Is It Easy To Be A Rich Mom?
We got 99 problems and they are all first-world.
I frequently joke with my husband that I would be a great stay-at-home mom if I only had a full-time nanny. For us, it’s a joke, we aren’t poor or struggling by any means, but the money for babysitters beyond the occasional night out or haircut isn’t there. Recently, I met a woman who has a full-time nanny and she is a stay-at-home mom. We were getting along well, until we started swapping our “get back into shape after baby” routines. Hers involved working out in the middle of the day with her personal trainer for two hours and hiring a nutritionist to make her menus. “It’s not easy,” she said. “But you have to make it a priority.”
There was this sweet, kind woman, who was smart and fun and I wanted to punch her right in the face.
Much as I imagine someone who has to work two part-time jobs to support their family wants to do with me right now.
Recently, Angelina Jolie was asked to respond to the hoopla created, when Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlene McCray admitted to having guilt as a mother. (Because if you are famous and you’ve procreated we have to ask you about your womb.)
Here is how Jolie responded. “I actually feel that women in my position, when we have all at our disposal to help us, shouldn’t complain. Consider all the people who really struggle and don’t have the financial means, don’t have the support, and many people are single raising children. That’s hard.”
Jolie is both right and wrong. She is right in that no one wants to hear a rich, white lady whine about the help. It’s the modern Marie Antionette, telling the exhausted mother masses, “Let them hire nannies!” But it’s not just the ultra-rich. Many of our problems that we discuss here on the site and in our own lives—which swimsuit to buy, other moms throwing fancy parties that make you feel bad, summer camps for kids and why our baby didn’t get to move up in gymnastics—are first-world mom problems. We would all do well to check ourselves every once in a while and realize that we are better off than most of the world.
That said, motherhood is hard. No one is denying that it is hard for the rich as well as the poor. You can have every tool at your disposal, all the help money can buy and you can still royally screw up your kids. And parenting isn’t a game where we see who hurts more. Pain and guilt, those are universal, those are relative. And no one should deny anyone the agency to express those frustrations.
Pain is not a competition. But I think the lesson from Jolie is that we would all do well to check ourselves and listen more and complain less. Blessed is more than just a hashtag, it’s the state of first-world grace we are all living in.
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