopped enjoying it, so I went back to work.
Having been on both sides of this study, I know it was true for me. I am much, much happier as a part-time working mother who works out of my home. Both of my kids are in school, and when they come home, they're usually with a sitter. I see them, but on the days I work, I am working in my home office. And yes, I am much, much happier.
Here is another anonymous comment in our own comments section:
I'd rather my kids be better off than put myself and my career first. Not every one gets a choice, but those who choose to work over staying at home are choosing themselves over their kids. If you don't want to raise your own kids, then don't have them!
Only someone who was horribly unhappy would make such an angry comment. They are kind of proving the point of the article, no?
The fact is, everyone's lives are different. There is no one right, uniform choice all women should make. We all do what is right, both for our families and for ourselves. Both choices are valid and good and both working moms and stay-at-home moms work their tails off.
So why the hate? Can't we drop this already?