Look Dude, let me start by saying that I like your words.

I’ve been a fan, for real.

Let’s also have it be known that when I saw the quote the Huffington Post highlighted from your recent article, I actually gasped out loud I thought it was such a beautiful tribute to your wife; a mother’s love.

Yes, my wife is JUST a mother. JUST. She JUST brings forth life into the universe, and she JUST shapes and molds and raises those lives. She JUST manages, directs and maintains the workings of the household, while caring for children who JUST rely on her for everything. She JUST teaches our twins how to be human beings, and, as they grow, she will JUST train them in all things, from morals, to manners, to the ABC’s, to hygiene, etc. She is JUST my spiritual foundation and the rock on which our family is built. She is JUST everything to everyone. And society would JUST fall apart at the seams if she, and her fellow moms, failed in any of the tasks I outlined.”

Reading this passage won my instant support; I shared the link across my social media channels without even feeling a need to proofread content.

I thought you had my back dude; I thought you stood behind the value of Mothers.

The problem, apparently, is that I’m a working Mother. The problem, noticeably, is that you don’t think that I do the noble things aforementioned. My problem, totally, is that you neglected to credit the investment, effort, influence, and little-people-making-power that all loving Mothers give; possess.

Nope, in toting off about the irreplaceable Mother role your wife owns it turns out you also executed a (not so) silent argument against what kind of value my Mother role holds. It’s true. Your ode-to-stay-at-home-Mothers implies that Moms who work out of the home don’t do royal devotion too. Well, you’re trippin’; we do. I do it well.

I hate to call you out man, but those ladies you ran in to weren’t the only ones acting “rude, pompous and smug”. You also need a lesson in manners.

After all, I too immerse myself “in the tiring, thankless, profoundly important job of raising children”. I also live and breathe the “beautiful and complicated and challenging and terrifying and painful and joyous and essential” task of making humans (quality ones). I haven’t quit motherhood because I am employed and I haven’t stopped mothering because I am at work. I am not a reject or a sometimes Mother. I do both; I do it all.

I’m a dress up “professional” who will be up by 5am hustling my ass from daybreak to sunset both nurturing my children’s spirits and maintaining excellence in my career.

It doesn’t make me better, but women who stay at home full time aren’t better than me either.

And, rest assured, I come across my fair share of condescending and patronizing remarks from women who are at home. More than your wife I bet. And now that your love letter has gone viral, I’ll be victim to be even more unsolicited comments.

As it was, stay at home Mothers regularly asked about my life as a working Mom only to proceed without genuine interest and a combo infusion of shock and pity. Because I am not at home full time, alarming comments have been made about our life, our choices, and our deal.

“I just couldn’t put my kids in a daycare / I think it’s my responsibility to parent my own children / I just don’t know how you do it / Your son goes to daycare? Poor baby! / How much time do you spend with him? / How do you know you can trust the childcare provider? / Don’t you just wish you could stay home with him? /You choose your career? / I stay at home to give my children the best / Don’t you miss him? / My job title is Mother now / I didn’t go back to work until my children were old enough to manage without me / I just don’t want to miss any of their growing up, they are only young once / It’s not just the cost of daycare, but the cost of my children not having me around / All those different priorities! For me, it’s easy: my family comes first / It just seems so unnatural to give them to someone else to take care of / I would worry too much about mine / I just can’t justify paying someone to raise my children / My family is my work now / I just find with taking care of my kids well, there isn’t enough time to work / We can’t really afford for me to be at home, but it’s the right thing to do, so we get by / I sometimes don’t want to be at home but it seems so selfish to work / I’m just not comfortable handing my children to a stranger / I’m a full time Mom”

I kid you not.

You think your wife’s got it bad because people are interested in whether she has a return to work plan?

Sorry man, I win.

I can’t begin to tell you how may times an innocent conversation ends up being a public shaming; when the dialogue inevitably shifts to why they are or were stay at home. Why the choices they made are better informed than mine. Why their set up is healthier. Why they are better Moms.

I try to remain curious when I feel as though I am being patronized, judged, or used as an example of how not to be. I try to be patient, assume that the conversation has nothing to do with me, and hope that they are simply defending their script.  I hold my head up and try not to get rattled by what I think they might be saying about what kind of person or mother I am.

And then, your piece.

Your piece wasn’t “quietly presumptuous and subversively condescending”. Your piece was bold; a loud defence for stay at home Moms that quietly assaulted the contributions of working mothers; what we don’t give our kids. I don’t need to question whether your stance has something to do with me. It did.

