My take on Mommy Wars

It’s sad that there is even a term popularly used for such bullshit. Working mom vs. stay at home mom, breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, home schooling vs. public schooling vs. private schooling vs. unschooling, cloth diapers vs. disposables, med free birth vs. epidural vs. c-section, I could go on and on.

As has been said by many a blogger before me more eloquently, all it does is divide us and pit us against each other at a time in our lives when what we really need the most is to rally, to get through this together, to sing each other’s praises, to drink wine together and say, “great job raising a kid who will probably not become a mass murderer.”

I’m not innocent. I get pangs of defensiveness every time I read someones opinion on how they could never just “sit around the house all day” and wouldn’t want to send the message to their kids that it’s okay to “waste” a college education by choosing not to work.  I’ve also had to stifle my own judgements from time to time on many issues that I feel personally passionate about (which I’m not going to get into for fear of negating the whole purpose of this post).

I’ve struggled from day one with my own decisions.  I am constantly questioning myself.  Am I doing what’s best? Is the grass really greener? Is this what’s right for us? And, through much self exploration, I’ve learned that it’s my own insecurities, my own inner doubt, that makes me defensive when something I choose for me and my family is not something that works for someone else.  I recognize that and move on and try to make a conscious effort to not let other’s life choices make me feel like less of a mom or even more of one, for that matter, because, really people, none of this shit matters 20, 30, 50 years from now.

Let’s stop with all the mommy war bullshit and focus. FOCUS. Our goal, no matter how we get there, is to raise a future society of fewer assholes.  Really, that’s what it boils down to.  I don’t care if you have a nanny, take your kid to daycare or stay at home as long as they don’t grow up to scam me out of my entire life savings in a Ponzi scheme.  I don’t care if they are formula fed or breastfed, as long as they, 60 years from now when I am nursing a broken hip, will hold the door open for me at the grocery store and offer to help me out to my car.  I don’t care if they went to public or private school or learned all they needed to know while discovering the great outdoors with no structured classroom curriculum, as long as they will be kind, generous, respectful people who not only are not murderers and/or rapists, but also do some good. I don’t care if you gave birth to them in a pool of mineral water, scented with lavendar while you orgasmed upon their exit, as long as they don’t set up a meth lab next door and kill my dogs when their house blows up.

Raising a productive member of society is a tall order. I am overwhelmed by the task nearly every day.  We’ve got plenty of battles ahead of us to be caught up fighting each other.  Now is the time when we need to be strategizing, having covert meetings, speaking in code, drawing maps in lemon juice.  Now is the time when we need to put on the same colors.  Now is the time when we all need to come to the same side of the line.

Kendall is 2 days shy of 14 months old

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  1. Well said, and I wholeheartedly agree. Who cares what one mommy does vs. another? After all, you’ve got to do what works for you and your family.

    I find myself questioning my decsion to stay home all the time too, but deep down I really am happy with my deciscion and it works for us, so it shall be done!

    Good post though, and it needed to be said…

  2. I don’t think you should ever second-guess the choice you made to stay home – unless at some point it stopped making you happy. I think we should all feel okay with the way we choose to parent (which does not mean I think that nobody’s allowed to complain about it, cause we all need to vent sometimes.)

    The realllllly hard part to me is not losing my shit when somebody tries to accuse me of abusing my child because they don’t particularly like the way I would handle a situation. We sleep train (in a gentle loving way.) There are people who absolutely hate that I do that and see it as nothing short of abuse, and they are entitled to my opinion, but nobody, and I mean nobody accuses me of abusing my chilren without me telling them exactly where to shove it.

    I’m not at all insecure about the way we parent (now, I am insecure about a whole lot of things, but NOT my ability to parent my children.) I just cannot put up with the abuse commentary coming from the peanut gallery. Most of the time I walk away, but sometimes I stand up for myself. Which never gets me anywhere… but at least I tried.

  3. Gosh, I really hope someone didn’t feel the need to “enlighten” you on what they felt YOU should be doing…I wholeheartidly agree with all of your statements above. We should all come together as MOTHERs and support eachother in all our decisions.

    I’m not killing my child by allowing them to pick crap off the ground & put it in their mouth, don’t look at me like I’m taking a knife to their throat! gosh…it’s called IMMUNITY! (ok, sorry, rant over!)

  4. Know what really gets me? When people (like me) who don’t even have kids judge moms for their decisions. It’s ridiculous! How should I know whether or not you should breastfeed?

  5. I agree! I think that we all have a tendancy to judge others, but if we’re not in there shoes how is it even possiable!

    Very well said.

