Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What Business is it of Mine?

I've been thinking about conflict. Working vs SAH moms. Bottle vs Breast debate. Pro life vs Pro choice. Leagalize vs Criminalize. Public school vs Private school vs Homeschool. Religion. Race. Gender. Sexual Orientation.

So many divisive topics - & I have an opinion about each of these.

Our brains are designed to categorize. It is part of how we assimilate information. But at what point does the categorization become judgment?

I like to understand my opinions & why I have them before I go spouting them off in front of others. It sucks when someone questions you on an opinion & your mind is filled with chirping crickets. Embarrassing, really.

Ultimately, I wonder what business is it of anyone's what I choose to do with my life, as long as I'm not hurting anyone else.

Sometimes? Believing in a principle is hard.

For example, I am technically pro-choice, only because I don't believe the government should regulate morality. I believe that morality is beyond the scope (and comprehension) of the government. In my mental imaginings, government would exist as a basic framework so we're not running about all rambunctious and amok.

However, actual abortion? Makes me a little ill. I am anti-abortion.

Really, I'm pro-responsibility. If you don't want to get pregnant? Either protect yourself or don't have sex. If the protection fails? That's the risk you took. Now, suck it up & accept the consequences.

I also understand there are many circumstances that turn this into a shades of gray issue. Rape, incest, certain death of mother or fetus, etc., make the choice far more complicated. I have had friends who have had abortions because they weren't "ready" for children. I disagree with their choices, but those choices were not mine to make.

When it was my turn? I wasn't "ready" either. Not even close. I made my choice. People disagreed with my choice. But it was not their choice to make.

When I got pregnant? It was because I was irresponsible. He was not planned. Nor his father "parent" material. When I got pregnant? I took responsibility for the consequences of my actions. Because the choices I made to get there? Were mine.

Also? I work. Because I have to.

But if it wasn't necessary? I don't know that I would be a SAHM. There are a lot of other factors that influence that decision besides monetary necessity. Am I a bad mother because I work? No. Would I be a better mother if I stayed at home? In some ways, I think yes, & in others, no. Much would depend on the circumstances.

Do I judge other women who work because they work? No. Do I judge SAH mom's because they stay at home? No. If that's what is best for their family, what business is it of mine?

Do I have opinions about choices people make? Yes. Do I think some people continually make stupid choices? Yes. Will I offer my opinion? Yes. Am I sometimes snarky about what people choose to do? Yes. Do I still sometimes judge despite my best efforts not to? Yes.

I do not claim to be perfect. I do not claim to have all the answers. But I also know that no one else has them all, either. My life is my journey. No one else's. I have my own lessons to learn. If you have a different opinion about a choice I've made? Congratulations. Feel free to politely explain your point of view. You might give me some new perspective that I can use to update my own viewpoint.

If you want to tell me what an idiot I am because of my choice? If you want to sanctimoniously condescend to me because you know the choice I clearly should have made? Be prepared to either be ignored, made fun of, or given suggestions as to where you can shove this "knowledge."

Besides, I have found that the people who are most sanctimonious and condescending? More often than not have no idea what they're talking about.

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  1. The only beef I have with working mother's is that they are not home to play with me. It's a hardship.
    While many mother's return to work, because as you said, they have to. Many claim fiscal needs but they really work so they can buy things. Bigger cars, houses... I like honesty. Tell me really why you are working.
    Pro-responsibility is an excellent term.
    Very controversial post! Can't wait to see where it goes.

  2. I'm a working mom. I work because I love having something that's mine and mine alone. I am selfish that way. I also think it's good for my son to have a bit of time away from me and my husband. He is getting social interaction on a consistent basis - something he would not have otherwise.

  3. Kristin - I agree. Honesty is good. That's part of why I said that I don't know if I would be a SAHM if I could. And "could" is relative. We "could" if we lived on a very, very thin budget or if my Hub got a second job. There would be no extra money for anything extra. And I am not willing to let my Hub get a second job. I think he is important to the family and he needs to participate. He is more than a paycheck. He is a dad.

    Cecelia - Necessity is not the only reason I work at this point. I think I benefit from the time. We had special family babysitting arrangements for most of his life & he is now in preschool & greatly benefiting from the structure & socialization. Also, I lack the discipline to provide structure, I'm thin on patience at times, plus? I like working and I don't ever want to be in a position (should Hub get hit by a bus or trade me in on a young secretary) that I can't support my kid on my own if need be. I'm the independent sort.

  4. Please write a letter to my smil. She does not understand that no matter how frequently she makes "suggestions" our choices are not hers to make.

  5. This post rings so true to me. I am a big believer in learning about other people's beliefs...but in a polite way. I can't tell you how many times I've seen grown women and men say the most horrible things to each other instead of just agreeing to disagree. I'm not perfect either - no way! - but I really hate it when people think they know what all the answers are.

  6. I agree 100% on every single thing in this post. All the views on abortion, and I'm a huge advocated for being responsible for your own actions. Also, as a stay at home mom who welcomed the opportunity to work from home, I agree that staying at home isn't the best for everybody.

  7. I love people with opinions and a passion for them. I agree with you on all of these accounts and I encourage you to continue to share your thoughts and ideas, no matter what they are. I'm going to. :)

    It's also okay to disagree every once in a while. That's what makes life interesting.