My mothering is my business and out of respect for the other mothers, I just go ahead and trust that they are doing what works for them; their families.

I don’t ask women about if or why they are a stay at home. I don’t tell them all the reasons I’m not. I don’t care to find retaliations to the statements made about women like me or the inferences implied about my children’s experience as a result. I don’t go ahead and expose what I may perceive some of the stay at home flaws to be for children; for “civilization”.

I don’t think I invite these conversations, and I can’t remember starting any of them. I know I don’t engage all that readily, and I try to ignore them into submission and hope they go away.

I try to be considerate of how personal, and frankly, political, our differences are and for the sake of not offending anyone, I just don’t go there.

I don’t go public with my opinion. I wish you would have done the same.




Heather was born a mom in 2009 but is still working out the kinks. She loves the CBC, aspartame beverages that are toxic and delicious, her profession, the 3 guys she shares a home with, and (sometimes) being a parent. A believer that moms are born too, she writes about her business because words make her happy and happy is good.


  1. “Your ode-to-stay-at-home-Mothers implies that… ”

    It’s right after this where we differ and I guess it’s because we all may interpret words differently. I really didn’t feel that Mark was harsh or rude to the working moms, and I read it more as a ‘yay, go you’ to all Mom’s for doing what they do.

    Sorry he got you all riled up though… that’s a shitty feeling we all have sometimes on the interwebs.

    Moms are moms… big ol’ period.

    • Heather I agree with you. As a former working mom -I stay at home now as we moved to a country where it is not possible for me to work- I didn’t interpret his words that way either.

      I do love this post and the writing and I want to share it with all those who dare to guilt trip working moms in the same way I want to send MWs to all the people who give me a condensed fing smile and assume I am on holiday now that I am at home.

      We moms, working or SAHM just need to stick together and support each other.

      • Hi Heather, I’m glad you read it that way. I’d rather be wrong about this…

        Perhaps it’s me. Nah… sorry ladies, I smell a bias in his words and I’m not feelin’ it.

        On to the point of sticking together- I couldn’t agree more. Mutual respect. Drop the competition. No.more.mommy(or daddy blogger).wars.

  2. I haven’t read the original piece. It did get shared through my networks, but I haven’t read it. But I can say with certainty that, as a working mother, I’ve heard those same things: “Oh, my husband and I decided when we started a family that I would stay at home to raise my children.” Um, I’m not raising my children? I just hate the whole conversation and, like you, avoid it.

  3. As a Stay-at-Home mom I have said some of the things in your paragraph of examples! (Not the super rude ones) Never with the intent of judging someone’s choice to stay-at-home or work. Sometimes it is just hard to figure out what to talk about. You talk about what you do at work… what does the stay at home mom talk about ” Oh yeah, today I did laundry and cleaned stuff, and jimmy spilt his milk” That is really all we can bring to that conversation. So yeah, my job role is Mom, that is all I do, and that absolutely doesn’t mean that your not a mom, or some kind of lessor mom. But it is a point of contact, because you know what mothering is and I don’t need to go into all the gory details.

    I am not sure why but as a Stay-At-Home mom, I always feel like I have to justify my choice… I think because in society our value is so much related to job title, or even working at all. Often when I am talking to people it seems like they just think I sit around at home and do nothing, like if I had anything of value to add to society I would get a job and do that instead… but I don’t so I stay at home.

    I hate feeling like I have no value, so I end up trying to talk about why I made the choice to stay at home. I never even considered that a working mom would take that as an insult to her own mothering.

    I am so glad I read your post! It will definitely change the way I talk to working moms, and I hope you can have some grace for us stay-at-home moms too, because I swear there are many of us that aren’t judging you for your choice, and are really just happy to be talking to an adult.

    • I’m glad you read it too. I’m really glad you commented. Sharing perspectives is a good thing. In solidarity, H.
      p.s.- I’m just going back to work after my second mat leave and I hear ya’ about being thrilled to talk to adults. I really, really do. I’m the weird stranger approaching people all over-familiar like. It can be lonely in momland…

  4. A SAHM recently asked me “Now that your kids are in school what do you do ALL day? I mean I know you work but what else do you do all day?’ I wanted to jump over the table and claw her eyes out but I didn’t.

  5. I, like you was warmed by the passage you included from his original article. Like almost everything I read there is an inner conflict as I feel like I live in both worlds and can never seem to feel comfortable in either. I guess the main lesson here is to stop the judgement PERIOD. 🙂 Great letter.

