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Natalie Thomas Headshot

An Open Letter to the Woman Who Wrote THIS

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Dear Amy,

Thank you for your piece. I agree wholeheartedly that accomplished people -- single or not -- should be celebrated. We should throw parties for those making great strides and improving their lives and we do (bon voyage, welcome home, graduation, new job, big accomplishment, even divorce).

And, no, of course the actual act of doing laundry is not as important as being a doctor (what an absurd analogy) but the man or woman that did that laundry and ran that household made and raised that man or woman who became that doctor. Without them, their love, guidance, "hard" work, dedication, sacrifice and example, it wouldn't have been possible.

My allegiance ends here.

You likely hear more women complaining because there are more SAHMs than SAHDs. But I bet if you hung around with some of the dads, you'd hear a mouthful too. Because it is hard. Life is hard. It's made harder by unsupportive, judgmental people like you.

I'd gladly let you take care of my daughter for a few weeks in a row, especially when she's teething, sick (you two can "fight back vomit" together except she'll do less fighting and more projectile-ing) and constipated and see how much of an easy, nonevent it is. Actually, scratch that, I wouldn't let you near her with a 10 foot pole.

For the record, I bitched just as much, maybe more, when I was single and without a kid living the "fabulous" life. Other singles do too. And it's often about wanting a mate and a kid!

I've traveled the world, was single more of my life than I've been coupled, lived recklessly, loved wildly, been the heartbroken and the heartbreakee, worked my ass off, landed my dream job, went to the best parties, hung out with some of the biggest names, was nominated for an Emmy and written pieces that empowered women, not tore them down. And, guess what, having a child is still the single greatest accomplishment of my life. And no matter what I do in the future, it will continue to be so.

But it also doesn't solely define me. I'm able to continue to work, use my brain, challenge myself, be creative, grow, learn, have valuable friendships (many with single, childless people) achieve other life goals and be a well-rounded woman as I know most are. My role as a wife and a mother does not exclude me, or others, from being an interesting and accomplished person. To the contrary, those roles enhance and influence the other parts of me and vice versa.

I could go on but I don't need to (continue to) defend myself to you. I know I didn't settle. Settling for me would've been remaining in one of my lackluster or loveless relationships, staying single because I was too afraid to be vulnerable or too lazy to do the work to allow my husband to come into my life or deciding not to have a child because I was too fearful.

To people who don't yet have the right to a husband or wife because of people like you, to them and those that love them, marriage is equally -- a word you're not too familiar with -- important. That certificate, when it finally comes after a long, hard, seemingly impossible and otherwise archaic battle, is not "nothing." To them, it's everything.

And for all of the people who've struggled to have a child, fought to carry one to term, keep one alive or, God forbid, lost one, I say shame on you. Their fight, their pain, their victory, their loss is anything but average.

Finding the right person to share your life with, weathering everything that comes at you, remaining committed, having and raising a healthy child, choosing to stay positive and continuing to work at it all, those are hard things. Harder than you'll ever know. Because you choose the easy way -- ignorance. And the very people you attack -- mothers, fathers, soldiers, activists -- fight for your right to do so.

Many will be incensed. Most won't care. You may assume after reading my piece, I fall into the former category. It wouldn't be the first time you were wrong. (Trust me, this is me being nice.) I'm far too in love with my life to let a short-sided, unhappy person such as yourself rain on my married, mother-loving parade.

Shock value is what you're after. Attention, followers, people to know your name. Well congratulations, I know it. But this "mommy blogger" has so much "mommy brain" from doing meaningless things like raising a human that I'll forget it in a matter of seconds. After all, there's laundry to be done and we all know how taxing that can be.

P.S. For a woman who can't possibly "take care of herself," I wrote this on a Thursday at noon while at the hair salon, sipping a latte and reading about Claire Danes and Jennifer Connelly, both "exceptional" women, both married with kid(s), in magazines edited by married women with kids!