  6. Just to clarify, this doesn’t stem from any one thing any one person said recently or in the past. It’s post I’ve been working on for a while and it sort of all just came together in my head in the shower about an hour ago and I decided to get it all out and post it.

  7. I don’t care if you gave birth to them in a pool of mineral water, scented with lavendar while you orgasmed upon their exit as long as they don’t set up a meth lab next door and kill my dogs when their house blows up.

    OMG this is the best line ever. Thank you.

  8. Erin Hagerty on

    Very well said !! I sometimes questions decisions that I make when people get too generous with their opinions on my parenting. I am usually open to suggestions, but I hate the “you need to..” and “you should…” or the “Well, I never did that..”

  9. I hate it when people think I am not ‘intelligent’ because I stay at home with my baby (now). I did work and I do have a degree. Because I spend my days taking care of a little one doesn’t mean my IQ has reverted to that of my 8 month old. A lot of people tend to treat me that way, though…until I match wits with them and win and then they just kind of shake their heads, wondering how that stupid SAHM got the best of them. Idiots. Oh, sorry, these were all MEN by the way. Almost every woman has either been happy for me or jealous. Or both. I agree wholeheartedly with what you say, I’ve tried to broach the subject before but couldn’t make it sound right, and you put it bluntly yet tinged with enough humor to stage the ‘get real’ ism of it all.

  10. agree wholeheartedly. on so many levels.

    the mamas that get to me the worst are my (real life) FRIENDS – really great friends – whose babies are about a year behind mine. when their babies were first born, they said they would NEVER cosleep, they couldn’t IMAGINE their babes ever crying it out or STOPPING breastfeeding at ONLY 6 months. sometimes they eat their words when cosleeping does wind up working for them or breastfeeding doesn’t work for them or whatever. it becomes almost entertaining. don’t judge and don’t say you will ‘NEVER’ do something when it comes to your child, because, in my experience you will do what it takes and what works for your family. it is really nice to have support from other mommies when you do.

  11. Amen! I have a friend whom I refer to as a ‘militant mommy.’ Not only are her decisions the best, but in fact they are the most right, and anyone who deviates from those decisions is abusing their child. Now that hubs and I are TTC, I tried to have a diplomatic convo with her about how I respect her parenting decisions, blah blah blah, but she sure as SHIT better not lecture me on breastfeeding my child properly if we don’t happen to make it 2 years. She couldn’t give in to that. Srsly. I refuse to be a part of the madness.

    Well said.

  12. Amen sister!!

    My goal is simple: to be less than 50% of the topic of conversation between Jasper and his future therapist. Anything more (or less?) is just a pipe dream..

  13. Well said! Mommies unite!
    I agree with you wholeheartedly when you say that it’s our own insecurities that make us defensive about our choices. The ironic part is that becoming a new mother can knock your self confidence for a loop, but having confidence in your choices is now that much more critical.

  14. I always feel like less of a mother because I formula feed, I constantly find myself defending my decision to do so to others who breastfeed. It shouldn’t have to be that way, it is what works for me.

  15. We should totally create a “Mom’s Pride” icon / flag now! This is awesome and couldn’t have said it better in humor and bluntness! Love it!

  16. “Future society of fewer assholes”

    There aren’t any words to describe the awesomeness that is that quote.

    Off topic, I was just reading your “about” page and noticed you’re an MU alum. I live in KC and my two older sisters went to MU. I didn’t go there but I was a broadcast journalism major before I took the broadcast out and settled on just journalism. Wish I could have gone to J-School there though. Don’t think I’m witty or smart enough.

    Anyway, just thought I’d give a shout out to an MU girl. Go Tigers.

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  18. First of all, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who comes up with blog posts in my head while taking a shower. 😉 Second, hear, hear! You know where I stand on this issue. But lately, I have been so incredibly, deeply disheartened. Because this s–t? Just keeps on going on. If anything, it has been getting worse. Or maybe I am just more exposed to it because of my work with The Mom Pledge. Either way, I often sit in front of my computer and want to cry. Sometimes I do. The hatred has! It’s poison. But most days I doubt I really can make a difference…

  19. Seriously LOVE that I have stumbled on your blog, this post is so spot on, I could only hope that when I discuss it with others I can be so eloquent with a dash of hilarity on top as you did!

  20. Just found your blog via Nichole’s post on Babble. I’m an ex-pat mum-in-waiting, cooking up a baby who could be a boy, could be a girl, I’ll find out in 12 weeks. I hope that when I have that little one in my arms I’ll remember this post. And I’ll remember to support other moms around me, not judge, and between us raise the next generation of non-assholes.
    I’m so pleased to have found you – adding you to my blog reader right this second.

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