...has been brough to focus again by this post. And I agree with all of Ro's observations - the smugness, the superiority, the feigned pity at the plight of the poor hapless kids who have the misfortune of being born to these power-crazy, money-crazy women. But, having been quite equally present on both sides of the fence, I have seen the other side of it too....the working women who give subtle pitying looks, the condescension, the raised eyebrows and the inevitable question 'Oh, but what do you do at home all day?'.
And it's not only the women. It's the society on the whole. The husbands, the other men in the family, men who think women who work in the world outside know what they are talking about and the ones at home have it easy....The truth is, the world may love pulling down the 'working moms' (I hate all tags but this one definitely takes the cake!) but secretly many, many people envy them and are threatened by them and, most importantly, respect them. For the SAHM on the other hand, to be considered as a person with half a brain is entirely another challenge in itself. I work from home full-time and am seen around the house feeding the kids, playing with them and so on. And then someone comes along and says, 'hey cute kids...so you are a SAHM?'. And I say, 'well, I work from home and I work with #%$%^'. And I visibly see the new light entering their eyes. I have seen it happen so many times, when, in fact, it should'nt matter at all, should it?
I wonder why women on both sides of the fence have it so tough. If this feels wrong and that feels wrong as well, what is right? I think there are no right answers and each one just follows his or her own compulsions, taking into consideration family, money and other factors. But I also wonder if all the judging and bitterness comes from people who are not entirely secure with the choices they have made themselves and just dont have the guts to admit it or do anything about it. The ones who are happy and confident about their place in the shade will surely understand other people's needs and compulsions and, if not supportive, will at least be peacably accepting about it.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to this. Is there a single working woman who, deep down, has not ONCE felt, 'I wish I could have an easier life!' when she has to drag herself to work leaving behind a sick child, or miss a recital or play in school or has to steel herself against those soft eyes and small hands tugging at her hand and heart saying, 'mamma, dont go!'? Is there ONE exhausted SAHM who has never wistfully looked at her friends and colleagues from an earlier life whose lives suddenly look super glamorous now and thought for one fleeting second, 'what if?'? With so many unspoken desires and pressing needs, should'nt we be sympathetic with each other and go the extra mile to understand and support? Will it happen? What do you think?