Secret Live of Soccer Mom, Revisited.
Whoa Nelly! Who would’ve thought that a tiny, little reality show on TLC would stir up so much angst?
Last week I wrote about my impressions of the premiere episode of “The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom,” the reality program where an at-home mom is given a week to resume working in her chosen career. At the end of that week, she’s offered a full-time job and has to make a decision: Pass on the offer or take it and return to work. While my chief complaint was with the cruelly manipulative twist of giving a family only a small window of time to make a life-changing decision, I had a mostly positive response to the show. I loved seeing a woman who’s been out of the marketplace for a while beam with pride when she realizes that she’s still got it goin’ on at work.
Thus far, two episodes into the season, a mom of three has decided to take a job as a fashion designer and a mom of two has decided to decline an offer to be a chef in an upscale restaurant saying she’ll have to defer her dream a bit longer because she thinks her children are still too young for her to work full-time. So far, it has been fair.
However if you take a look at some of the rhetoric zipping around the internet, you’d have thought that “The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom” had declared all-out war on at-home parenthood or said that working full-time is the only legitimate choice for mothers of small children. While last week’s Mommy Track’d essay mentioned how, after the premiere episode, TLC’s bulletin boards were active with heated vitriol from women calling the show “disgusting,” in the past week the online dispute between working moms and at-home moms has only intensified. Here’s just a snippet – a snippet mind you -- of the postings on the TLC “Secret Life” bulletin board following the airing of the second program:
“I am a 4th generation working mom. And whatever CHOICE my daughter, who's 18 and college-bound, makes, I will stand behind her 1000%. Who made YOU to look down your nose at those of us who either choose or have to work? Honey, you seriously need to get a life outside of your kids. Maybe then, you'll understand the reality of today. . . I don't sponge off my husband and I have taught my daughter that independence is absolutely NECESSARY. Perhaps if you bothered to REALLY come down off that pedestal you're put yourself up on and see the REAL WORLD, you might just learn something.”