Can’t We All Just Get Along?

By Tracy, Managing Editor

Photo Credit: nbc.com/up-all-night

For weeks now, the hubs has been telling me that I need to make time to watch the new show Up All Night. I saw snippets and knew I should, but my night’s are usually packed with school stuff and blog stuff and just me stuff. Then I got a preview of last week’s episode, and knew I had to make time to watch it. You see, it was all about Reagan, Christina Applegate’s character, getting judged by Kayla’s mom for being a working mom, thus leading her down a spiral of self-doubt, and the need to overcompensate to prove a point, not only to herself, but to the evil Kayla’s mom.

Here is a little snippet of the show. You know, the one that made me turn to my husband and ask if I could reach out to the television and punch Kayla’s mom in the face. True story. I was fuming.

Doesn’t that just get your heart pumping?

Then I took a step back and thought about how there finally was a show on national television that really understood all those feelings that go into being a working mom. Or really, not that they are just having light bulb moments about this whole working mom gig, but the fact that they decided not to sugar coat it. They are giving us the truth of what we face as working moms.

In the almost two years since I’ve been a mom (about 1.5 of which I’ve been working) I have had countless people tell me that they don’t understand how I do it. That they as moms stayed home to care for their children, only to return to the workforce once said kids where school age, or sometimes even older.  I just smile and nod because I know they don’t mean it in any sort of purposeful judgmental way. They truly and sincerely are amazed at all the hats I wear on a daily basis.

But there are many lie “Kayla’s mom out there. Some in real life and some on the internet. There are those who read blog posts and judge without thinking. And sometimes the case may be the judgments are very contrived and trolly and comments are left as anonymous. Thinking or not thinking, ultimately it’s wrong.

As mom’s we have guilt. It’s in our DNA. And as working moms we add different categories of guilt. So the minute someone suggests the choices you make are in any way shape or form causing your kid to be lacking in something, momma bear attacks. If I were Reagan (yes, I can totally and 100% relate to a character on television…finally), I would have probably reacted the same way, taking a step back to see ways that I could make up for the perceived ways someone says I’m being a bad mom. (You have to watch the whole episode to see what I’m talking about…to see what led to the above clip with Kayla’s mom.) I don’t know if I would have had the time to concoct all that Regan did during the 30 minute show (it is television after all), but you bet your butt that’s where my mind would go first. Would I have started a verbal argument in my daughter’s class…probably not because that’s not me, but I probably would have walked out crying…that’s more me.

Ultimately, there’s is a more systemic problem going on. One that I continue to see everywhere. Judgy McJudgertons.

Yes this show focuses on a working mom trying to figure the whole balance thing out, but ultimately, the systemic issue has to do with all types of moms judging each other.

What I’m seeing lately, is not only are SAHM’s judging working moms, but working moms are doing the same to SAHM’s, and then there are SAHM’s going against other SAHM’s, and well, I could keep going on. My friend Diana, a SAHM who is on the verge of becoming a WAHM as her freelance writing career begins to take off, was recently attacked on her blog over, check this out, CLEANING! She wrote this post here in response to the warfare that ensued in the comments of a post where she talks about house cleaning.  I’m not going to go into specifics as to who said what and to whom, but I just think it’s so ridiculous for moms, any category of moms, to feel the need to be so judgemental. We each do what’s best for us and the only one we should answer to for it is ourselves and/or our nuclear families. Period. The End.

If you don’t agree with someone’s choices as a mom, that’s fine. I tell my students that we can’t get along with everyone in this world; that we aren’t meant to be friends with every living human being. But what I do expect of them is a mutual respect for each other. They don’t have to agree or like what someone says or does, but they don’t have the right to put anyone down for being the way they are and thinking they way they do.  Unfortunately, the only thing I have some semblance of control over is my classroom and I know that the hallways and lunch room offer a whole new playing field. But I hope to instill within them a second thought that can be applied later on in life. So when I hear about grown women, moms even, not willing to have this mutual respect for each other, it makes me worry. And all I have control over at home is teaching my daughter to be a good woman when she grows up, to be respectful and understanding of differences, though she may not agree, and I just wish that other moms could be the same type of role models for their children. And being role models not only deals with the in real life world, but also the online world, where so many of our lives are played out these days.

In watching last week’s episode of Up All Night, I worried even more about this problem. It’s a big enough issue going on between moms that a national television show picked up on it. Through the whole episode I was scathing, wanting to reach out and give Reagan a hug, especially as the second plot line of the show dealt with her friend Ava struggling to come to terms with their changing friendship when one friend is a mom and the other isn’t. And then there was a vision of a hope for reality.  Yes I know this hope comes from television and not reality, but don’t we live in a media induced word where our in real life authentic conversations start to become about media itself, thus blurring the two?

As the episode closed, Kayla’s mom was struggling with a stroller. Reagan saw said struggle and decided to offer help, you know, because she’s been in that situation before. But when they both couldn’t get the stroller to fold up, they bonded over ripping that stroller to shreds. Because really, aren’t we all just moms dealing with the same trivial stuff on a daily basis? Can’t we all just get along?

Working Moms. SAHM’s. WAHM’s. And all the moms in between. Can’t we all just get along and stop the judgments? Who’s with me?

 

NOTE: You can watch the “Stroller Killer” portion of the episode over here. It’s pretty hilarious!

