An Open Letter to the Author of “Dear Stay at Home Moms, Please Shut Up”
The other night I was scrolling through Pinterest when I came across an article headline that made me do a double take.
“Dear Stay at Home Moms, Please Shut Up.”
Not going to lie, I probably had a little crazy face going on while reading this.
The article’s featured image was the below meme.
The irony was that I was searching for “Funny Stay at Home Mom Memes” to add content to my Unashamed Humor board. Except this didn’t make me laugh at all.
So I fell for the clickbait headline thinking this can’t be serious. I recommend you read the article to get a full understanding of what I’m about to talk about, but I will summarize.
This article was written by a stay at home mom. According to the article’s intro, she’s feeling “…inundated with the stereotype of what a SAHM is; disgruntled, dirty, and ‘just can’t get anything done’ [and] here to tell you right now, this is a personal problem…”
OK, so she’s actually serious.
She goes on to condemn moms who vent their daily frustrations on social media … because she’s tired of reading about it. As an example, she writes about her son spilling Dunkin’ coffee on her beige rug making it look like “someone took a giant diarrhea crap right in the middle of [her] living room”. Except she didn’t post this to Facebook because she believes: “NO ONE CARES about my “little things” that I think are “big”.
So, to the author of this article … I just want to let you know something.
Your Dunkin’ story was hilarious. Despite my internal fuming, I chuckled at this because I’ve been there before. I, too, have a son who spilled a large cup of coffee all over my carpet. I share your sentiment of wanting to burn the house down over it. Every time I walk by it I die a little bit inside.
I hope that no one makes you feel like they don’t care about what goes on in your life. Sometimes, venting your daily frustration is therapeutic — no matter how insignificant you think it may be.
I’d rather see someone rant on social media about their daily life than see it bottled up and fester inside. One day it will explode.
If someone doesn’t care about your personal problems, maybe it’s time to reevaluate their importance in your life. However, telling people to suck it up, quit whining and shut the f*** up seems to me extremely “uncaring”.
If you have time to write whiny novels on Facebook, you have “me time”. You’re just not using it productively.
You go on to talk about moms who complain about not having “me time”. According to you, moms don’t have a right to complain about a lack of “me time” because, “when you chose to have kids there was a high probability that your time was going to be shared with greedy little life sucking gremlins. Get over it.”
While your wording is a tad abrasive, that’s actually not what irked me most. It’s when you say that for a stay at home mom like myself, “me time” counts as sitting at home in my pajamas drinking morning coffee at my leisure while watching a show of my choice.
I just want to pause and take a moment of silence for my fellow stay at home moms who died laughing at this.
You are playing into grossly inaccurate stereotypes of what being a stay at home mom is all about. If you get to spend your mornings drinking coffee and watching a show at your leisure then I truly envy you. My mornings are spent re-heating the same cup of coffee three times because I couldn’t finish it between making everyone breakfast, cleaning poopy diapers and the kitchen mess that ensues. And Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is definitely not my show of choice.
Then, you launch an attack on an entirely different subject …
Oh, but when you’re a stay at mom it means you turn fat and ugly and let yourself go. Again that is a matter of choice.
Here’s a fact. “Letting yourself go” is NOT a problem unique to stay at home moms. Obesity and unhealthy lifestyles are widespread issues, regardless of your status as a mom. I believe the point you’re trying to make is that stay at home moms shouldn’t complain about getting fat. There’s no excuse since we have all this leisure time to dedicate to self-care and all …
Wrong, wrong and more wrong. But lets continue …
Working Moms are the best Moms. Working single Moms are on a whole other level, without a doubt that is the hardest job any woman will ever juggle. If you notice in those situations “little things” never get the chance to become big because those Moms are too busy trying to balance work, their children and themselves. It’s almost as if idle time creates problems that don’t exist. I’ll give those ladies a pass to complain on Facebook. But stay at home moms, I’ll scream it from the rooftops, shut up!
Sigh … where to begin? We’re ranking moms based on employment and marital status now? So, Angelina Jolie is a single working mom. Since according to your mom classification system she falls into the “Whole Other Level” category, is she more entitled to complain on social media? More so than the mom who stays at home because she can’t afford the outrageous cost of childcare? No, I don’t think so. You’re making generalizations and fail to consider that every family has unique struggles of their own.
I’d like to re-write this paragraph to read, “All moms, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, employment, marital status, etc., who love their children and would give them the world are the best moms.” The end.
Now I realize your intent in writing this article wasn’t to get published in Parents magazine. Even though you’re writing to a small audience, I want you to realize something. Words are powerful. They can lift you up and they can tear you down. Much like the moms you condemn, you simply took to a public forum to express your minor frustrations. I actually agree with your point that we should realize many of our problems are “little” in the grand scheme of things. We could all use a good dose of learning to appreciate more of what we have.
But you totally miss the mark when you pit mom against mom and use hateful language and stereotypes to shame stay at home moms in particular.
I’m only giving this article the attention it doesn’t deserve in order to demonstrate a more powerful message. Bullying is never OK. Silence is not the answer. Bullying an entire segment of the population into “shutting up” is inexcusable.
So to the author of this article, thank you for providing the opportunity to engage in an open dialogue that desperately needs to be had. You might want to check out my article Why Mom-Shaming Needs to Stop Now for some deeper insights into this issue. Hopefully, we can begin the process of putting mom-shaming to bed.