  6. Thank you for this Heather! I’m not a Mom yet but I was raised by a Mom who worked outside the home not just because she had to, but because she loves what she does. She and my Dad raised four happy, healthy, socially conscious adults, and we all still spend time together by choice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pitied for having been put in daycare, or called a “latchkey kid”. Our family worked because my parents worked hard to make it work. A lot of my friends had stay at home moms, and their lives were different but still great. I wish we could all just support one another in making good choices for our own families rather than shaming people who do things differently. The world needs all kinds of people, and this is how we go about doing that.

    • Thank you for your kind reply! I also wish we could just be supportive. JUST. (no pun intended).

  7. Liesje Tamminga Reply

    Yes, of course all family and parenting situations are different. I feel quite lucky to have the best of both worlds because I only work the hours that my child is in school…and to be quite honest – my career is more leisurely than the work I do at home. Stay-at-home moms are incredibly hard working…so are career moms.

    But I do have to say that I think the children should have an opinion too. I’ve worked in daycares before and seen the heartache of kids who only see their parents a couple hours a day. And I’ve heard from many career mothers of grown children that their only regret in life is not spending more time with their kids when they were little.

    If having a career is a choice and not a necessity for you…please consider what type of nurturing your children need. If they like daycare – great. If they’re crying everyday when you leave…then there’s a serious problem.

    • A few things:
      1. Moms work hard. Yes.
      2. I am in full support of making sensitive and responsive decisions that reflect and support children’s best interest (whilst also considering multiple variables and at times conflicting priorities).
      3. Thank you for your readership.

  8. Pingback: why can’t we be friends | A Mommy Evolved

  9. Sarah Hogan Reply

    Great response Heather.
    Here’s a strategy I sometimes use when asked by a SAHM why I work. I tell them (truthfully) that I thought that I did want to be a SAHM and tried it, but then realized that am actually kind of crappy at it and that our whole family was better off when I was working. At that point the SAHM would either avoid eye contact with me and back away slowly or she would laugh and ask me about my experience. Either way the problem solved by either shutting down a conversation with someone who probably wouldn’t get me anyway or connecting with someone with whom I could share the common ground of not only being a mother, but also striving to not give a shit about what closed minded people think.

  10. The thing that keeps coming up is that all of us… working in or out of the home, feel like we have to justify our choice. What if we just stop justifying? Could that help end the war? Our choice, period… no justification given.

    Why? Because I chose to.

    • Except… only some women are afforded (literally) the “choice”. But, yes. There should be no need to justify; no need to defend.

      This comment stream, however, kinda reinforces the thing that gets me- it always seems to come back to the debate of working mom or stay at home mom which, to me, misses the point I think is paramount.

      I believe that caring, attentive, invested, responsive, supportive, loving, doting, nurturing, challenging, and mentoring parents are found in all streams and you can rise to the task of raising those spirits up whole, complete, safe, secure and feeling loved up to the brim whether you work or not.

      That’s my 5 cents.

  11. I am going to wade in with a bit of a glass of cold water. Regardless of how long you choose to stay home with kids, either for a few months of a mat leave or forever you must be smart about it and protect your future.
    Most women truly believe the law protects them in old age or after a split. At the end of the day, if you have been home for ANY amount of time, those are not pensionable earning years and you are linked to him economically until you are dead.
    Spend ONE DAY in family court and see what happens. He: off with new girlfriend hiding income like crazy, You: outdated job skills, fighting for a piece of moving target.
    I know this is off topic a bit, but it is a MASSIVE risk taken by women who choose to throw their financial lot in with their man.
    Always have a concrete plan, make sure the power balance isn’t against you because he earns the cash, and for god’s sake find SOME way to make a bit of scratch of your own. Besides, it is simply bad for our self esteem to make no money of our own.
    I love this discussion generally because it brings out facts and sheds light on the idea that nobody is 100% comfortable with their choice, and spend a lot of time justifying their decision to work at a career or stay home and the realities sometimes get lost in the noise.

    • “I love this discussion generally because it brings out facts and sheds light on the idea that nobody is 100% comfortable with their choice, and spend a lot of time justifying their decision to work at a career or stay home and the realities sometimes get lost in the noise.”.


  12. I didn’t read the original piece but your post really resonated with me. I only recently decided to stay and try and work from home with my kids who are now 4 and 2. Until then I had a career that I loved. I still struggle with this decisions and internally deal with the biases from both directions. You are right though. ALL of us mom needs to stick together!