About the author

Tracy is the Creator and Managing Editor for LWM. She's a working teacher momma to Abigail, born 11/09 and Olive, born 12/13. By day she teaches middle school students all things related to reading and writing, and by night and weekend, she teaches her daughter all about life. You can find her tweeting as @wa_tracy.

16 Comments

  1. For me, the saddest part of being a go-to-work mom is that I don’t even need another mother to make me feel guilty and wretched about my decision to keep my job. All I need is a call from day care telling me I need to pick up my sick baby – the baby I dropped off and ran because I knew she was sick and also knew I needed to go to work. Is there a worse feeling than knowing you can’t stay home with your baby when she needs you most?
    Mrs. MidAtlantic recently posted..Talking to DoctorsMy Profile
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    • Lisa says:

      Mr. MidAtlantic – No, that is the worst feeling in the world! The first time the daycare called I picked up my son. Second time, I couldn’t – thank god my husband could go – and I ended up crying in a co-workers office. At the time, I had very compassionate and understanding co-workers, thank god! Still not easy, but it helps to know I am not alone with these struggles and that people get it.

      Reply
    • Courtney says:

      That IS the worst feeling in the world — just making that decision in the morning to send your child to day care when you know he really should be home. I’ve come home with sick baby and tried to hold him and log onto my computer to finish my work. You wind up feeling like you suck at both. I do have to say that my real-life friends, working or SAHM, are all great and very supportive … but there are some people on the internet who seriously need to chill out about other people’s parenting choices.
      Twitter: tbomom

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    • Tracy says:

      Abby was sick this weekend. Part of me didn’t want to take her temperature on Sunday because it was my turn to stay home with her and as a teacher, it’s a ton of work to put sub plans together…especially when it’s unplanned and you don’t have all your materials home with you. And then I felt like shit because I had that thought of not wanting to take her temp. So I did. She still had fever and I stayed home. It’s hard when so many people depend on you. So yeah, when we have our own guilt, we don’t need anyone else making us feel even guiltier ;)
      Twitter: wa_tracy

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  2. Dude, i LOVE that show! Each week I watch it and half joke half serious say “OMG! It’s like they are watching my LIFE!!!” The episode where they ditch their fancy convertible and get an SUV, it was like the entire sequence I went through buying my mini van (only I didn’t start with a convertible, sadly). It really doesn’t sugar coat anything, and that’s why I love it so much!
    Nicci @ Changing the Universe recently posted..Make New Friends / But Keep the OldMy Profile
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    • Tracy says:

      I for sure am going to make time to watch each week! Even it I’m watching it days later. Gotta love DVR!
      Twitter: wa_tracy

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  3. Laura says:

    I haven’t seen the show; I’ll have to check it out. But read this post that Suzanne wrote yesterday (and all the comments that go along with it.) It’s along the same lines as this post. http://bebehblog.com/whats-in-a-choice/
    Laura recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: I Don’t Want to Go to BedMy Profile
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    • Tracy says:

      Thanks for sharing that link. That was a great post she wrote! Especially coming from a nonworking momma. :)
      Twitter: wa_tracy

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  4. Laura says:

    I love that show!!  And yes, I too was happy to see tv sort of “tackle” how we feel as working moms that try to have it all.  As a working mom, I totally get it.
    Laura recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Sleeping BeautyMy Profile
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    • Tracy says:

      I know, right! I can’t wait to watch more. I would be devastated if it ever went away. DEVASTATED!
      Twitter: wa_tracy

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  5. Ginger says:

    I’m loving Up All Night for that reason–finally a character on tv I can relate to! (bonus! My husband is a stay at home dad, and he’s not a moron! Wow, a dad character who’s not totally stupid!).

    But that episode kind of did me in. I hate the mommy wars. I hate the judgement. I don’t judge SAHM’s, and I hate when they judge me. But I’m trying to learn that people like that don’t deserve space in my head. I do what’s right for me and my family, and anyone who would judge me for that isn’t someone worth giving power to.
    Ginger recently posted..Reads From Around the WebMy Profile
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  6. I love that show! I stay home so I can’t relate completely, but I understand. The battle between who you used to be, who you’ve become, and who you want to be is so rough.
    Backwards Amber recently posted..DIY Laundry SoapMy Profile
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    • Tracy says:

      I think all moms can relate to that show on so many levels. And really, it’s a mom issue. Period. The End. And it needs to stop. No judgements needed!
      Twitter: wa_tracy

      Reply
  7. Krishann says:

    I love the show and this episode was too funny but also very real. I agree it does need to stop. I struggle enough with the fact that I worry about missing work if I stay home with my sick daughter or her asking me why I can’t come help in her class more. I can feel bad all on my own thank you very much.
    Krishann recently posted..Look Who’s Turning Two!My Profile
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  8. SteveB says:

    I totally understand this frustration. Before my wife and I split there was no way we could afford to make ends meet without both of us working. We didn’t have the luxury of a pair of $50k jobs to fall back on. The weirdness of being judged by the ubermoms at the nursery rhyme group was just…Stepfordishly creepy.

    “Oh…you’re both working. That’s a good choice too, I guess.”

    You think there’s guilt being a working mom…try being the dad others see as not being capable of supporting a stay-at-home mom :-|  
    SteveB recently posted..5 Steps to a Balanced Monday MorningMy Profile
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