A Limerick A Day – Day 12 – Moms at Work

©2013 CEStankiewicz all rights reserved  ©2013 CEStankiewicz all rights reserved
Between the Yahoo no-working-at-home kerfuffle and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” movement, there are a lot of people out there giving mothers advice on how and how not to work. So what’s new?

For women, balancing parenting with non-parenting work is a big challenge and will continue to be, as long as we continue to be the gender that gives birth (not gonna change anytime soon) and shoulder most of the childcare responsibility in our society (changing, but slooowwwwly).

One thing that can change: how we talk about our roles.  I’m not trying to be Politically Correct when I say that I don’t like the term “working mother.” To me it’s not only redundant, it’s exclusionary, at least the way it’s currently used. Having been both a stay-at-home mom and a work-outside-the-home mom, I contend that both types are “working mothers.” For now, let’s just use the abbreviated “WOHM” and “SAHM.” Maybe not the most elegant terms, but they’re what I’m using until someone (me? you?) comes up with something better.

And while we’re on the subject, please let’s get rid of the phrase “full-time mom.” I became a mom nearly 16 years ago, and I don’t think I’ve been off the clock one day or hour since.

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On the Redundancy of the Term “Working Mother”

Whether home-based or job-bound, it’s irking
To suggest other mothers are shirking
Some female ideal —
Can’t the world just get real
And then say that ALL mothers are working?

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©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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The Mother of All Redundancies

Yeah, our society holds mothers up to impossible standards. And yeah, no matter which type of mother we are (by choice or not), our society seems relentless in pitting the “Work Outside the Home Mom” (WOHM) against the “Stay At Home Mom” (SAHM). I prefer these terms to distinguish between the two, as opposed to “working mom” and (even more annoying/offensive to me) “full-time mom.”

Language is a powerful thing. I’d like to suggest we be more thoughtful in how we use it, especially when it comes to this lovely and important position.

Oh…and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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On the Redundancy of the Term “Working Mother”

Whether home-based or job-bound, it’s irking
To suggest other mothers are shirking
Some female ideal
Can’t the world just get real
And just say that ALL mothers are working?

©2010 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

Supermom, Schmupermom

I can bring home the bacon. Fry it up in a pan. And never, never, never let you forget you’re a man! ‘Cause I’m a woman!

I know the words from the Anjolie perfume commercial by heart. I had them drilled into my head growing up in the 70’s.

When that ad was popular, women had already come a long way, baby. Thirty-some years later, on International Women’s Day, we recognize that we’ve come even further.

However, as a woman – specifically a mom — there’s a certain ideal I feel compelled to live up to. Society puts it out there, of course, but I can take responsiblity for it, too. I hold myself up to this crazy and often impossible standard when it comes to being a mother, a writer, an employee, a homemaker, a friend and a lover. Even a few minutes spent with today’s Oscars red carpet pics delivers plenty of evidence of moms who feel the need to alter their bodies to uphold our society’s standards of beauty. And moms who don’t.

But damn, we’re not perfect, and we’ll drive ourselves crazy striving to be. So today, I’m not frying up any bacon or spraying about anything but Eau de Lysol. I’m getting take out and serving it up in a lovely ensemble of sweatpants and t-shirt.

‘Cause I’m a woman.

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SuperMom, SchmuperMom

SuperMom, SchmuperMom.

More like…In-A-Stupor Mom.

Sick-and-Tired-of-Poop-er Mom.

Oh @#%! Another Blooper Mom.

Fevers-Colds-and-Croup-er Mom.

Runny-Nose-with-Goop-er Mom.

Pass-the-Chicken-Soup-er Mom.

Late-For-Our-Playgroup-er Mom.

Stay-at-Home/Commuter Mom.

Bargain-Hunting-Two-Fer Mom.

I’m-Tired-of-Being-A-Trouper Mom.

Bit-Off-More-Than-I-Could-Chew-per Mom

Life’s-Thrown-Me-For-A-Loop-er Mom.

I-Nursed-So-Now-They-Droop-er Mom.

SuperMom? SchmuperMom.

© 2009 Carlotta Stankiewicz