The crux is that there are two kinds of stay-at-home moms, “ordinary SAHMs” and “GALs.” GALs are SAHMs who are “Getting it ALl” Clever, huh. I’ll save my secondary rants for another post, but here is my primary aggravation: When are we going to stop trying to convince people (moms, in this case) that they can get it all? I realize that these two women make their living by making women believe that they can get it all, and that if their argument wasn’t convincing they’d be out of a job.
When you make one choice, you automatically eliminate a whole host of others. If you choose to stay home with your kid(s), your career is most likely going to take a hit. If you choose to go to work and leave your children in the care of someone else, you’re going to encounter a whole host of other issues. For me it was not feeling completely present in my job because I really wanted to be with my kid. For other women I know it’s feeling that they never have enough time to spend with their children. For others it may be something else. But I don’t believe for a second that we can “get it all.” We create our priorities and we make decisions based on those. Not everything can be our top priority. Such a notion sets us up for failure. It makes us believe that if we don’t live up to that “getting it all” standard then we’re not doing the best we can. It’s hard enough being a mom without having someone telling us that unless we’ve “got it all,” we’re “ordinary SAHMs.” I was especially amused by their constant reminder that while we pursuing our passions in order to "get it all," we may find that we need to utilize child care during the week. Um, if I wanted my kid in child care, I wouldn't be staying at home with him. It's that kind of logic that made the book so aggrivating.
The irony is that the book we chose to read instead of this one was Little Earthquakes. One of the plotlines is about a woman who tries her best to “have it all” and realizes that it isn’t possible, that you have to make choices, and when you choose one path you have to accept the fact that you’ve eliminated the possibility of many other paths. It was refreshing and much more real than the “get it all” myth.