Mommy Wars and Megyn Kelly?

So, last night I was watching TV with the Rev. We usually watch movies (usually movies that I want to watch, which may or may not be a source of marital tension), but our DVR is currently empty of anything I wanted to watch. So I sat back and read and let the Rev. channel surf (sometimes I’m nice). He landed on Fox News and I looked up and noticed that Megyn Kelly was back. (she’s been back for almost a month). I told the Rev. that I liked her new haircut (I’m shallow like that) and he told me that she got all kinds of flack for taking too long of a maternity leave.

Do you know how much maternity leave she took? 3 months. 12 weeks. In the grand scheme of things, not that long at all.

Because, folks, having a baby is kind of a big deal. It takes your body on a wild ride. And then most moms don’t get much sleep for the first few months. And things are achy and sore, and clothes never fit like they should. And that cute little baby has about 4 doctor appointments in that 12 weeks.

A 12 week maternity leave is hardly a vacation. I know that she loves what she does, but I also imagine that it was very hard to leave her sweet baby girl and return to work. But she is a smart and articulate woman, I’m pretty sure that she can deal with those who are ignorant enough to think that her leave has been all massages and pedicures.

And Megyn Kelly was one of the lucky moms. Her company paid her for her maternity leave. Paid maternity leave is not a required benefit in the US. Paid maternity leave is a blessing if you get it.

I never did. I had a work out of the home job before getting pregnant with our first son, and again before the twins were born. Neither job offered paid maternity leave (though I did get my accrued sick pay and vacation pay while on bed rest with the twins), and neither paid me enough to justify child care expenses and time lost with my newborns. The decision to not go back to work after having those babies was pretty easy.

However, not everyone has the luxury to stay home with their children, and many go back to work long before they are really ready to.

I’ve had it both ways. I’ve been a working mom, and I’ve been a stay at home mom.

I’m totally going to go out on a limb and say that it is way easier to be a stay at home mom.

I could perceive it as the easier job because I really enjoy what I do. They say if you do a job that you love, you never work a day in your life.

Or, I could think of it as the easier job because I do such a sub-par job of it that I’m beyond being stressed out about my day.

The fact remains, I may not get sick pay, or paid time off, or even get paid for what I do. However, I don’t have to wrangle time off to walk my kids to school on the first day of school. If I wanted to bake, I could bake them cookies for when they came home. I don’t do laundry at night. . .as a matter of fact, I do no housework at night. After the kids go to bed I’m pretty free. Some days I wear my pajamas all day. I can shop at Target during their less busy times. I don’t have to share my coffee if I don’t want to. I’m pretty much in control of my schedule. I almost never pack a diaper bag. I don’t have to worry about who can watch my kids on school holidays. If I forget to plug in the crock pot in the morning, I usually have time to make a back-up plan meal. I have time to play on my blog.

I’m sorry that not all stay at home moms feel as at peace with their current vocation. I feel for the working moms trying to do it all. I wish there were more clear cut, easy decisions for moms.

But life is far more complicated than that.

So for now, moms . . .let’s stop fighting, and have each others backs, OK?


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Comments: 12

  1. Jana September 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm Reply

    LOVED your post!! If it were a more feasable option, I would be at home with our twins. I never did understand the mom’s that couldn’t wait to get back to work? Almost wish I could have another set of twins just so I could be home for the kids when they get home from school:)

    • Dakotapam September 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm Reply

      I am eternally grateful that it is more feasible for me to be at home rather than work outside the home. I’m especially thankful for twins, because I probably would have gone back to work part time had I delivered a singleton!
      Dakotapam recently posted..Mommy Wars and Megyn Kelly?My Profile

  2. Kristin K September 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm Reply

    I am NEVER understood this ‘war’…. every one does what is needed for their family… for some families that is having two working parents and for some it is having one parent who is at work while the other is at home, or in our family our children are always home with at least one parent but we both work.

    In my mind we should support each other as mothers, women and friends… its sad the way that women always fight against women… We should be standing up for each other.. not trying to constantly knock each other down…. no one wins.

    And on another topic… Pam, I’m really sorry you had to watch Fox News ;P

    • Dakotapam September 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm Reply

      I just mostly wish all of my friends were available for coffee whenever I wanted to share.

      And I wasn’t really watching. I’m all about hair and clothes. She has a wardrobe that I’d give up my jammies for!
      Dakotapam recently posted..Charming KEYper: Review and Giveaway!My Profile

  3. Jc Wooten September 2, 2011 at 7:12 pm Reply

    What is there a war for? We are all doing what we feel is best for our kids.

    I was lucky to be paid for my maternity leave with my youngest. And they told me to take as long as I wanted. But I could not handle being at home so I ended up going back to work sooner than planned. LOL Surprised my co-workers when they came to work that morning and I was there a month early!

    To each their own. I could not imagine being a stay at home mom. But I do love having a flexible job that lets me do what I need to do for my kids. So I can be there for the parties at school or even take a field trip or 2. All of it is done out of love!

    • Dakotapam September 2, 2011 at 8:00 pm Reply

      Exactly! We all love our kids and we all have to make things work the best we can.

  4. Essie September 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm Reply

    Amen. I used to not understand moms who wanted, or said they HAD to go out and work. But now I’m in a stage in my life where I DO want to go out and work. And it’s good for my family. It’s a good perspective to have, I think. Well written, friend.

  5. Leontien September 3, 2011 at 10:37 pm Reply


    I just came over because Katie showed some great love for your post and i just had to come and see!

    So nice to “meet” you! and i hope to see you lot’s more


  6. The Everything Soap Blog September 4, 2011 at 12:13 pm Reply

    Just stopping in to say hi – I found you from the Twin Multiples Club. Love the blog! I’m a mother of 15 month old twin boys.

  7. Lisa September 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm Reply

    Pinke Post sent me over. I have twins too! Talk about doing a number on the body and mind. I don’t think there is any way I would’ve been ready to return to work full time 12 weeks out. I did go back with my oldest though. Now I stay home but do some very part time teaching at a local college, so I kind of get to enjoy the best of both.

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