June 1997

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No Mommy Wars here!

By Beth Weiss,  Copyright 1997

 Last night, as I was walking with a neighbor friend of mine, I was excitedly telling her about becoming the new President of Contemporary Mother’s Club.  “Contemporary Mother’s Club?” she asked quizzically.  “Is that just for moms who work?”

I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry—less than a year ago, I asked that same question of a former CMC president,, but in reverse.  “Contemporary Mother’s Club?  Is that just for moms who are at home during the day?”

The answer, of course, to both questions is “no”.  It’s not for moms who can be neatly stuffed into any category, except perhaps “moms who love their child(ren) and want to do what’s best for them”.  I’m pretty sure we can all claim membership in that group, even while happily recognizing that “what’s best for them” is a slippery idea that every family defines a bit differently.

CMC is a group made up of moms, and we’re all part of families who are trying to make everything come together in the best possible way.  I think many of us have come to realize that “employment status”, like many other labels, is a temporary thing, subject to adjustment as circumstances change and time passes.  For some moms, situations and inclination may keep them active in ways other than the traditional workforce indefinitely.  For some, the at-home state works well for a while, and then the kaleidoscope shifts a bit, and part or full time work becomes the right choice, at least until the kaleidoscope twists again in some way.

One of the great and wonderful things about CMC is the general acceptance of that continuum, the recognition that we’re all doing our best, and there’s no reason to expect that we’ll all make the same decisions—or even any reason to wish we would.  At one of the first Project Nights I attended, I mentioned that my son Jordan (4.5) was having discipline problems at pre-school/daycare situation.  I got some really great advice from several people—and not a single unkind comment about being a working mom, which I’d been half afraid of.

I’ve come to believe that as parents, at-home moms and moms who are employed outside of the home have more in common than not.  My daughter’s new fascination with “pee pee potty paper” (but without an accompanying strong fascination with for pee pee-ing in the potty) probably strikes a chord with a lot of moms—regardless of their employment status.  And when talk turned to exercise at a recent Project Night, concern about flexing our schedules enough to get enough time to flex our muscles seemed pretty across-the-board.

Our schedules might influence which activities we can participate in: playgroups, field trips, Project Night, parties, Couples Night Out, our monthly general meetings—but not how much we have in common once we get together.  I’m looking forward to a great year of activities and friendship with everyone.

Best wishes,

--Beth

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