As a sometimes babysitter and former nanny, I am not exempt from the Mommy Wars. I have been there as the bombs were hurled and my mommy employers scattered for cover. I openly admit that I’ve held camp at both sides and have worked for women who have chosen a variety of paths. But even though I’ve helped you hold down the fort and stock up on provisions doesn’t mean I’ll assist in loading up that ammo.
Strolling a baby through the park, I’ve received comments from the stay-at-home mom crowd about how s0-and-so seems to be needing me so much these days. It may be veiled in concern, but the subtext of that blow was that you’re not home enough because you have a job that takes you from the home. The shot may have been directed at you, but I’m suddenly the one in the line of fire. I’ll cradle the baby and say something along the lines of you accomplishing such and such project, that you’ve landed an account that you’ve been vying for for months, that your partner (should you have one) is really proud of you.
Naturally, I will have had to perform a similar defense for the working mom crowd, assuring them that my SAHM employer does get out quite often, that the kids are doing really well, that her eldest just made a new team.
It hasn’t happened yet, but I worry it’s only matter of time before I get taken out in the dreaded Mommy Wars. Would you fire me because the lady down the street saw me with your kids too many days in a row? Would the SAHM cut back my hours so as to appear more stay-at-home-ly to her other full-time mom friends? It may read far-fetched, but given how you all slam each other over something so trivial, I assume I’ll be another casualty on the field.
Regardless of my efforts or my position, nothing makes me cringe more than hearing the moms I work for go at one another for their life choices. As a young woman without kids yet, I’m looking to you to make peace with enemy forces, not train me in how continue the battle.