A response to Del Priore’s ‘Hoboken Mommy’ essay

(Editor’s Note: Last week, we ran an essay by writer Joe Del Priore in which he criticized a blog run by a Hoboken Mom. This week, a reader responds to Del Priore’s essay. To see the full essay she’s responding to, you can check out last week’s Midweek Reporter at http://www.hudsonreporter.com/pages/current).

Dear Mr. Del Priore,

Let me understand what you are saying here… You read a blog posted by a first-time mother who left Hoboken for the suburbs with her little family, only to move back because things weren’t working out. After moving back, she had a hard time and discussed in her blog the trials and tribulations of stay-at-home-motherhood; frustrations of having a baby in a cramped space, money issues, feeling isolated, etc.
You then responded to this post by suggesting that she and her family move back to the suburbs so she can provide her child with a “healthier” environment to “freely run around” and also to take advantage of the better schools found in suburban communities so that a) their financial issues are solved, seeing that they don’t have to pay thousands per year for private schools and b) this kid wouldn’t have to be subjected to and corrupted by the Hoboken public school system, which “no one sends their kids to.”


How dare any mother be frustrated by watching Elmo while picking boogers out of a sick toddler’s nose?

Your response to her with your suggestions wasn’t good enough for you. I guess you didn’t get everything out of your system and you were so disturbed by her “complaining” that you then went on to write an article describing this woman, in so many words, as needy, selfish, and a person who “assumes she is entitled to all the best all the time” because of her gripes about not having enough time in the day and the difficulties of training for a marathon that “mommy HAS to run,” a marathon that requires her to squander all her husband’s hard-earned money on sneakers and a gym membership instead of feeding her daughter’s college fund.
Was I correct in how I interpreted your essay? If so, I have a question for you: On what planet do you think you are in any position to judge a young mother who is venting about the difficulties about staying at home with a baby?
I know nothing about you, Mr. Del Priore; I can only assume. Normally, I wouldn’t consider myself qualified to assume anything about a person I’ve never met, but since you think it’s OK to sum up this poor woman’s life and everything she stands for in a few weak and misogynistic sentences, and also since your words reveal its writer to be a sad excuse for a man with extremely limited character, I think that gives me the free pass to let you know the way your article portrays its author.
You are probably a late-twenties or early thirties dude who enjoys things like watching sports – you probably belong to a fantasy football team, you like to hang out with your buddies, you probably work a decent amount and your job as a writer/journalist/columnist/whatever probably strokes your ego enough to give you the idea that you are awesome; it might even impress whatever girls are attracted to a chauvinistic pig like yourself. You might also like to work out occasionally and you probably belong to a gym either in Hoboken or wherever you live. Do you consider the monthly cost of your gym membership too much for an average person to pay, Mr. Del Priore, or does it prevent a family from saving for theirs and their children’s futures?
You strike me as a single guy with no children, which means that you have no clue what it’s like to share your life with other people that make up your family. I’m guessing I’m right, considering the outdated principles you were trying to get across to our mommy blogger. Are you a real live caveman who believes a wife and mother’s place in this world is in the kitchen, barefoot, pregnant, and serving her family?
“Shouldn’t your life revolve around your spouse and child?” you ask. You don’t understand how someone who stays at home and doesn’t “work” needs something known as “me time.” Let me clear it all up for you.
Yes, her life absolutely revolves around her spouse and child, every minute of every hour, whether she is awake, not awake, should be sleeping but can’t be because the baby is up, ready to fall down because her eyes can’t stay open anymore… you get the idea. And once the baby does learn to sleep once in a while, those (very many) waking hours consist of carrying, serving, feeding, wiping, changing, cleaning, bathing, comforting, rocking, kissing, loving, hugging, marveling, crying (both mother and baby), worrying, second-guessing your choices…I would say you get the idea, but you so obviously do not.
And that “me time” you referred to? Well, this exhausted mommy probably wanted two minutes to use the bathroom with the door shut. According to you, that is entirely too much for her to ask. What time did you wake up this morning, Mr. Del Priore? Were you awakened several times during the night with a child that can’t sleep?
And now, this self-obsessed mother wants to run a marathon. How dare any mother be frustrated by endless mind-numbing hours of watching Elmo while picking boogers out of a sick toddler’s nose, when only a few short years ago she graduated with honors from college?
And, here’s the kicker. She’s trying to blow off steam in a constructive and healthy manner – wow, how selfish can one person get? She should be burned at the stake.
By the way, Mr. Del Priore, distance running is probably the cheapest sport out there; all you need are good sneakers, comfortable clothes and determination. The college fund will not be affected, I promise.
You might feel a little put off right now; not very happy about the fact that I am describing you as a Neanderthal frat boy. I might be wrong about what I assumed. You might be a good person. Well, you should have thought about that before you got up there on your ivory tower, judged this mother and told her how YOU think she should be living her life. Basically what I’m saying is, don’t comment on things you very obviously know nothing whatsoever about. Nobody cares about your irrelevant opinion on what you believe being a parent is all about.
Walk (or run) a mile in her shoes before passing judgment. Stick to writing about things you do know about, like fantasy football.
J. Berg,
Mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, marathoner, college graduate, proud resident of the City of Hoboken, and mom of a Hoboken public school student.


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