Keep your mommy wars off of Facebook!

Ahhh, Facebook. I love you, I do. And yet, I hate you, or… more like some of the other people who use you. Specifically, the other people who use you as a way to spout their ignorance and idiocy behind  the safety of a computer and far from my reach, making it impossible to throat punch them. You make it entirely too easy for people to make complete asses of themselves. I’m not even going to take this down the road of mixing politics and online friendships, or with real life friendships taken online, or talk about the absurdity of all those “Copy and paste this into your status if you believe in XYZ. 93% of people won’t. Will you?” status updates.

Many times you are a breeding ground for passive aggressive bull shit, and today I witnessed how you are an unfortunate medium for “mommy wars”.

Taken from a friend’s page. She’s a few months out from having to return to work after having her first baby.

Friend’s status update-

was asked to officially email when I am coming back to work….and now I am all weepy.

Here’s a few (relevant) excerpts from the discussion that followed:

T- Oh just quit.

Friend- When you are the breadwinner (I hate that term) you can’t stay home. Plus I love working…just need to make sure what I am doing is worth it.

T- Maybe (husband) can stay home!

Friend- ha! No…he just got a big promotion

M-Going back to work isnt that hard…just be thankful you have a job to go back to…

T- Oh M…that’s the saddest. One of the biggest parts of parenting is being able to empathize with your children and put yourself in their position. It’s not about us. They don’t care about money, they care about feeling safe and loved. There’s always a way.

Okay, “T”, it’s people, stay at home moms like you that give the rest of us a bad rap. Statements like those make others think we are a bunch of judgey bitches, sitting at home on our pretty little pedestals, looking down on all the moms who choose (or don’t, but do it out of necessity) to work. I believe many a kid with 2 working parents grew up to feel safe and loved. Weak.

So, on behalf of myself and every other SAHM who has an ounce of respect for the collective whole of motherhood and womanhood, kindly SHUT THE FUCK UP. You’re making me look bad.

Gah. Facebook makes me stabby sometimes.

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  1. i have a love-hate relationship with facebook. i hate those new stupid chain FB statuses that seem to be taking over. oh and i hate people who post idiotic comments on FB. i’m not going to get in an argument on FB so i keep my mouth shut but *sigh*

  2. Well said!!! Some women go back to work because they have to, some go back because they aren’t cut out to be at home. I have a great friend who works full time. She loves her children, but is not cut out to stay home with them. Even when they get sick her husband takes the day off to be home with them because she just can’t stand being home with the kids all day long. She’s a great mom, and she’s one of those moms that needs to work outside the home for her own sanity.

  3. Arrghhhh! That would make me all stabby too. Sometimes I wish I could reach through my screen and shake the idiotness (is that a word?) out of them.

  4. There are many many times when I wish I could just quit FB! It was the catalyst to a huge family argument (in Oct) that we have yet to fully recover from.

    And then there are the people I’m friends with, but I never quite understand why I haven’t removed them, because FB is just their platform for making broad political/lifestyle/parenting choice statements. Last night a girl I went to HS with and haven’t really talked to since then was going on about how MMR vaccine = autism and vaccinations in general = stupid. She doesn’t even have children. Gah! Its one thing to be saying that if you have kids and had to make those choices for yourself, its another to tell people what they should choose having never done it yourself.

  5. Oh man, thank you Jill.. I’m a working mom and nothing pisses me off more than when a SAHM gets on her high horse about how I’m not doing what’s “right” for my child, and then I have to get all snippy back and discuss financial security of my family with her. We all do the best we can in our own ways, judging each other does no good!!

  6. Thank you! I think we might be the same person. The fact that it is beyond some people to recognize there are circumstances other than their own and choices other than there own that can still be perfectly valid ways to raise children kills me.

    It is also beyond me that some people can’t recognize when they are being both a douche and a crappy friend all at the same time, and in PUBLIC. FB is PUBLIC, kids!

