I saw this on Pinterest recently. It was “Piiiiiinteresting…” (see how hilarious I am?)
But the really interesting part was the link back was to this blog that was basically like, “That’s insulting bullshit. You can be a good mom regardless of the state of your home. I have a clean home. I’m a good mom. Suck it.” Only it was a bit nicer.
This made me think about a handful of things:
a) We really need to check sources more when we’re pinning and re-pinning things on Pinterest because, really, if you’re looking for a “Messy home = good mom” validation then this blog post is actually emphatically *not* for you.
b) We need to de-couple the idea of house-keeping from mothering. Keeping house is important. Mothering is important. You can do both at the same time or not. One isn’t necessarily connected to the other. You can also mother and be an accountant at the same time. And no one is like, “She thought *that* was a deductible expense?! She must be a fucking terrible mother! God help her children!”
Housekeeping and mothering are by no means the same thing. The relative state of your home has about as much to do with the relative state of the relationship with your children as the level of your income has to do with the importance of your job. Obviously genuine willfully ignored biohazards are an exception but, “OMG! Look at her handcrafted wreath and shiny floors / lack thereof! She’s a fantastic / awful mother!” is a ridiculous conversation to be having in 2012.
c) How sexist is this entire conversation? Is Don Draper about to walk in and be like, “Hey kids, I found you a new mom who is *way* better at domestic tasks so I’m father of the year now. Obviously I couldn’t do any of these things myself. What with my penis and all. But don’t worry, I’ll upgrade to a new more domestically competent mother if necessary!” People question a working outside the home mother’s desire to continue working by saying, “Why have kids if you’re not going to raise them yourself?” Is their father not raising them if he works? Is raising children not work? Why is housework seen as relevant to mothering but not as relevant to fathering?