Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Broken Glass


The latest media controversy involves another attack on stay-at-home moms.  After hearing so much about Amy Glass and her declaration, “I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry,” I finally chose to subject myself to her enlightenment. Sadly, I was disappointed. This post generated this much discussion? This post stirred moms to write both offensive and defensive comments on social media sites? I am a bit baffled.  I shouldn’t have expected anything deeper after reading the title, but if so many people were responding, I believed the lie that there must be something worth taking time to read, even if it is offensive.  I guess I was surprised that something so obviously shallow and ignorant was deemed worthy material in the “mommy wars.”

Now, I am writing about it and linking to it. I might regret this. However, I am more interested in sharing a couple thoughts with fellow moms since this post seems to have gone viral. But first, please allow me to dissect some of her illogical arguments. I just can’t help myself.

Miss Glass contends that stay-at-home moms do nothing and are unable to be “exceptional.” That hardly needs any attention.  Her words clearly reveal a young, ignorant author.  Those sentiments do arouse my curiosity about her upbringing and her relationship with her own mother. I can’t imagine any woman with respect for her mom would ever write such an argument. Perhaps instead of an absent or disconnected mom, she had a mother who was fiercely independent; who passed on her own disdain for the beauty of stay-at-home motherhood. Perhaps, instead of independence, she is repeating the cycle she was raised in; infecting her environment with negativity and criticism. Brokenness abounds. It's really easy to be angry after reading her post, but when I think about the person and heart behind the words, I'm sad for her.

She denounces our celebration of marriage and childbirth, saying “These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them.” Her flaw is that she views marriage and childbirth as tasks, no different than the mere tasks of grocery shopping, mopping, laundry, and dusting.  She misses the point entirely.  Those are tasks that we all do as a part of life. I know some women who take pride in a well-managed home, just as the same woman may take pride in having a well-organized office, or efficient business practices.  However, I doubt many women think their worth is based in those tasks. Marriage and childbirth are infinitely more. We do not celebrate marriage and childbirth because a woman set a goal and now accomplished that task. That is what we do when we celebrate events like graduations, promotions, and buying one’s first home.  What a shame that Miss Glass equates marriage and having children with such things. What a shame that she cannot enter into the joy of those celebrations, because she lacks the ability to understand the depth of those relationships and moments in life. Both are commitment. They are love, true love; the kind that the Bible speaks of when it says “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man would lay down his life for his friends.” Anyone, with the proper understanding of marriage and childrearing, knows the depth of these relationships and would be willing to lay down their very physical body for the protection of their spouse or child. They will sacrifice their own self-fulfilling desires, needs, and often dreams for one another. They each walk through life with something far greater than a commitment to self.

Next Miss Glass gets comical.  She finishes denouncing our celebrations of marriage and having babies with her enlightened philosophy.  She says, “I want to have a shower for a woman when she backpacks on her own through Asia, gets a promotion, or lands a dream job not when she stays inside the box and does the house and kids thing which is the path of least resistance.” If you are like me, you may need to read that sentence again, because the grammar is horrendous. But, does anyone else see Miss Glass’s limited reasoning abilities? After reading her words that marriage and childbearing are “super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them,” she declares she wants to have a shower for a woman that can walk? Unless we are physically challenged, I’m pretty sure many of us can walk. “Literally anyone can,” even with backpacks on. The backpacking adventurer may do it “on her own,” but I do wonder if people are able to follow such dreams because they have support of family; you know, those people involved in marriage and reproduction.  Who will be at your shower for these women? Who will share in their accomplishments?  Pretty silly, huh? So, Miss Glass, I offer that it does not need to be one or the other, that we can celebrate when a woman marries and when she accomplishes a goal.

Do I need to even address the “house and kids thing which is the path of least resistance”? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Another fallacy Miss Glass makes, “I hear women talk about how ‘hard’ it is to raise kids and manage a household all the time. I never hear men talk about this. It’s because women secretly like to talk about how hard managing a household is so they don’t have to explain their lack of real accomplishments. Men don’t care to ‘manage a household.’ They aren’t conditioned to think stupid things like that are ‘important’.” This is truly written by an unmarried woman.  Wives, can we testify? Do your husbands never complain? Do they never complain about their day at work? I guess that day is worthy of being elevated to complaint status.  But, do they also never gripe about the mundane tasks of life; taking out the garbage, mowing the lawn, fixing a water leak, running errands, changing the oil, cleaning up vomit when the flu strikes, tackling the never-ending pile of clean laundry to fold and put away? I have to say, in my house, neither of us has reached the point of doing “all things without murmurings or disputings.”  I’m also pretty sure my husband does indeed think household responsibilities are important.  Never is the importance of the mundane more real than when those tasks go undone.  Just ask my husband, who has eaten cheese crackers for supper and found an empty underwear drawer before work in the morning. Sorry, babe!

However, if your husband never complains about managing a household, then I tip my hat to you, awesome wife and mom.  You are a far better manager than I am.  My husband didn’t marry one of you and probably has to chip in more than he’d care to. Though, I imagine you are even more sleep deprived than I am.  Sorry about that. It might just cause one to rethink that whole vow thing, if marriage were just another job we could quit, while moving on to something better.  Oh wait, look at the divorce rate, but that’s another subject.

I think I’ve shared more than enough critique of the Miss Glass’s blog post. However, I would like to speak on one point, her comment of hearing “women talk about how ‘hard’ it is to raise kids and manage a household.” Certainly we do this.  I complain. I am guilty. I’ve been around women, and we do complain. Sometimes, we just need to let it out. Sometimes, when we complain to one another, it turns our frustrations into moments of laughter. Or we find among us an encouraging friend, cheering us on, “Keep at it; don’t give up and try to escape on a backpacking trip through Asia. Nothing there will stir your heart or soul more than the light in your children’s eyes, or the feeling of your husband’s arms around you.” Wife and mom friends, we are called to something greater than self.  We know the depth of love and commitment that Miss Glass lacks. We know something she can only imagine and very poorly indeed. May we seek, in our communications, whether verbal or written, in public or private, online or offline, to share more of the joys and beauty of our wife and motherhood journey than we do the complaints. May we praise often.  May we love and commit ourselves, not only to our husbands and children, but one another. May we strive to have close friends and to be the kind of friend that can lovingly challenge and positively engage one another. And may we enter into one another’s joys, whether it is a friend’s career promotion or a promotion to motherhood. 

2 comments:

  1. Well Written! Thanks, Kelly for articulating the truth and putting it out there.

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  2. Oh Kelly....you nailed it! Amen! I have not been exposed to this woman's post but I can imagine I would not have been nearly as clear minded or delicate as you in my response. That kind of mindless drivel stirs my "unladylike" side!

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