  7. YEP. I firmly believe (since I happen to be one) that a parent can be a full-time parent and a full-time employee. In those cases it’s about making the most of the time you do have while 8 hours a day is spent making sure the kid has a roof over his/her head. The added guilt from facebook friends, coworkers whose wives stay home, or random folks on the internet is not needed and just not nice. Well said.

  8. Hahahaha. Stabby. Yeah, I’m not going to lie. Facebook as a whole was better before moms (and other people below age 18 and above age 22) were on it. No offense to you, of course, as I love having you and other moms I know on Facebook, but back when it was just a bunch of college kids, we were happy and harmonious, there was no drama, no apps, no “93% won’t post this,” no celebrity profile picture week, and no “post a picture of you being young” week. Ahh, I miss the days when Facebook was just a medium for finding people to have sex with at a party.

    (See also: “We used to walk uphill both ways in the snow when I was your age” and “Where’s my cane? Who took my shawl?”)

  9. Ha!!!!! Beautiful. “There’s always a way” cracks my shit up.

    There’s not always a way. I’m sorry. There’s not ALWAYS a way and if you sincerely believe that to be true then you’re delusional, whoever you are.

    Also, just because there IS a way doesn’t necessarily make staying home the right decision for a family.

    Most of my best mom friends are SAHMs actually and often I find them to be less judgmental than my working mom friends. I get huge amounts of support from my SAHM friends and not one of them has ever made me feel guilty for working (probably wouldn’t be friends with someone like that in the first place, but whatever).

    Don’t worry Jill, you look great. “T” can go blow it out her ass, though.

  10. I agree with Christine, as a working mom this would piss me off. I am in a mom’s group with many SAHMs and a couple of working moms and I’m also friends with them on Facebook. Thankfully they are all very understanding and nonjudgemental about me working. But, I agree that Facebook is a place that can easily get overly dramatic since people seem to think they can say whatever they think because it’s online. Some people really should think before they comment on other people’s posts. By negatively commenting, what good is it doing for you and for your friend? Hopefully we can end the mama drama and be nice to each other regardless of our situation.

  11. this is why I love you. from a mom who just went back to work on monday (with many a weepy moment before and since)- thank you. we all need to support each other and you are a prime example of this.

  12. As someone who worked full-time outside the home, and now works at home part-time, I’ve got a bit of a taste of both sides. You know what I’ve found? Being a mom is freaking hard–no matter if you stay at home, work, whatever. There is no one “right” way. Period.

    And, yeah, don’t even get me STARTED on the rant-y, political status updates.

  13. Whoa! So much obnoxiousness on one post! I made the mistake of posting something about my non-sleeping baby and got so many recommendations for sleep training methods that were all a little bit sleep wars-y. Ugh. Stoopid facebook.

  14. Amen, Mandy. But whether fb had opened up to let everyone in or not…us college kids would have grandfathered in as Alumni … along with our kids and drama! I swear…I have had 10 times more drama in my life in the 11 months since I became a mom, than I ever did in the 23 years prior!
    I think that, in certain circumstances, social forums are important for exploring different viewpoints and some small amount of conflict is inevitable because of this. However, because of the hormones/crazy evolutionary need to defend our mothering/whatever the deal with mom-drama is…any public comments dealing with parenting should be light and non-confrontational! If for some reason you feel like you need to inquire further into a matter of parenting…it should be done in private and probably only if you are fairly close to the person, and/or it is a matter close to life and death. lol.

    I also second the comment about a family feud brought about because of fb! Crazyness!

    • Haha you’re right – the moms were coming whether we liked it or not!! I really wasn’t saying moms on FB are bad. A huge percentage of my facebook friends are moms and I love them. I want to be a mom someday too.

      Moms are just the most vicious online group I’ve seen out there, not only in the facebook world, but also the twitter and especially the blog world. Ironic, since most all of them are trying to raise their kids to “be nice and get along with others.”

