Monday, March 10, 2014

but I am the hardest working person in the village...

The other day I was mooching around Facebook when found one of those funny vintage-styled cards that I normally find hilarious. Hang on, let me see if I can find it… Ah yes, there it is. Exhibit A.

It got me thinking about one of the lesser-known battles, one similar to the Battle of the Sexes but with a frilly twist. Ta daaa, I present to you … The Battle of the Dresses.

Basically, it’s a Cold War between SAHM’s and WOHM’s. You might not know what those are yet, but in a nutshell, it’s an ongoing competition about which is HARDER: being a StayAtHomeMom or being a WorkOutOfHomeMom. And yes, they are actual recognised acronyms - not made up by me this time. There’s another acronym,WAHM, which stands for WorkAtHomeMom but this is a separate category altogether, which irks the SAHM’s and WOHM’s because it mucks with their arguments.

This war has escalated to such a degree that there are forums and websites dedicated to SAHM’s and WOHM’s bitching and moaning about each other. 
I’m not really sure when this infighting started but I’m placing my bets on sometime after WW2 when women found that, after being in the workplace for the first time, they weren’t that eager to relinquish their paying jobs and go back to being housewives and mothers. They liked being self-sufficient, independent women. Note: this could be a clue.

Perhaps, back in the post WW2 era, the women who carried on working and the women who went back to being SAHM’s had some kind of mutual respect. Fast-forward to 2014 and this respect seems to have disappeared. If anything, the issue seems to be hotting up.

This “my-work-is-harder-than-yours” mentality has spawned a new phenomenon called Mommyjacking. This happens when WOHNOM (WorkOutOfHomeNon-Mom) declares – normally on some or other social media forum (erm, whole bunch of questions right there -- WTF!??!?!)  - how ‘hard’ their day has been, or they might boast of any recently endured “hardness”. Her/his statement is then mommy-jacked when a SAHM retorts with a counter hardness argument.  Here’s a little sample that was gleaned from…

WOHNOM: I love working and not getting paid.

Mommyjacker: Welcome to motherhood. lmao

Mmm. See what I mean? It’s really hard to tell who is worse. To be fair, it’s not only SAHM’s that Mommyjack. WOHM’s like to do it too (please refer to exhibit A postcard.)

Just as pendulums will swing, there is a counter-phenomenon to Mommyjacking that might in fact be even worse. I don’t think it has a name yet but perhaps we could call it Mommywanking.

Mommywanking occurs when mothers gush on social media about how much they luuuuurve being a mommy and how little [insert kids name here] is just the sweetest, most darling, gentlest, intelligentest, prettiest, talentedest, atom-splitter in the world. For some reason, this even more uncomfortable than Mommyjacking because everyone knows that everyone else isn’t going to agree, because everyone else has their own little darling that they think is nicer than the other little darling, right? Note again: Mommywaking isn’t exclusive to SAHM’s because WOHM’s do it too. No wonder WOHNOM’s hate moms, but more about that later.

You’d think that with at least Mommyjacking and Mommywanking in common the SAHM’s and WOHM’s would get along. But they don’t and the one-upmanship continues. I’m thinking of getting T-shirts made in support of either group. You know, like political parties do.

Whilst trying to get all of this hard, harder, hardest work into perspective, I was reminded of Chris Rock’s take on people who call their work “hard’. He was lambasted for saying at the 2012 Oscars that he hates it when actors say how ‘haaaard” it is doing voice-overs for animated films. He pointed out something along the lines of “you know what’s hard? Digging trenches. Now that’s hard work” (~ please imagine this in Chris Rock’s voice, it’ll just be funnier. If you don’t know what that sounds like, it’s the Zebra’s voice in Madagascar.)

What that basically means is that all the while that SAHM’s and WOHM’s are arguing about whose work is the harderestestest, trench diggers are scoffing behind their pick-axes because they know that THEIR work (along with perhaps miners and sex workers) is in fact the hardest.

Alongside this Battle of Hardness between SAHM’s and WOHM’s, an invisible enemy lurks. WOHNOM’s. WOHNOM detest WOHM’s. It’s true!  Just when the WOHM’s were happily smug in their belief that their life is the hardest, it turns out that WOHNOM’s hugely resent mothers who work, claiming that they get preference over non-moms. WOHNOM’s say that WOHM’s don’t pull their weight, meaning that the WOHNOM’s have to pick up all the slack.

This means WOHNOM’s believe that they the harderestestest working people in the world. But they obviously haven’t chatted to the trench diggers, miners and sex workers.

I tell you, all this just makes me long for the good old days when the enemy was just plain old men. Things were so much simpler then.