Saturday, March 3, 2012

Musings on Working Motherhood (MOWM), Part 1: A Disclaimer

This past week, Massimo lamented the disappearance of his favorite blogs and how people seem to run out of things to say after they have been blogging a while. After nearly two years of blogging, I have lots to say and could probably blog much more frequently, but... (Of course there's a "but." )
But, saying what I want while ensuring that nobody gets inadvertently pissed off on the vast and temperamental intertubes is a lot of work, and I admit I am not very good at "PC blogging sanitation" (c) even when I try. So I often don't. And then it's just easier not to post...

Then the same issue (sort of) came about as I was commenting on Cloud's post about working motherhood. I have strong opinions on why it's good to be a working mom, but voicing them always has the potential to come across like I think (which I don't) that not being a working mom is somehow bad.

So I asked myself: when I think and write about how my choices, especially those that I make about my kids, my work, and the tradeoffs between them, and when I tell myself (and perhaps blog about)  how I think something I do is actually good for my children, do I really ever think to myself "I'm gonna show those stay-at-home moms -- they are doing it all wrong!" The answer is -- really, really no.
99% of the time I really only worry about my kids, my choices for my kids, and the indirect effects of my other choices on my kids. I really don't think about other people's families or children all that much, pretty much ever. If I do,  I think about the people I know, and not about a whole loosely defined and fairly abstract group of people like, for instance, stay-at-home moms (SAHMs).

Nicoleandmaggie have a series of posts "My choices are not a judgement of your choices." It's a great series. I would like to second the sentiment, even though in my case I can't guarantee that I never judge other people. I am sure I do. But I also know with even greater certainty that I am generally too wrapped up in my own expectations of myself, my kids' and my husband's  expectations of myself, perhaps the society's expectations of myself, and  the guilt I feel about not meeting all these various expectations, that when I talk about all the stuff I am doing right, you can bet dollars to donuts that I am first and foremost trying to ease my own anxieties by telling myself "You are doing a good job." Patting myself on the back is a 24/7 commitment. Therefore, by-and-large, I am far too self-involved to care about other people's choices enough to judge them.

There. How's that for a disclaimer? 

This entry kicks off a series of posts "Musings on Working Motherhood (MOWM)" that I have been meaning to write for a while, but haven't due to the avoidance of "PC blogging sanitation" (although, to be honest, my considerable laziness played a role too). However, several recent posts on Cloud's blog as well as  feMOMhist's recent International Women's Day Carnival call, plus the fact that I am too busy and thus naturally wish to procrastinate, were the necessary catalists for this series...

What I plan to write is how I see what I do in regards to balancing parenthood and a career and how I think I came to hold the convictions that I do.


New prof in new India said...

Hi GMP, I look forward to reading your posts in this series. Regarding "PC blogging sanitation", the best thing I like about your blog is that you say it like it is.

Comrade Physioprof said...

[S]aying what I want while ensuring that nobody gets inadvertently pissed off on the vast and temperamental intertubes is a lot of work[.]

Why would you give a flying fucke whether people get pissed off on the Internet at what you say?

Dr. Sneetch said...

I tend to use humor when I'm really pissed off. My funniest posts are written when I'm fuming. My blog is not totally anonymous, so that makes it tricky. I decided to make it pseudo-anonymous because I can never be truly anonymous being a woman in math (so few of us). As I write more posts I become less anonymous. That has a tempering effect on what I say.