  15. AMEN TO THAT!!! I had to get off facebook because everything you mentioned above! I just knew I was taking things personally and starting to dislike my friends by the stupid things that were said, haha!

    the stay at home mom debate on facebook is one I have seen to many times and its drives me bonkers when people think the only right thing to do is take care of your kids, do they not realize that sometimes working is the best thing for the kids! arg mind your own business on that stuff and dont go spouting off why I am a bad christian if I decide to work (i am stay at home mom but stand up for the work moms cause i love them too!)

  16. Amen! My $0.02 is that for some of us, we feel bad enough as it is, and there “isn’t a way” (unless being homeless is a way) so please don’t make us feel even more guilty that we’re working moms. 99% of the time I can’t deal with Facebook as it is.

  17. T is a B.

    i SAH, but was raised by a single, working mother, so i get pretty defensive when people talk shit on working moms. i turned out more than fine and i respect the hell out of my mom. saying “there is always a way” is complete asshattery. it just isn’t true.

    i also go about my daily life with the understanding that this SAH gig isn’t failproof. i could be a working mother at any time, so how could i ever judge? and eff people who go around making SAHM’s look like entitled twats.

    ooh. angry.

  18. Isn’t that just awful? I hate to see that kind of thing. I believe people need to do what is right for them. For me it is staying home. My SILL is an er Dr – awarded the best in our state more than once – she rocks at it. I honestly feel like her kids would be missing out on some of her if she just quit working. Not that I would not support that decision too – I guess I just mean yeah I wish all the “well, if you really wanted to do what’s best you would do it MY way_ people would SHUT UP!!!

  19. I guess what makes this even worse from my perspective is that ‘M’ lost her job right before she went on mat leave. She has to work, there is no other option and to read the comment written back to her hit her hard.

    As for me, I would be a horrible SAHM. I also know that to provide B with the life we want to give him I have to go back to work. I am okay with that…BUT that doesn’t mean I can’t get weepy when I am asked when I am coming back.

  20. You know I love you, but I think you’re fanning the flaming as opposed to actually helping the situation.

    I’m not sure this exchange rises to the level of “war.”

    Also, just because one person made a condescending comment, doesn’t mean everyone is going to lump all sahms together. Give “everyone” some credit.

    Originally, I thought you were going to say something about M’s comment about how Friend should be grateful to have a job and it’s not that hard to go back to work. Neither sounds very good at putting themselves in other shoes.

    I realize controversy increases traffic to your blog, but this whole thing is rather mild. Stabby? Really? Wouldn’t a post on that discussion asking M & T to give Friend the benefit of the doubt and how about we all support each other’s decisions instead of questioning? I mean, isn’t that what mothers-in-law are for? 😉

    • Lisa, respectfully, I will say I think you’re reading too much into this. I was annoyed, I blogged, I hit “publish”. I certainly didn’t do it with the motive of “increasing traffic” or fanning any flames. It’s just a small example of a major annoyance of mine.

      Sure, I could have approached the subject in a more constructive manner, I suppose, but I didn’t have the time or really, the desire, to immerse myself into a post like that.

      And the “war” thing, is in reference to common lingo re: all the ridiculous mom debates, not necessarily saying her specific comment was starting a war. Thankfully, the thread seemed to stay pretty calm.

  21. Very good point. I was raised, from ages 3-9, with only ONE parent, and she worked full time AND got a master’s degree during that time. I never felt neglected or unloved or anything of the sort. It’s all about how you make your kids feel when you are with them.

  22. Awesome! I don’t GET these SAHMs who think you don’t love your babies if you work, or WORSE who say things like “at least you have a job to go back to”.

    That’s true, sure. You do have a job, but I don’t care how career oriented you are, or if your husband is the stay at home one or WHAT, going back to work is hard. It’s a change in routine, it’s more things to think about and it’s HARD.

    I don’t even have a baby in my arms yet, and work overwhelms me. My housework overwhelms me. My yard? That too overwhelms me. I do not have enough hours in the day now. And the thought of overwhelming work, plus the balance of home chores PLUS ensuring your kid is happy and healthy freaks me out. It’s not easy, whether you SAH or work. And people should shut it.

