We’ve all been in the trenches of the Mommy Wars for years, and while we don’t agree on much, most of us agree this chart is stupid AF
We all take different paths as parents, but there are some things that we all have in common. For example, we all love our kids with our whole hearts, we all want the best for our families, and we all think that this chart that was posted on Facebook last week is totally ridiculously divisive and wrong.
Lori Alexander, the conservative Christian mom blogger behind the blog, website, and book, “The Transformed Wife”, posted a chart called, “Should Mothers Have Careers?” The chart, which is kind of drawn like a flow chart, but is not in any way a flow chart, lists what it’s like to work and what it’s like to stay home for moms – and it’s just plain wrong.
As the post was shared around the web, it seemed like the only thing parents could agree on was that the chart was crap – because as anyone knows, both working and staying home with the kids is extremely hard work and extremely rewarding work.
Also, the whole thing is completely baffling because Alexander has four children, but also obviously works very hard at her profession, which is writing and selling content. How does she possibly work so hard at her career and still put spaghetti on the table in the evenings and then spend quality time with her children and then clean her house and then pleasure her husband sexually? We don’t see how that could possibly ever work.
But let’s break down this thing line by line for a little more enlightenment and clarity.
Career mom is “Away from home for hours every day,” while SAHM is “Home all day long.”
We like how, first of all, this assumes that no career moms are working from home, and also that stay-at-home moms don’t have things to do outside the house constantly. Secondly, we also love that it doesn’t at all speak to the fact that being “home all day long” with kids can be great, but it can also be extremely lonely and isolating at times.
Career moms’ “Children [are] w/ others,” while SAHM’s “Children [are] w/her.”
Again, this little compare and contrast exercise goes off the rails when you think about moms who work from home or about stay-at-home moms who have kids in school or who get childcare help even if they don’t have traditional jobs. Not to mention that it totally ignores the developmental and social needs of kids, who can greatly benefit from being “w/ others.”
Career mom “Comes home exhausted,” while SAHM “Rests while her children nap.”
Okay, yes, career moms often come home exhausted from a long day of kicking butt. But do you know who’s also often totally exhausted? Stay-at-home moms. Because they’re also working as hard as they can. Yes, working moms and SAHMs can get into arguments from time to time, but we’re totally united on the front that taking care of kids drains you like almost nothing else on earth.
Career mom prepares “Dinner [that] is usually fast food or microwaved,” while SAHM prepares “Dinner [that] is from scratch, nutritious and delicious.”
The women in the comments section on the chart had a lot to say about the idea that career moms are hitting the McDonalds drive-thru every evening while SAHMs are making four-course meals with the recommended number of vegetables included in the appropriate portion sizes. Career moms shared some of their “secrets,” like weekend meal prep, crock pots, Instant Pots, and 20-minute dinner ideas. On the other side of the fence, stay-at-home moms were more than ready to admit that they didn’t always hit the kitchen to make gourmet health food — maybe because taking care of kids is a ton of work, too.
Career mom “Reads a book to children before bed,” while SAHM “Reads to children, plays games, disciplines, teaches about Jesus all day long.”
Ah, yes, the myth that stay-at-home moms are constantly interacting with their children. Even though Alexander has already said that they’re spending big chunks of their day making elaborate meals and “resting.” Also the myth that women want to spend huge chunks of their time playing pretend and spending one-on-one time with their kids. ALSO the myth that working moms don’t spend tons of quality time with their kids when they’re home. And — if we even have to say it, while some families believe in Jesus, others don’t. And both things are okay.
For career mom, “Weekends = cleaning house + shopping,” while for SAHM, “Weekends at beach/park.”
Ahahahaha. Oh, yes. Certainly all stay-at-home moms spend carefree weekends at the beach/park, resting and relaxing and not constantly running after children, changing diapers, making sure kids don’t drown, making snacks, and breaking up fights. Any parent knows that weekend trips with kids are no vacation — and also that working moms take these trips too. Not to mention that stay-at-home moms probably have a tough time cleaning or shopping with their kids around, too.
ALSO MEN CAN SHOP AND CLEAN AND COOK TOO. Unless you live in a super conservative Christian household when they are treated kings or something.
Career moms are “Too tired for intimacy w/ husband,” while SAHMs are “Intimate w/husbands frequently.”
We just. Don’t. Even. Know. Where to start. Whether you work or stay at home has ZERO to do with how tired you are or with how much action you’re getting in the bedroom. And also: some moms are single! Or they have wives. Or non-binary partners. Wake up! Stop making charts. Please stop making charts.
Or maybe this woman should keep on making charts. Because this is about as united as all women have been since we all agreed that Sex and the City 2 wasn’t a great movie. And it feels pretty good.