random real simple rant on a Saturday morning . . .

November 18, 2017
I have subscribed to Real Simple mag for years.  I like the recipes, looking at the pretty interiors (though I am . . . allergic to doing any actual home decor of my own . . .), and even sometimes the memoir-type pieces.
It’s a peaceful mindless read, something to flip through while sipping coffee and watching your kids do puzzles on the floor.
But in the latest issue, there’s a piece in the back that is supposed to be humor.  But somehow . . . it didn’t feel funny; at least not to me.  The author, Raquel D’Apice, is a comedian with a young child, and she published a parenting/humor book last year.  There is so much to laugh at when it comes to raising kids — I get that.  But I felt oddly accosted by her jokes in the RS piece, entitled “I’m Letting This Magic 8 Ball Make All My Decisions”.  
I absolutely get that it’s tongue-in-cheek, silly, etc.  But I also feel like it needlessly reinforces the narratives that — in my opinion — have no place in today’s society.
Narratives like:
– It is simply the right thing to do to leave your career to be home with your babies.  Especially if you are female. 
– You should feel very very guilty about this.  Especially if you are female.
I am NOT NOT NOT knocking stay-at-home mothers, and I know many of you who read this blog fit this profile!  Staying home with kids IS hard work, and there are many great reasons to stay home.  To me, the most valid is that you want to, because you don’t want to miss out on the baby/toddler/young kid years, and you know you won’t get them back.  This I can get absolutely on board with.  And I have had those pangs myself.  But they are wistfulness pangs, not guilt pangs.  There is a huge difference.
Or, perhaps it just logistically doesn’t make sense to stay in the work force financially, or you were sick of your prior career anyway and welcome a fresh start in a few years.  Or maybe your baby is medically complex or has special needs that you aren’t confident could be met in childcare.   Stay home for those reasons, and I’m sure there are more.   
But please don’t stay home in the name of martyrdom.  Or guilt.  Or to avoid “paying a stranger”.
I NEVER leave comments like this, but could not help myself today . . .


Happy Saturday.  We have a family-filled weekend up ahead and I’m excited about it . . . and not the least bit guilty that my kids look forward to “Mommy Daddy” days — which are not every day, but certainly come frequently enough.