    And should definitely keep it off FB!

  23. BrieLikeTheCheese on

    So, I have to laugh at your comment about the copy and paste statuses…

    My husband, a FaceBook user, who has low tolerance for anything of the “do this” nature created his own status:

    If you’re a mindless drone that can’t think of anything clever, funny or non-dramatic to put on your facebook status and have a wife/mother/daughter/friend/cousin/vague aquaintance and think that it makes a difference to post something on your FB status that nobody will read, then post this… I heart you

    lol…. still laughing.

  24. I agree with you 100% Let’s not belittle both sides of the fence, especially motherhood when mothers are harder on themselves than anyone else could be anyways! I’m a working mother – there’s nothing more that I would like more to be a SAHM, but unfortunately there is NOT a way to make it work without having to live out of a cardboard box and eat rice for every meal.
    I hate hate hate when other mothers belittle others, ESPECIALLY via facebook – we’re all suppose to help eachother!

  25. I am the “M” in this conversation and my comment was understood by “Friend” as nothing judgemental but rather as i understand and at least she is able to choose when she can return to work…I was laid off from my employer when i was 7mths preg…I now dont have the choice of taking off all the time i am entitled to because i need to find a job. When i read “t”‘s comment i never responded because i was not sure how i was to take that comment.

    I have 2 daugthers and i do have to work in order to provide for them but even if i didnt, i choose to work because i want them to see that women can be a strong member of the work force and can do what ever they want in life. I want them to see you can stay home or have a career. It is their choice and you should judge that choice.

    When you become a parent i agree women need to support each other instead of judging them on the decisions they make ie, work or stay home, breastfeed or bottlefeed.

  26. No matter WHAT your opinions are about parenting – isn’t it just good manners to keep them to yourself, or confine them to an appropriate medium? Calling out a “friend” for her choices, insinuating that she’s a bad parent because she chooses differently from you, is just utterly tasteless and insulting. Did T think she could shame her friend into behaving the way T thinks she should? If anything, her words would have the opposite effect.

    Honestly, I’ve been a SAHM and a WOHM, and it’s not as different as people would like to think. I found being a WOHM more challenging because I had to cut a lot of corners at my very demanding job in order to continue to be the kind of mom I want to be (that I was pumping for a 17-month old drew many raised eyebrows), but I made it work. Now that I’m home again, my child is not better off – I’m just less stressed out. And that’s my personal choice, based on my personal temperament. This “one size fits all” approach baffles me.

    And I couldn’t agree more that women like T give SAHMS a bad name. All of us moms are doing the best we can, and those that aren’t certainly aren’t listening to rants.

  27. As a work-outside-the-home mom (out of necessity, not choice) of a 14-month-old, nothing burns me up like people who claim “you could stay home if you really want to. Just cut corners and make it work”. No, I can’t stay home because we can’t make it work. I would love to stay home with my baby. However, I’m an attorney and make significantly more money than my husband. We have a modest home and cars, we do not live extravagently (haven’t as much as been out to eat with my hubby since April ’09). However, together we have over $160K in student loans and live paycheck to paycheck. Before I returned to work from maternity leave, we poured over our budget in hopes that there was something – anything – we could do in terms of changing our lifestyle that would allow me to stay home. There simply is not. I would gladly sell our house and cars, live in a crappy apartment, eat crackers for dinner and take the bus if it meant I could stay home with my baby. It still wouldn’t be enough. Our monthly student loan payment is equivalent to a mortgage payment. Is this my own doing? Absolutely. I wish my 35-year-old mommy self could go back in time and tell my 22-year-old single self to skip law school and be debt free. To choose a more family-friendly profession. How could I have known at the time that my heart would break every. single. morning. when I leave my baby and go to work? And the guilt…it is oppressive. I had no idea how hard it would be to be a WOHM. I feel like I’m a crap employee because I no longer put in tons of hours and I feel like a crap mom because I don’t see my baby all day. So…I wish it were as easy as just “tightening the purse strings”. I would stay home in a heartbeat.

