Fight! Fight! Fight!
I think I just got into my first fight with a stay-at-home mother. I think.
This "Stay-at-home" mother is also a "freelance writer."
Anyway, this Freelance Writer did a Mother's Day column criticizing me for having a blog and also having a nanny.
Apparently, I'm not worthy of having a blog about mothering because I have a Nanny, so therefore couldn't possibly know what it's like to be a real mother. (If being a real mother means changing diapers and all that shit, as she suggests, well I've done that, many, many, many times.)
I had no idea this Freelance Writer even existed (and neither will most of you) until a friend of a family friend e-mailed me her story.
Usually, I don't respond when people write nasty things about me, because usually they are so wrong I laugh it off (No, I didn't yell at a former editor for buying me a salad for lunch. No, I wasn't wearing Prada heels when that didn't happen. No I didn't make the amount you said I did on my first book. I made more.)
But this writer really pissed me off because she was attacking my mothering skills. And she's a mother. And a woman. And, nuh-huh. I was sticking up for myself because I hate women like her.
I wrote her an e-mail, explaining that, just because I work and have a nanny, doesn't mean I don't spend time with my child. In fact, because I'm a writer, I can work anytime I want - so I usually work late at night, while The Dictator sleeps.
I also wrote she shouldn't judge me as she's never met me or my child.
And, fuck you too, I can start a blog about knitting if I damn well please, and I've never knitted a thing in my life. Ok, I didn't write that part, but it's true. I could start a blog about knitting if I wanted.
Then this Freelance Writer wrote me back, writing that she "chooses to be a stay-at-home mom" (Um, sorry, you fucking are "working" even if you tack on freelance - and my guess is, if someone offered you a book deal or a full time columnist position, you'd jump at the chance. Oh, really? You wouldn't? Liar.)
Then this Freelance Writer writes me that she has the "studies to back me up," that being a stay-at-home-mom is best for your child. Whatever. For every study you show me, I'll show you another one that says being a working mother is good too. It's a wash.
Oh, and also, this Freelance Writer wrote she has a "sister who gave up her six-figure job because she also believes a mom should be there during the formative years."
Ooooohh, you have a sister who gave up a six-figure job! Woweee!! You must be right then!! You have a sister who decided to stay at home, after all! How could anyone argue with that?
Then she writes something about actually enjoying changing dirty diapers (Oh, really? You actually laugh at a shitty diaper the day after your baby only ate peas for three meals and think to yourself, 'Oh this is so much fun!" I think you're lying.)
But the topping of the cake was this line: "I think it's really sad that feminists have brainwashed women into believing that they have to plug away at their career in order to be worthwhile."
No, dear Freelance Writer, it's so much better to attack me. Does that make you feel worthwhile? You can't come up with your own ideas, so you read ninepounddictator, even though no one forces you too, to find things to criticize? Does that make you feel worthwhile? Can my daughter please grow up to be like you? Please?
There was another line she wrote that made me laugh my ass off. Which was something about me having a nanny when it doesn't "appear" I have to work at all.
I will say this only once: I choose to work because I like my work. It was this way before I had The Dictator and might always be this way, or it might not. But whether I'm making $20,000 a year, or making $400,000 a year, whether the fiance is a billionaire or if he's dirt poor, I work because I like it.
(And, to me, dear Freelance Writer, it "appears" you are a bitter woman, but that doesn't mean you have to be, does it?)
And if this Freelance writer thinks the way she thinks, then I want to tell her she should maybe leave her home once in a while, because obviously she's been watching too much Barney. (Let me guess, dear Freelance Writer, you also don't believe children should watch television?)
There are hundreds of thousands of mothers who need to place their children in day care and don't have the option of staying at home because they have to work. (Are they bad mothers too?)
And there are hundreds of thousands of women who go back to work because they do like it, and they may want to raise their children to believe that they can do anything they want. (Does that make a woman a bad mother?)
I want to make this clear. My very best friend is a stay-at-home mother. She got knocked up, the first time, right after graduating university and has never had a job.
She stays at home raising four children. We are complete opposites. I love her. She loves me.
The point is, I couldn't give a rat's ass if you want to be a stay-at-home mother. Do whatever makes you feel good.
I've never once judged my best friend for her choices, nor does she judge me for mine. Nor do I even blink when I meet a woman who says she stays at home. Why? Because I don't care. The Modern Woman should do what she wants.
So dear Freelance Writer, do not judge me for wanting to work. Do not think I'm a bad mother for having a nanny when it "appears" I don't have to work. Maybe I do have to work for my mental sanity? Did you ever think of that? Did ya? Did ya?
When it comes down to it, I don't think that this Freelance Writer really thinks I'm a bad mother. I think she's just a tad bitter about her life and the only way she can find happiness is to criticize people who are happy with their choices. At least that's the way it "appears" to me.
Let's just say this: I could say I'm really happy this freelance writer is not my mother. I'm not sure how I could live in a household where my mother was so bitter and judgemental over people she doesn't even know.
But I won't.