Warning: This is a bit of a rant. But it's sincere, thought out, and not actually intended to hurt or cause more division. It's aim is to draw attention to perhaps an unrealized harm. Also, it's on my own private blog. (That's kind of the point of the whole post.)
I have a habit of scrolling through Facebook and Instagram as I fall asleep at night. After an almost 9 hour work day, I went home and cleaned and folded laundry for about 5 hours. It was a long day. Past midnight and the last Facebook post I looked at as I tried to quiet my thoughts said something like "Hey Mommy Friends, when do we get to stop? It's 8 and now that the kids are in bed, the dishes and laundry still need to be done." I get it. I do. Or I don't. (I probably really don't.) But I considered deleting my Facebook account last night. When did it become a mom's chat room? Here me.
I want ya'all to talk, but that's what moms groups, private messages, gmail, gchat, iPhones or anything else is for. Women who aren't mom's - also work crazy long days, to come home and start cleaning at ridiculous hours of night, and grocery shop through empty aisles because most of the world is at home asleep, or worse, grocery shop during "rush hour". So maybe start the general Facebook posts with a few less exclusives, maybe write "Hey lady friends" or maybe just "Friends"? Because life gets busier and busier... even for those of us who aren't moms. And dear God, when I think of all the women who are these people's friends... who maybe can't have kids, who unknowingly stumble into an internet mommy group every time they open their Facebook, just trying to glimpse through that small window to say hello to all the people dear to them and instead get ambushed with posts beginning "Hey there all you mom's, what do you do when...." Google it. That's what the rest of the modern world does with their problems! Then, ask your mom. Or call your friend. Or send out a group email. Don't all you mom's have each other's emails? Or create a Facebook mommy group! Please, for the sanity of the rest of us - create a Facebook mommy group. So that when I fall asleep at midnight, with a 6am alarm to get to work early so I can make that deadline and get home in time to grocery shop and get dinner ready before the out of town guests get here..... I don't feel excluded from the 'real hard working class of women' who just so happen to have the daily privilege of raising tiny humans.
Many of us would love to be doing that - and we get that it's hard work - but we're working hard too. And we don't get the reward of a child. Sometimes, I even like the mommy posts and mommy talk coming up in my feed. These are my friends - and it's their life. And I want to be a part of it!! But it's getting excessive and borderline inconsiderate. Just think about it. Try to find ways to be inclusive. I feel like that's a good lesson to teach kids - and maybe moms.
The rest of us don't want to feel like outsiders every time we open our Facebook, or sit in a room where there's a majority mommyhood. Keep posting, keep sharing, but maybe ask yourself a few questions first. Who all is going to see my post versus who is my post addressed to? Is this the best way to communicate to my specific audience? Is it going to hurt someone, and if so, is there a way I could do this without hurting those people? (eg, a different media or different language?) I know you're all moms and you 'have a heart for other moms' and want to support and encourage one another. But maybe expand your vision. Because there's a lot of women who aren't moms, who don't have support groups, who still need you. Women who would love to see an encouraging note of camaraderie on Facebook, that included them.
As a side note, just to overturn a few things I've heard women say about the difference between being a stay at home mom or a career woman: There are bosses who are as needy and demanding as children (not mine currently), and while the thought commonly exists that you can just quit. That's not exactly true. And most jobs aren't just hanging out at work and chatting with friends. They aren't 'chasing dreams'. It can be a real test to find purpose in it. And to find friends in it. Women aren't good at compartmentalizing - you know this - so don't expect working women to have this thing that they just go do for a minimum of 40 hours a week and then have all this awesome fun freedom the rest of the hours. Most careers aren't that way. We're still always tied to it - thinking about it - being measured by it - and most likely, being emailed about it. At times, we get talked down to, we have unrealistic expectations set on us, personal boundaries tested and a whole hell of a lot demanded from us nonstop.... at work, and then at home. Because no one at home knows the big thing you pulled off at work. You get to prove yourself from scratch, twice a day. You get to learn to be you, while living a very divided life, split between two separate worlds that really don't want you to talk too much about the other. So, in closing, support and encourage one another, mommys or not. Please. We already feel like we miss out on enough.