  28. I just got into a facebook war over whether or not to cut your own toddlers hair. A mom posted that she gave an unfortunate hair cut to her 1 year old, and then war ensued between those who believe only professionals should be allowed to cut, and those (like me) who don’t think its worth the money or headache. Isnt facebook great!

  29. Wow.. having a place to lay your head at night and some food in your belly is PRETTY FUCKING IMPORTANT TOO. What a bitch.

    What is really truley the saddest is that she feels it is ok to post this on her ‘friends’ FB and that her children will have to grow up with a horribly passive aggresive C as a mom.

  30. I’m an avid FB user and reader of this blog. However, this strikes me as quite humorous. First of all, both the blog and FB are means for people to discuss and relay their feelings and opinions. How is expressing them on one site any different than the other? Why not just avoid the drama on both sites instead of furthering the frustration? I often post emotional or political or whatever FB statuses, but I only have close friends and family as “friends”. It’s one of my outlets to let me voice my opinion whether people agree or not. It is also their right to voice their opinion back (as long as you allow comments on statuses or on your wall). There is nothing wrong with a little debate, it’s how people go about it on either type of site that is disgusting.

  31. I couldn’t agree more about FB and your SAHM response. While I understand that FB is public, some things are just not meant to be shared in that public setting, especially snide comments like that.

    And thank you for being one of the SAHMs that realizes everyone has a different circumstance and has to do what is best for their child and family. I’ve never understood the statement “There’s always a way.” 🙂

  32. Man, I have ALL the respect in the world for working mom’s. I DON”T know how the do it. I CHOSE to stay at home when my son was born. My outlook was, I waited until I was 36 years old to have children, I am staying home to raise them. My own opinion. I was lucky enough to be financially able to do so. But it is a struggle sometimes. I miss working. I worked in the Laboratory at our local Hospital for 20 years. It’s hard to give that up. You feel a sense of self worth lost when you give up something you love after awhile. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade one moment of any day being with my kids, but sometimes you need a little “break”. I think it’s everyone’s God given opinion if they want to work or not when they have a child. It all goes to how well you treat your child when you are with them. That’s what counts! You could be home all day long and not pay any attention at all to your kid! So “T”, your opinion IS your own, but don’t ridicule other’s because of your beliefs. Everyone’s lifestyles are different. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go around!

  33. I had somebody on my blog who CONSTANTLY told me that I should be staying home and if I really wanted to I’d “find a way.” I was SOO freaking annoyed because I HATED going to work, but at the time there was ABSOLUTELY no way to stay home. Awhile later, my MIL helped us pay of tens of thousands in debt, and we cashed out my 401k so I could stay home, but that simply would not have ever been possible if my MIL hadn’t stepped in to help. I do NOT believe there is always “a way.” We got lucky. Plain and simple. It definitely makes me hate those SAHMs who have it so easy that they think all other women can be in their situation. Throat punch, indeed.

  34. this is a good example of one of the truly sad aspects of internet socializing – i seriously can’t stand the hatred/passive aggression/AGGRESSION aggression that people become so comfortable with when interacting online… i constantly see mama writers with the more popular blogs being ripped apart for innocently mentioning a parenting preference/experience. i hate seeing that shit! makes me kind of happy that the only people who read my blog are friends!

    i’ve personally taken a total stand against any kind of open criticizing/personal bashing/back-handed insulting whatsoever, no matter what my opinion might be on what i read from friends and bloggers. even during times a blogger/friend has been asking for advice or opinions and i can see that there’s a lot of arguing taking place in the comments, i tend to write the author personally so as not to participate in the chaotic negativity that tends to accumulate. call me crazy, i just think we mamas should support each other and be kind, despite differences in opinion/parenting methods… what a concept! 😀

    great post! cheers!

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