Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Coda - Saying No to the Mama Drama

There's nothing quite so surreal as watching other people debate the motivations of something you've done, as you're watching the conversation unfold. So it was yesterday after my guest post for the fabulous AP, a piece some apparently took as an attack on working parents, an 180 degree turn from the lighthearted direction I'd intended (especially while posting on another dear blog friend's turf).

On the one, manicured hand, responding to criticism of what you've written is a fruitless task; we all bring our individual baggage to posts (I imagine mine as monogrammed Goyard, naturally) and interpret them accordingly. As bloggers, it's our task to release the best work we can, sit back and see where the interpretive winds blow them, so to speak. It's no more my place to tell someone how to interpret what I've put out there than it is another's to put words in my mouth. Plus, this former lawyer has enough of the "lawyer" still in me that I enjoy a healthy debate.

On the flip side, the subject of the Mama Drama - whether I was lobbing veiled barbs at working parents or generally stoking the flames of that wearying, why-isn't-this-dead-yet fire - is important enough a subject that I feel compelled to address it here, just this once. Regular readers know my stance on this, but for any newbies - hello there, aren't you looking Pretty today? - I figured I'd restate my take.

Rather than swoop in yesterday with any one-off Twitter responses, a platform prone to driving Mama Drama if ever there was one, I decided to sleep on whether to respond - by "sleep on it" I of course mean diddle around on the usually non-controversial Pinterest. And lo, the angels did sing and deliver me a sign:




THIS. Darlings, if ever I had a message with that post or any of my usual Smug Mummy drivel here, it's this - we are all doing the best we can with our Life Choices, whether we have kids and work outside of the home or not, whether we're Cheerfully Child-Free or not. I would no sooner judge your choice of if & how to raise children than I would wear Crocs, a pledge my long-time readers can tell you is a serious one. I will judge those abominations to style right off your feet, but I will not judge if & how you choose to parent.

I will also not make sweeping proclamations about how any one job, be it a parenting one or otherwise, is harder than another. We here in the blogosphere get but a glimpse of one another's lives, even as we strive for transparency; just as you cannot know my entire life situation, I can't know yours either. As far as I can tell, it's all Pretty damned difficult at times, and we all strive to do our best given our individual challenges, be those with parenting or other grown-up stuff. I just don't see the value in crowning a "winner" of any particular life choice here, if such a thing even existed.

I do not write this to apologize (though I did just that to AP for accidentally kicking up the drama), nor to curry support; I'm not running for Prom Queen of these here interwebs, though of course I'd look particularly fetching in a Duchess Kate-style tiara. Rather, if you'll forgive me this kum-bay-yah moment, I just want to reiterate my support of whatever choice you all decide to make for your respective families. I'm grateful to live in a time when many of us are fortunate enough to be able to make that choice, and hopeful for a time when those choices are available to all.

I stand for excellence in accessories, friends, and family, not always in that order (but usually). I'm a stay-at-home parent because it was & is the right decision for my family, not necessarily for you or anyone else. I do not stand for telling you what to do with your life choices, the choice of whether you decide to work outside of the home as a parent or not very much included. That's it, full stop - you can't make me say otherwise, nanny nanny boo boo. I am Switzerland. I mean it! Get off my lawn!

Back to the business of this champagne bubble of a blog - trying to be prettier, wittier, and more blonde than nature intended (emergency highlights appointment today, hurrah!) - as soon as I order a few thousand of that onesie pictured. Forever and ever, amen.

*steps off soapbox*

17 comments:

Kristin said...

For what it's worth, when I initially read your post on AP's blog, never once did I see it as an attack! Instead I read it as witty, clever and tongue in cheek. And that's what drew me to your blog. I thought - wow, this lady is seriously funny! I need to check her out PRONTO. Plus, I, too, am obsessed with being more blonde than nature intended. ;)

undomestic chica said...

That's so weird. I didn't see it as an attack at all. But, I'm not very easily offended. As I read it, I kept trying to think of responses to things people say to me as a mom of twins. They're just as annoying and inappropriate as what SAHMs get.

Anonymous said...

Oh Pretty, you unknowingly stepped your Blahnik right in it, didn't you? Ouch. When you shared that photo the other day on FB, I came *this* close to sharing it on my FB page but I had a moment of pause, because I thought it might stir up mama drama on my own page.

Fwiw, I get absolutely ragey when I hear #5. It makes me see red. I know your intention was not to stir up that fruitless debate. So sorry ppl took it and ran in another direction with it.
Tippy xo

Cheryl E. said...

Girl, I thought your post was hilarious. And im a working mom. I like your stance. Do you and what works for you.

Europafox said...

OMG your post was funny. You shouldn't have to 'explain' it - it was obvious it was humour? It is nice to read witty, funny posts (that are at the same time making a point).But you should def nominate yourself as Blogging Prom Queen. I'd vote for you.

AEOT said...

As you know, I work FT and I was SO not offended by your words. A) I would never be offended by you b/c j'adore you in general and B) it's hard either way to be a mom- in home or out of home. SO worth it, but hard!!!!

Rhiannon said...

Wow. I just read the comments on that post and am not sure why it put a bee in the bonnets of those working moms.

Either way, I'm buying that onesie for H to wear while my MIL is over.

Natalie said...

Yesterday was definitely "over-reacting" day in the blog world!

Perfectly Imperfect said...

word. you do yours, i'll do mine. that needs to be on a shirt. and then handed out to people everywhere. i'll never get it..

Sarah @ Bend it Like Becker said...

Preach It!

Yea, I thought your post was lol-worthy (my favorite part being the "covered in vegetables" line). I think some people just have strong feelings and will find any remotely related "in" to voice them. Probably just some frustrated mamas fighting their own battles that you caught on a bad day.

God why am I so understanding and un-snarky?! Must be Lent. Love to all mamas of the world!

Rachel said...

Good Lord! People have to quit taking themselves so seriously! I loved the post and definitely lol'ed :)!

Whitney said...

Rock on Melissa! You had me laughing :)

Emily said...

I laughed. I'm not exactly sure why that took a turn in the comments. Maybe someone was just having a bad day?

Anywho, let's all window shop for new handbags and make up.

Jessica Hudson said...

Bravo to you for keeping it classy with your response after sleeping on it. Loved your guest post. Maybe I'll keep working 2 days a week just so I don't have to worry about those BS remarks people make about SAHMs.

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

Good gracious, way for some people to ruin a fun post :( I hate it when people take their own insecurities to attack others. I love to follow blogs of ladies that have all kinds of pretties that I lust over...but even in my jealousy I'm not going around asking them how they handle their money and if they can afford 8 David Yurman bracelets & 5 pair of Louboutins. Same deal, you do it your way and I'll do it mine.

Suddenly I feel the need to whip out the Amex. Annoyance shopping is my specialty.

Wiz said...

I am usually behind in commenting so I hadn't even read this before I commented on your SAHM post! Like I said, I have done both and saw NOTHING offensive in your post! Good grief people!

This is why I am not on Twitter....

Blue-Eyed Bride said...

I sure do love you. Loved the original post and love this one. A sense of humor goes a long way.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...