Home » Lean In, Opt Out, Whatever. . .Can We PLEASE Just STOP Talking About It ALREADY

Lean In, Opt Out, Whatever. . .Can We PLEASE Just STOP Talking About It ALREADY

Warning:  What follows is an oversimplified, poorly edited “current events” rant. . .It’s not typically what I do here, but I couldn’t control myself. . .

Unless your are somehow living completely cutoff from society, chances are you’ve heard about “Lean In” v “Opt Out.”


Does it bother you?

It’s starting to make me batshit crazy.

It’s stupid.

That’s right S T U P I D.

Why is something as basic as parenting – especially from the woman’s perspective – suddenly creating a media frenzy?

All parents have to make compromises.  They always have.  Come on, that’s not news.

And today I’m seeing headlines about how Mom’s really want to kinda‘ lean in and kinda’ opt out.

Well, duh.

Who funded that study?  What a waste of resources!

I’d imagine most parents would say they would love a way to optimize their career options and earnings potential while still spending as much time parenting as possible.

But that’s not reality for the majority of parents.


As a parent you make the best decisions you can given your circumstances and the information available.  That’s all you can do.

The media hype and the oversimplified labels and generalizations are ridiculous.

Mothers who have been toughing it out working outside the home are reportedly “gloating” at the “recent” discovery that their Stay-At-Home opted out peers now want “back in.”

Mothers who have opted out secretly or not so secretly feel smug because they believe staying at home with their children is a better way to parent.


All of you, stop it!

All of this attention is completely misdirected.

We’re wasting time and resources debating something that isn’t all that controversial. . .because if you’re debating it, reading about it, worrying about it, chances are you have the RESOURCES which allow you the luxury of time to focus on it.  (Obviously that includes your favorite Reluctant Mother).

You’re not out there, working three part-time jobs just to put food on the table and pay the rent.  You’re not worried about your child’s exposure to lead-based paint, or a natural gas leak, because you have a dead beat scumbag landlord.  You’re likely not living paycheck to paycheck.

The entire “lean in/opt out debate” is most assuredly a first world problem.  And the more attention we give it, the less time we have to focus on what SHOULD matter. . .

That there are families out there who can barely afford to feed their children three meals a day.  Folks who work HARD who are still barely getting by.  That their “safety net” is dangerously thin.  That our community resources and social programs aren’t doing enough to help people who desperately need resources.


(And I’m clearly guilty too. . .So no need to comment that I’m some kind of hypocritical opt-out jerk.  I am.  I have been.)

Instead, we’re hiding behind pointless studies, smartphones, and lap tops, fretting about decisions we’ve already made.

Get with it Parents.


Go do something that REALLY MATTERS.  Help another parent. Help a child.  Volunteer.  Call your politicians.  Whatever you can.  Whatever your position.  DO SOMETHING!  ANYTHING!

Because really, whether you lean in or opt out you are STILL a role model for your children.  And I think we can all agree we want to raise socially aware, responsible children.  Let’s stop talking and start DOING.




8 Responses to “Lean In, Opt Out, Whatever. . .Can We PLEASE Just STOP Talking About It ALREADY”

  1. Seriously! I couldn’t care less about how other mothers spend their days, and I doubt anyone cares how I spend mine. The only “mommy wars” I’ve ever witnessed have been articles rehashing the same stuff over and over again.
    Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0 recently posted…Is My Family Ready For a New Addition?My Profile

    • admin says:

      Thanks for reading & commenting Jenn! I’ve been loving your writing lately. I’m sorry I’m such a poor commenter. BUT I’m reading and I am very much enjoying it! 🙂

  2. You my friend, have nailed this one. For years I have been railing against the “experts” who look for reasons to stay employed and put on airs of being smart. I basically don’t even follow mainstream news anymore because I am sick to death of only getting the sensational stuff that *they* thing is important (and by “important” I mean “sells newspapers.)

    I’ve been in and out several times and not once did it matter to me what others were doing and not once did I pull the “well, *I* think what *I* did was the best, so you should too!” line at a party or play date. Frankly, I think the mommy wars are a carefully planned strategy to get us to fight each other, rather than stand together and really blow some holier-than-though guys out of the water.
    The Next Step recently posted…The Boy Who Cried WolfMy Profile

    • admin says:

      I pretty much ignore all media too these days. If I’m in the car, I might try to catch up on a little news – assuming some skull splitting kid’s music hasn’t been requested. And I see tweets. . .many of which I just ignore.

      Clearly I thought leaving my career was important to MY family but I certainly don’t think that is best for everyone.

      You’re probably correct, if they can keep women acting petty amongst themselves, they make us less effective at harnessing all the power we really do possess. I’ll bet a LOT of women make most household spending decisions, health and welfare related decisions, vacation and travel plans. . .If we really could get together, we’d probably be unstoppable. And I’ll bet a LOT of ridiculous stuff that happens in male dominated government and corporate America would STOP…

      What are we all waiting for?!

      Thanks for reading and sharing! XO 🙂

  3. running mama says:

    Fucking awesome! Love it!

  4. Great job- I love this post! And I couldn’t agree more! Now I’m going to share it while I sip my cold Kuerig coffee (another first world problem).
    One Classy Motha recently posted…Cheapo Wino Review Wednesday! Alamos Red BlendMy Profile