Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Hard, Cold, Amy Glass

Amy Glass, in case you haven't read, has written a piece slamming moms who stay home with their kids (and moms in general) calling them worthless.  The fabulous piece is called, "I Look Down on Young Women with Husbands and Kids and I'm not Sorry."

Classy.

What gives her the right to "look down" on anyone?

In the piece, Glass talks about how women should be celebrated for accomplishments other than getting married and having babies.  We should celebrate promotions and trips and successful businesses.  This I agree with, and that's just about all I agree with.

Now for the fun stuff.  She speaks against wives and moms and the people who celebrate them, calling them “average.”  She wondered, “If women can do anything, why are we still content with applauding them for doing nothing?”  she adds, "Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself?"

Oh wait!  This was my favorite, "You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids."

Hmmm...how do I, the woman who is not exceptional or on equal footing, respond?

First of all, "exceptional" comes in many, many packages. Amy seems to equate exceptional with income and personal achievements.  I equate exceptional with teachers, mothers, fathers, foster parents and volunteers.  I'm thinking we are cut from a VERY different cloth.

I'm guessing Amy has never cleaned puke at 2am, 4am and 6am. I'm guessing she's never held a screaming child at the doctor's office.  I'm definitely guessing she's never sat at a preschool concert thinking it was the BEST thing she's ever experienced in her life, ever.

Nope.  Those actions and places hold no value in Amy Glass' life.  None.

I'm also going to throw this out, who raised her?  Does she see no value in her own mother?  Did her mom not sacrifice, happily, to raise a strong working woman who can obviously take care of herself?  Someone had to spend time raising her.  There had to be someone checking her homework and waking up at 1am when Amy had bad dreams.  Tell us Amy, who was it?  Who had the pleasure of loving you as grew into the cold woman you have clearly become?

What Amy doesn't understand is that mothers are exceptional.  We have ability to be exceptional and successful and raise babies.  There is nothing better than that.  Some of us work hard to have a career and a family and some of us back-burner the career to have a family.  And the world needs both kinds of mamas.

Here's another award winning line, "Doing laundry will never be as important as being a doctor or an engineer or building a business."  Amy, this leaves me wondering, do all these doctors and engineers get there by wearing dirty, old clothes because no mother felt it was important for them to be clean?  If no one felt laundry was important than we'd have a lot less doctors and engineers.  This is because most doctors and engineers grow up with people loving them, supporting them and DOING THEIR LAUNDRY.

How about acknowledging the lawyer mother who rushes home from the office because her young kids need clean clothes for school the next day? I bet that mother thinks laundry is pretty important.  And she is pretty exceptional to boot.

While it's hard to get up and conquer the working world, it's even harder for women with kids to conquer the working world.  This isn't because they don't have the desire, it's because they are torn between two places they love so much.  She also slams them in her defense of her article, saying that as she advanced in her her career, she was " seeing the differences between my male and female peers. A man will stay at the office until 10 p.m. when he needs to: the women have to check with their boyfriends or husbands at the very least, if not leave because their family cannot go on without them the way we allow families to for men."

While I may agree that families often allow for men to be away from the home more, in today's world that is not always the case.  I know plenty of families with mothers earning most of the income.  And if a woman checks in at home because she will be late, it's probably because she has a sitter at the house.  Or lunches need to be made for the next day.  Or she needs to make sure that homework is done.  These women are worried about people other than themselves.

And they are still exceptional.

The bottom line is that I'm pretty darn certain Amy Glass is not a mother.  At least I hope she's not.  Being a mother means putting people who need care ahead of yourself, and coming back into your own as those people grow and mature.  It takes time and effort to raise babies, and its a damn worthwhile job. If moms weren't putting their babies before themselves, and their families ahead of their personal needs from time to time, we would have a world chock full of kids in need of love and attention who wear dirty clothes and crap in their pants.

And any mother knows what a kid looking for love and attention is capable of.  Let's not even mention them crapping their pants.

