No Judgment Here.

by Mom in the Arena

You already know how I feel about iphone alarms. They are like my very own start gun at the Olympics. “Ready, Set, Go!”

I really try to honor that alarm. It is it the difference between success and failure most days. You know what? Some days I fail. Recently, I had one of those days. I had to miss my daughter’s dance class.

But, I still had a Hail Mary. I had missed most of the class but I have not missed the last 5 minutes where they ‘showcase’ to the parents. I rush in. I am sweaty. My feet feel like I have 100s of nails in my super high, black, sling backs.

I am feeling pretty damn proud of myself. I whip out the camera, and film my sweet, little person dancing her little butt off. She did awesome. I am in awe of her confidence. As I am hugging her and helping her switch out her shoes, a mom (who looks like Cindy Crawford’s prettier, younger, sister) comes over and pats me on the shoulder, and puts on her best “I pity your poor existence face” and says, “I am so glad you made it. She is such a different person when you are here. You can tell she hates it when you miss.”

YOU BITCH. I want to rip the Louis Vuitton from her bony shoulder and strangle her with it. Why would she say this? Was she being honest? Was she tying to be helpful? Was she trying to be hurtful? As I drive home, I think, was she jealous? She has way better hair than me, so that can be it?  Can that be it? Could she, all 5”9’ of her, be jealous of frazzled, little me?  Here is where I am going with this….

Moms, we are not that different. If we want the (men and women) CEOs, HR managers, and even our own husbands and families of the world to treat us equally and respect our wide variety of skills and experiences we bring to the table, then the change needs to begin with how we judge other women.

Where does JUDGMENT come from? I think it comes from Jealously (guilty!) and then when I really dig deep, there I find that damn FEAR monster.

  • Why it is okay to ask a mom of an only child, “Why do you just have one child?” Um, how would you feel if a woman (or man… gasp) asked you, “Why do you have 2 children? What’s up with that?” Hello, do you realize how rude that would be??

I personally believe this is asked by moms of three+ kiddos that have had ridiculously hard, parenting days and a little part of them is thinking, “man, that mom of one over there has it pretty easy. One kid must be a breeze. I am definitely a better mom than her. Oh, shit. Maybe I should have had just one. Maybe I made a mistake?”

  • Why is it okay to ask a work from home mom, “Don’t you ever get bored. Gosh, I would go crazy at home all day.” Um, hell yes she gets “bored” some days. Can you tell her you are 100% fulfilled in your career and never have mind-numbing moments looking over a spreadsheet or listening to the same story over and over from a co-worker?

I’m thinking this work outside the home mom has just had a heart-wrenching day of missing a kiddo moment, and is thinking, “Screw the mom that gets to stay home. She is obviously stupid. I am way smarter than her. Damn it. Her little girl always has those boutique bows perfectly perched on the side of her head. And, they always match. Maybe I made a mistake? Will her daughter have a better life because of those damn bows?”

  • Why it is okay to ask the work outside the home mom, “Don’t you miss seeing your kids? Gosh, I love my kids too much to leave them each day.” Really, lady? Do you really think they drag their tired bodies into their ARENA because they DO NOT love their kids? Come on. You know better than that.

You know where I am going with this. I believe this “home” mom just had a day where she remembered the time, many years ago, sitting in a board room, hearing the praise of her company’s CEO for a job well done and helping her team get to the next level. She is now thinking, “crap. That felt really good. My snotty kid never tells me ‘job well done. Your quarterly numbers are way up, mom. I do hear what you say. Thank you.’ Does not matter. I am such a better mom because I am home. I think I am doing the right thing. Maybe I should never have quit my job? Maybe I made a mistake?  Will her kiddo have a better career / life some day from seeing her mom kicking butt in the corporate world?”

Ladies, let’s take our judgie pants off (Heather Spohr, I believe I may have borrowed that phrase from you…thanks!) and help out moms that need it.  What can you do to help each other? What encouraging words can you offer? Deep down we all know the CORPORATE ARENA is hard, brutal, and ruthless. You know what we also all know? The HOME ARENA is also hard, scary, and let’s face it, can be really gross. Let’s cut each other some lack and appreciate and respect the cross we all bear.

There is no RIGHT or WRONG in how we choose to parent, live, love, when you are doing your family’s personal best.

Now, I’m off to get some of those damn bows.

***To all you dedicated writers that I have respected and read for all this time, you have no idea what is means that you have taken the time to visit… and the fact that some of your readers have been coming by…just amazing. Thanks to you all for your courage, and especially your support!