And thank God for that or I guess I would be up-a-creek. Stuck watching soap operas instead. Seriously, is anyone else horribly troubled by the headline and tone of the propaganda supposed-article published recently in the New York Times? I think it was their coverage of the Blogging Bootcamp event (although the piece was published in Fashion & Style instead of Business), but I’m not sure. The seemingly biased, snarky piece read more like the attacks we used to see thrown at working mothers who dared to use their brains for more than washing dishes. Heavens!
The headline read “Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy Building My Brand.” That was the unbiased part. It got worse. Golden nuggets of sarcasm wisdom are sprinkled throughout the article, like this gem, “Teaching your baby to read? Please. How to hide vegetables in your child’s food? Oh, that’s so 2008.” One would suspect that Jennifer is a childless, single-minded, fast-tracked-career woman who just doesn’t realize that you can get plenty of computer time in by cutting out a daily commute and afternoon soaps.
But no. It turns out that Jennifer Mendelsohn is actually a mother herself. And blogger. Too bad she hasn’t more productively joined the community she chose to mock and treat with such derision. I wonder how she managed to build such a successful freelancing career as a stay-at-home mom when by her own admission she only just got four hours a day to herself while her two kids were in school as recently as January of this year. *Gasp* It was probably in the same way the rest of us do – WITH our children.
The article makes it sound like one cannot be a successful mother and manage a successful career simultaneously. I’m sorry – that mentality is so last century. Is it not? Have we NOT come further than that since the 70’s and 80’s when women were still seeking entry into “male-run industries”. Like publishing, marketing, PR and online industries?
Maybe I have a warped idealistic point-of-view. After all, I grew up with a mother who not only runs a successful home-based business (one of the top in her company!) and has trained hundreds of women internationally in said business, but ALSO raised and homeschooled eight (count them – EIGHT!) children. Both. It never crossed my mind to disbelieve the notion that I could be anything I wanted to be. I could be a successful mother (as well as any mother can consider herself “a success”) and ALSO manage a successful career writing online.
Yes, I was away from my children to write this blog post. They were happily helping my husband bring the tractor back from the 10 acre garden we are planting at the ranch this year. They never noticed my absence. I WOULD have written this post two days ago when I first read the article but I was busy on a date night with my husband and today, at the park with my kiddos. (See photographic evidence for pictures of obviously neglected kids *removing tongue from cheek*)
I don’t have to”hide vegetables” in my child’s food – I’ve had almost every meal of their little lives right by their side and showed them by example how to enjoy nutritious food. I actually AM in the process of teaching my children how to read. Thank you very much. And instead of paying someone else to do it for me, while I punch a clock on someone else’s schedule, I am able to BE THERE when my child needs a new diaper, or has an exciting new discovery from our backyard wonder-land to share with me.
Because online careers and, yes, blogging, has leveled the playing field in such a way that my mother in her petitioning-against-required-Home-Economics-for-females-in-her-high-school could only hope for. And following in her footsteps I plan to do BOTH – raise and school my children and be actively involved in their lives AND manage a successful career that blesses our family financially and keeps my children out of childcare with total strangers.
I’m just sorry Jennifer’s article didn’t celebrate that women are finally empowered to manage that dream. Instead of berating and belittling them for attempting it. THAT attitude was so last decade. And I pray for my daughter’s sake the remnants of that attitude will finally end in THIS decade. We could only wish that influential old-media like New York Times would pave the way towards more enlightened attitudes regarding women, motherhood and business. But apparently not. I guess it’s a good thing I’m home to encourage my daughter myself!