The Chicago Moms Blog and its sister blogs are discussing The Other Mother, the newest novel by Gwendolen Gross. I found this book compelling and I literally could not put it down. I love when this happens with a book! Some may think The Other Mother is about the Mommy War between stay-at-home Moms and working Moms. I saw it more as a familiar story of two Moms and their very realistic feelings, actions, and emotions through Motherhood. I think in many ways both Mothers have something about them to which you can relate, and you'll find yourself saying I know that Mother or maybe even I am that Mother...
I have always been a stay-at-home Mom and have no idea what it would be like to work while my kids were taken care of by someone else. To be honest, just thinking about that makes my heart race and my palms sweat. I am a very attached Mama to my babies and like to keep them close under my wing. I do not desire to have anyone else caring for my children but me, so strongly do I feel this that I've made the choice to not work and instead stay at home. We do make sacrifices and have a small house, not many luxuries, and go without extravagant vacations. And still, I know many working moms that live in a small house, don't have many luxuries, and go without extravagant vacations. All Moms, working or stay-at-home, make sacrifices.
But, we're not the type of people to really care about that stuff anyway. The important things are taken care of- and that's what matters to us. I know without a doubt that someday I will not look back on this time with regret. I personally am very proud of my decision to stay at home and parent my children full-time. I am thankful as a woman that I have this choice.
This is how I feel, and I don't know what it's like to be on that other side. But Gwendolen's story of two Mothers in The Other Mother sheds light and opened my eyes on an area I have never treaded upon. I have compassion for all Mothers- as we're doing the best we can. I don't want there to be a war, if there really is one going on between Moms. If anything, we need each other's support more than ever.
I think The Other Mother is also a good reminder that what appears so lovely and perfect on the outside is not always a true reflection of the inside of a person's heart or home. That is something I am often reminding my own self of. We are all that other Mother.