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Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Last month when I hit the Borders $1 table one of the books I picked up was Mommywood by Tori Spelling. I didn't purchase it because I like Tori Spelling (I don't know Tori Spelling and don't recall ever watching a television show that she is in) but rather, thought it would be interesting to read a mom's point of view from Hollywood.

The first thing I got from the book is that it was mainly written for her mother. To write about how bad Tori's mother was and how she isn't going to repeat those mistakes. To point her finger at her mother (and I take it from what was written in this book that Tori also wrote all about her relationship with her mother in her first book - so she stuck it to her mom twice!). I'm not so out of touch with Hollywood to know that her relationship with her mother was bad while growing up but I found it a bit far to bring such a personal topic up throughout the whole book, especially when she had already hashed it out in her first book (apparently. I never did read her first book.).

It was interesting to read about a totally different lifestyle than my own but it also sickened me to see how far from the real world those in Hollywood truly are. Tori was able to take several weeks off from work with her first baby but after her second she said that she had to go back to work a week after giving birth because she had to support her family and couldn't afford to stay home. She later went on to say she would love to be a stay-at-home mom and maybe someday when they had enough to send their children to college. Uhm, seriously?! If Tori Spelling can't afford to stay home than no one can afford to stay home!

This is the thing that gets me. A mother either works 1. because she likes to work or likes the things that work affords or 2. Because she really has to. I have nothing against working moms! Whether you choose to work or have to work...that's your business! What bothers me is the mothers who choose to work but say such silly things as if only I could afford to stay home when they don't mean it. You know...the ones who could afford to stay home if they only cut back on their extras but choose not to. Do they say these things because it makes them feel better? Or do they say these things because they think it makes us stay-at-home moms feel better? Because it doesn't. When a working mother says something like that to me, she is also usually the working mom who has a husband who is making twice, triple, or even quadruple what we live on...and she still acts like she couldn't afford to stay at home. That's an insult. That's like me going around telling working mothers "I wish I could work outside the home, but I don't have the time to do that." That's an insult and an excuse all wrapped up in one.

Tori could afford to stay home. Just selling her stash of clothes and her house would net her enough to live comfortably in a normal suburban neighborhood for the rest of her life. What Tori means is that she can't afford her lifestyle if she were to stay home. She can afford to stay home. She can't afford to keep up her lifestyle. She chooses to keep up her lifestyle.

And that's okay! But why, oh why, did she have to say "She wishes she could afford to stay at home"? Why do women who's husbands make 3 times what my husband makes say the same thing, to me? It makes me feel angry.

We can not afford to stay at home. That is, in society's standards I can totally not afford to stay at home. I can stay at home with careful juggling of finances and creative uses of our money. I can stay at home because I choose to. This is not to say that everyone can stay at home. There truly are mothers who HAVE to work.(I'm not talking about these women.) I get that. I feel lucky that even with a limited income we are able to juggle our finances to afford to stay at home. But it also means that we are giving up a lot in order to do so.

I don't feel that a mother who lives in a McMansion and drives a $40,000 SUV and buys brand new clothes every month and goes on a fancy vacation each years has to work. You know? A woman like that chooses to work.

My whole point? Why can't women just be open about their choices? I don't go around saying "I wish I could work but..." and then list a bunch of reasons that are insulting to women who do work. I don't work because I want to be a stay-at-home mom. I'll always be open and upfront about that. I've heard women say that they love their jobs and are fulfilled with them, or wouldn't want to be home all day, or really just don't want to give up the lifestyle that they live. More power to these women...who are being honest with themselves and with people like me. It's okay to be a stay-at-home mom and it's okay to be a working mother. Why do we always have to excuse who we are or what we want to do?

Martha, over at The Path to Frugality, recently wrote about this issue. She told us that as women we should be authentic to who we are. If you like to work, want to work, choose to work you should own it! If you want to be a stay-at-home mom you should hold yourself in high esteem and realize that your worth is just as great as the working women.

Can we all agree to have no more excuses for who we are?! These mommy wars are not making the life of mommy any easier!

Your thoughts?


  1. Elizabeth:

    Tori Spelling left her husband of I think less than a year, to break up a marriage in order to marry her second husband. Does this all make sense? I watched her "reality" t.v. show one time and that was all that I needed to see.

    I am making it my mission to be more authentic this year and next and the year after.

    Thanks for the shout out and keep writing. I read your blog every day. Also, I hope you have a blessed Christmas time.

  2. The whole working or staying at home back and forth always used to get to me. Until I realized that every woman's needs and wants are different. What will bring one woman happiness, will be unfamiliar or foreign to others. We can only go through this life looking for what brings us joy. For some, that's being at home with children during infancy, some forever, and some find fulfillment through a career or hobby. So when someone says "I wish I could stay home", I don't guess whether they actually could. I, instead, see their comment as either their way of trying to connect with me, or a statement about their personal happiness in their life. I don't question their choices in home, car, dress, or lifestyle, because many people do find happiness through the way they live. I instead wish them well on finding a path to happiness and contentment.

    Saves my sanity to not get concerned over the way others are living. :)

  3. Agreed! I LOVED to work before I had my baby... and it was very hard to return (for a while, I could bring him. Then he grew up.). I still love my work, but my free time is devoted to my baby. I feel like I've found the balance. There were a few painful months for my husband where I complained that I couldn't stand to be away from our son, but now I've found a routine and balance. So... I think I own it!!

  4. OMG Beverly Hills 90210 was the best show in junior high. It is so funny to see it now a days. I am older then you though 1977

  5. I agree with you. I was a SAHM for 19 years. I just went back to work two months ago. My son is 19 and in college. My daughter is 16 and a junior in high school. I am only working part time because I still want to be home for my dd. We need some extra cash for college funds. That is my only reason for going back to work. I would love to still be a SAHM but pinching pennies isn't enough for college expenses.




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