There is more to life than work, income and conquering Wall Street.  If you don't have a family to go home to you aren't nearly as rich as you think you are.  My happiness isn't about myself, it's about my kids and I'm not ashamed to admit it.  Your calendar may be full of meetings and deadlines, but that amounts to dink if you live your life concerned only with yourself.  I know women who couldn't have kids, or who chose not to, and they still respect the work a mother does.  They surround themselves with people and have extended families because of the warmth in their hearts.

A warmth you are clearly missing judging by what you have written and defended so publicly.

Most importantly, I feel the need to let Amy Glass know one thing.  While you may be high on your horse climbing that corporate ladder, and backpacking across Europe, you will be mighty lonely in your old age. At least with all that hard work you surely will be able to afford a comfy old folks' home.  Again, I'm assuming this because you can't possibly be a mother if you claim it to be such a worthless venture.  And you most likely don't have tight bonds with mothers or children that are not yours.

I, and every mother (working and stay-at-home) that I know will have families around because we raised them.  I might be poor and living in my daughter's extra bedroom, but I'll have my family.  I'll have the memories of my kids Christmas morning.  I put the time in and I can tell you this, there is nothing more sweet than raising (or loving) babies and children.  It softens you, makes you a better person.  It makes you more aware of the world around you.

Amy, to come to think of it, you should try it sometime.  It might shut you up.

*I refuse to link her piece to my blog.  If you care to read it, you'll have to google.  Cheers!"*

8 comments:

  1. I just read the article.....you really have to wonder what kind of an upbringing she had that would cause her to even think that way let alone write about!

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    1. I agree!!! I do really wonder who raised her - mother? father? Nanny? Foster parents? I am very very curious because she seems to have no regard for a mother figure at all!

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  2. I read it as well, and she then wrote a follow-up piece (I am a glutton for punishment, i guess) to say that people have children so they won't be lonely. I'm just not sure why she feels her way is any better than anyone else's? If she is satisfied with how she lives her life, why try to belittle others? Why set other women back by publishing that?

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    1. I agree, why belittle? And I'd wager a pretty penny she is the one who is lonely - or at least will be one day. Youth, career and the ability to travel doesn't last forever. One day she will look around and wonder where everyone went.

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  3. I read the article. I also read Matt Walsh's rebut (I'm going to guess you might not be a Matt Walsh fan, but this was an OK piece). And I think that someone who feels it's their "right" to look down on someone is truly insecure in their own decisions. This is no different than working vs. SAH moms. Once I became comfortable in my own decision, I didn't need to criticize the other one.

    I had the same question. Doesn't she HAVE a mother? Because that would really explain a lot. To have that much hatred for moms indicates to me that she's never known a mother's love and sacrifice. And that's just someone to be pitied.

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  4. I seriously laughed out loud when I read the line "Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself?"

    Um no. I don't think she's on equal footing. You know why? Because taking care of yourself isn't really all that hard. Taking care of a husband and children as well as yourself...now THAT'S hard. I've done the single working woman thing. And I've done the working mom/stay-at-home mom thing. Guess which one is easier?

    I have no problem with women who want to work and don't want to have kids. In fact, I wasn't all that sure I wanted kids myself for quite awhile. Why? Because I knew it would be dang hard and I wasn't sure I wanted to/could do it. But I certainly never looked down on those who had kids. In fact, I shook my head in awe that they could manage. Because I really didn't think I could. It scared me to think of tiny little humans depending on ME. It was a whole lot easier to go to work and care for myself and not have to worry about my decisions or successes or failures affecting anyone but me.

    I'm glad I changed my mind. My kids are amazing, despite having me for a mother :) And I'll tell you what, I work more, work harder, and have accomplished MORE as a wife and mom than I ever did on my own.

    I got my bachelor's degree after getting married. I got my master's degree and have had seven books published AFTER adding two kids to the mix. And for most of those years I was juggling a job in there as well as mommy/wife duties. Do I think I'm on equal footing with someone who only has to care for herself? Not at all. But probably for the exact opposite reason as Ms. Glass :)

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  5. Thanks for posting this. I read her article from a stay at home dad's perspective -- given her attitude, I doubt she understands my role either. Which is fine. If you're interested, I just posted a response from a different angle. Thanks again for the post!

    http://www.weefivefamily.com/simplicity-of-being-dad/

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Throw in your two cents!