I love women. I really do. I’m one myself. Over half of my friends are women. My mom’s a woman. My daughter’s a woman. My doctor, veterinarian, hair stylist, dentist – all women. I see women as strong, powerful,compassionate, and loving, and I’m proud to be one. For the most part.
A caveat – women compare themselves to other women. This sometimes means that they have trouble supporting your decisions if they run contrary to their own. Even if they are tolerant of different opinions, there’s still that slight feeling that their decision is the better one, and they can back it up with solid reasons and justifications. Interestingly, men seem to have little concern for other men’s decisions about their lives. Women, however, have turned comparing into an art form, and it’s not pretty.
The biggie, when it comes to female divisiveness, involves working mothers. I won’t bore you with the arguments and justifications for both sides. We’ve heard them all, ad nauseum. Instead, I’ll tell you how teens feel about their mothers from the perspective of someone who has heard countless comments from teens over the years.
Moms, they love you.
If you stay at home, they love that you’re always there, just a phone call away. They love that you’re waiting when they get home from school, that you’re available to drive them anywhere they need to go, and that dinner is always on the table at the same time every night. They love the feeling that when they are home, you’re exactly where they left you, taking care of the family and giving all of your time to them.
Working moms, they love that you have a career that you navigate along with every other responsibility in your life. They love seeing you dressed for work and knowing that you have this cool, mysterious life that is separate from them. They love that hour or two after they get home from school when they can just “veg” and have some downtime before their parents descend on the house again and remind them of their homework.
While we women are arguing about what makes a better mom, our kids are going about their lives, knowing only what they’ve always known, and loving whatever kind of mom they have. Trust me, they’re not thinking about whether or not you work, any more than they’re thinking about your weight or your age. They just love you.
So women, let’s stop the debate and the judgment and the self-doubt. Let’s stop inserting “should” into our daily vocabulary and start accepting the fact that every family operates differently. Your kids love you just as you are.