Well! Maybe I don’t actually need to churn out content anymore! You all did an amazing job teasing out some of the nuances of the #facebookmomrant in the comments section of Monday’s post. And I love that different people saw different angles.
I purposely left my initial note vague because I did feel a bit conflicted.
On the one hand, yes — having 3 kids feels very challenging at times, especially during those sleep deprived baby/pumping days. She probably does feel genuinely overwhelmed by everything, and she has every right to feel that way. I know I did at times, even with lots of help. But . . .
I do agree with those of you who felt that her rant was a little over the top. She comes from a place of privilege (just like me, I acknowledge that!) and I actually took issue with some fo the specifics she mentioned.
Here are a few.
Buying birthday gifts? Takes literally 1 minute to order a gift online.
Breastfeed for a year? That one is also up to you (though I do wish there was less societal pressure around this!).
Maintain a Pinterest-worthy house? HA! We have categorically rejected that around here and seem to be doing fine.
Taking her kids to doctor’s appointments? She’s married to a pediatrician! Is there no way he can help with this!? (I am intrigued as to how this task fell under her purview!)
Going out with your spouse 1-2x/month? Is that really such a hardship?
I guess her tone sounded a bit too martyr-like for my taste, and that didn’t really resonate. She is married to a practicing physician, and while pediatrics is not necessarily the most highly compensated field, it likely places them at a firm advantage relative to . . . most other people, really. I googled her husband, and he is a private practice pediatrician who also seems to have a quasi-executive role, which likely comes with some tangible extra benefits. They do live in a high-cost area (outside of Boston), which is their choice. Statistically, their family is better off than most people in the US and we won’t even get started on the rest of the world.
I get that there are frustrating social pressures (some more visible online, others in real life) and that there is uneven judgement of women, which is unfair. It’s clear that the ‘mental load’ continues to fall disproportionately to women, which needs to change. And of course I agree that there are larger societal issues that need to improve, like maternity leaves and affordable childcare. But I don’t really think it’s her (or my) demographic that needs the most focus.
And finally, her conclusion was “I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to lean OUT.” So meaning — work less? Transition to SAHM? Be responsible for even MORE of the childcare/family responsibilities with less income to outsource or pay for the dog’s expensive surgery (which she mentioned being concerned about)? Does she think that she will be able to create that Pinterest-worthy house while her baby naps?
I don’t know. That part didn’t make any sense to me and was really what made me annoyed by the rant in the first place.
So, those are my thoughts.
In other news, it’s Wednesday and my call week will be over in approximately 1.5 hrs. It was not a super-busy one and for that I am grateful. I very much cheated on my Instagram ban this week (#oops – watching/reading, not posting, but still). I can’t decide if I want to come to terms with the idea that I just need to marinate in mostly-meaningless content to self-soothe when on call, or get tough and really work on finding another means to escape/relax during those times.