    • Salma, I think you’re right in using the word “bias”. I guess that’s what all these mommy wars (and apparently Dad’s are now in the ring too!) are about. Values and related bias. To each, their own. You know?

  13. I have been aching to write a response to Matt Walsh’s post since I read it but yours hit the nail on the head!! I have heard nearly all of the comments you mentioned at one point or another and I’m glad someone finally calls these people out.

    A few things I’ll add… Matt Walsh is blaming consumerism for this societal downfall. Please. Women don’t work simply because people want to buy more stuff. Maybe they have jobs that will create a debt-free future for their family, or maybe they work because their work actually contributes to society. That’s a novel concept right?

    And in response to this notion that women are ruining the world by putting their children in daycare while they work… If that is so bad, I wonder how Mr Walsh feels about these noble SAHMs who put their kids in “kids day out” 2-3 times/week. And in case he doesn’t know… Yes, that is daycare. So are these pillars of the family neglecting their children by doing this? If not, he should look in the mirror at the hypocrite he has become. Judge not lest ye be judged.

    He is right about this… We are not just moms. None of us. We are all women doing the best we can in all of the roles we fill. And the whole sun thing… I won’t even respond to that nonsense.

    • Hello Rhonda- I’m sorry that I missed your comment! I’m glad the post satisfied you in some way.

      Also, thank you for this: “We are not just moms. None of us. We are all women doing the best we can in all of the roles we fill. ”


  14. When did being a mother become a job? Are Dads superheroes because they not only have a career, but they also hold down the full time job of being a Dad? Or are stay-at-home-Moms simply trying to demote fatherhood to the status of an ATM machine and nothing more? Did you ever wonder why twice as many women over the age of sixty-five live at the poverty level than men over sixty-five?

    Y’all can fight the Imaginary War, but in the end, women lose.

    • Your argument regarding the simplification of the Father role resonates with me… perhaps too much to concisely reply here so I won’t elaborate but to say that I agree. Glorification of the Mother, stay at home in particular, does lend itself to reducing credit to Fathers, working or otherwise.

      Regarding how poverty is gendered- you couldn’t be more accurate. It’s sad, but true. The argument “I’m staying at home because it’s best for my family” can really be blown up if you want to look at socio-economic health of an entire system.

      Thanks for your challenging reply.

      • Glad to add some food for thought. We enjoyed your article, which is why we responded. Maybe we’ll see your views on the diminishing role of the Dad in the future?

        • Perhaps we can convince you to come and write WITH us moms? We would love to share your thoughts on this with our readers (and who best to talk about a Dad’s role, than a dad??)

          • Thank you for the invite, but we run four blogs and probably wouldn’t have time to devote to your blog with the quality you would probably expect. Besides, three of us five are men, but only one Dad among us. On tap for our two blogs as Five Drunk Rednecks is jury reform and the unconstitutional power judges attempt to wield over prospective jurors, review of our local radio station (our first blog inspired by the antics of none other than Matt Walsh), and the new attempt by the MD governor to put independent farmers out of business by blaming them for the polluted Bay. We figure these three articles, alone, will take us to the end of Feb to complete so we couldn’t put anything together for the Moms here until next month at the earliest. But we’ll gladly add our two cents worth here and there! 🙂

  15. I loved that article, even as a working mom. I completely agree that SAHMs do not get the credit they deserve for having the hardest job in the world, and if more dads acted this way and made their SAHM wives feel as though their contributions are just as (if not more) important, we’d all live in a better society.

    But it’s just THIS quote that gets to me:

    Of course not all women can be at home full time. It’s one thing to acknowledge that; it’s quite another to paint it as the ideal. To call it the ideal, is to claim that children IDEALLY would spend LESS time around their mothers. This is madness. Pure madness. It isn’t ideal, and it isn’t neutral. The more time a mother can spend raising her kids, the better. The better for them, the better for their souls, the better for the community, the better for humanity. Period.

    Well, Matt – now you’ve gone too far. How about the more time PARENTS spend with their kids, the better? Why is it about a mother raising her kids? How about talking about “parents” raising “their” kids? With this paragraph, he has lost a lot of credibility with me and revealed that this was NOT about women’s rights or equality. It’s about supporting the way things used to be in the Mad Men era, and yes, IDEALIZING them.

    He’s lost track of what’s truly best for humanity – two parental figures each spending as much time as they can raising their children, and doing what they can for the family, and for each other.

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