Working mother guilt? I have zero.

by Meredith on June 24, 2015

Women always ask me this cringe worthy question:

So… Where are your kids right now? Who is watching them?

Sometimes it’s packaged differently.

Like:

I don’t know how you do it. How do you juggle owning a company and spend time with your family? 

Or:

Your husband must be a saint. Does he mind that you have to travel for work? He doesn’t care that you went on a girls’ weekend with your friends? 

WTF.

Do you think I left my kids at home alone with cartoons turned on? Do you think my husband is a moron? Do you think that because I work I don’t know what is going on with them? Are you implying that I’m letting my family slip through the cracks? Are you suggesting that our nanny is a better mother to them than me?

Yes, yes, yes… you are.

AND YOU DON’T EVEN REALIZE YOU’RE DOING IT BECAUSE SOCIETY HAS BRAINWASHED YOU INTO MAKING WORKING MOTHERS FEEL GUILT.

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I’ve been noticing that my friend, Brittany Gibbons, is often asked these same questions during press interviews about her wildly successful book. Even the damn press wants to know, “Great job writing a NY Times best selling book and being on a book tour and all, BUT WHO IS RAISING YOUR CHILDREN?!

SHE WROTE A BOOK, and her kids are still alive. I know. It’s a miracle. Those kids are so lucky. That was a squeaker. Her husband must be a saint to be married to a NY Times Best Selling Author. Gosh, life must be sooooo hard for him.

Brittany handles these questions with grace and responds with things like, “It takes a village! I have great parents and a very supportive husband.”

Why is she defending herself as a mother? Successful men never have to discuss childcare. Like, ever. NEVER.

Nowadays, nearly half of all mothers work full-time. This is up 30% since 1979. Back in 1979, my mother worked full-time. And look at me! I turned out great. I never once felt neglected, and there was a point during my childhood when she attending night school to earn her Master’s degree.

I felt proud of her. I still do.

Working mother’s are not hindering the development of their children. Multiple studies have been done on the matter, and I have yet to find one that tells us all to stay at home. For example, in 1955 this big 8-year study was done by Judith Warner. Warner found “no significant differences in school performance, psychosomatic symptoms, or closeness to their mothers between working and nonworking mothers”.

The same study was done again in the 1970’s, only this time they controlled factors like daycare quality, class, and ethnicity. Still? Nada. No correlation.

So they did the study again in 1988 and again in 1996. And still “there were no significant differences in intelligence, language, social skills, or attachment” for children of working moms and nonworking moms.

Listen, Lindas. Women who work are not ruining their children or family dynamics. Every time a woman pulls the little BUT WHERE ARE YOUR CHILDREN?! dig on another woman, our gender takes a step back in the world. It’s a woman on woman crime.

Stop asking me how I do it all. Stop asking other women how they do it all. Worry about your own family. The working mother guilt discussion is getting old.

{ 18 comments }

The Last Day

by Meredith on June 12, 2015

Hey Kendra,

It’s Friday morning, and you’re probably reading this before your LAST RADIATION TREATMENT! But I’m actually writing this in the middle of the night, last night. It’s about 1:00am. I should be sleeping, but fuck it. I really want to tell you something, and I can’t sleep until I get this off my chest.

So here it goes.

Thank you for beating this.

You don’t know this, but I’ve been lying to you for the past year. I’ve been smiling to your face, looking you in the eye, and spewing mouthfuls of lies in your direction.

I didn’t actually know if you would be okay.

My mouth would move and the words, “You’re going to beat this,” would fall out. But my brain was running this continuous loop of, “What if it spreads? Why her? What if I lose my best friend?”

That is so incredibly selfish of me. But it’s all I could think about.

I know you thought I was showing up to Chemo Fridays to be a good friend to you, but mainly I just needed you near me.

Because I didn’t know how many more times I would have you near me.

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Cancer is scary shit.

So while you were being brave and awesome… I was constantly and silently praying, “Please, Lord, please. Please don’t take her away from me. Thank you for healing her. Thank you for letting me keep her.”

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I also want to tell you that I promised Jesus you would start going to church with us if He made you better. #PowerOfPrayer

Just kidding.

I’m really happy with you today. I’m extraordinarily proud of you. Thank you for fighting so hard. Thank you for letting me be near you all the time. I truly don’t know what I would do without you.

Let’s never do this again.

Onward and upward,

Meredith

{ 2 comments }

Meredith’s Drunk Book Club: Fat Girl Walking

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Brittany, I’ve been putting your book review off, and here I am, down to the night before your book comes out, sobbing behind my keyboard. I know the length of time it has taken to me to write this has maybe been hurting your feelings or been confusing for you, and I am sorry for […]

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Updated Wedding Vows

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Dear Husband, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I updated our wedding vows to more accurately reflect what we committed to eight years ago. You’re welcome in advance. We promise to put our relationship first, even before the kids.  I would say this has been the biggest lesson of our marriage. When Mom and Dad are happy, everyone in this […]

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Where do you see yourself in five years?

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I’ve been writing this blog for about five-and-a-half years (which equates to 38-and-a-half blog years). ME: Will you help me start a blog and somehow teach me how to turn this into a career? I think I’m going to get downsized.  BRITTANY: Of course! But I want to be straight-up with you, if you think […]

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Restaurant Wars: Your Misbehaving Kids vs. Everyone Else

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I get it. I’m a mother of three children, and trust me, my kids are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. So let’s begin with that. But here’s the thing, today I landed two more accounts, and THAT is a pretty major financial success for my little start-up social media agency. It was a […]

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Most Likely To #Secede?

April 12, 2015

We drove from Toledo, Ohio to Sanibel Island, Florida this week. It was the best vacation ever. Exactly what we needed. Thank you, Florida! As always, you were very hospitable. Anyway, this post isn’t about seeing dolphins, the best seafood restaurants, or giant seashells. This post is about a particular billboard we passed along the […]

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I’m going to tell you what everyone is saying about your latest MLM venture, just not to your face. #SorryNotSorry

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Before we even get started, we might as well get this out of the way, I totally understand that you, the best MLM Sales Consultant ever, are going to disagree with me. I understand that this is going to upset you. I understand that you will rage in the comment section. But hey, the truth […]

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Just say no.

December 16, 2014

I’ve been doing this weirdly gratifying experiment. I’ve been telling people no whenever I don’t want to do something. In fact, I think I’m starting to get off on telling people no. I’m obsessed! Probably because I’ve spent so many years doing everything for others, that it finally feels right to be doing things for […]

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Meredith’s Drunk Book Club: The Missing Something Club Review

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They gave me a list of questions to discuss with you guys. I’m throwing the list out the window. I want to explore the deeper meaning of this book. Because even if you didn’t read a single page, the deeper meaning really is something worth something talking about in any relationship and with yourself. If […]

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