Most little girls dream one day of when they will become mothers. We get together with some of our other friends and play with dolls or play house. Then we grow up, and start having to face the realities and intricacies of what it means to become a responsible woman and mother.
Then, we sometimes witness many camps divide.
Let’s look at me, for example, for just a moment. I’m a loner. I keep to myself. As a child and teen I had my moments of being a dork as well as my moments of being popular. But, I got married and started a family young. I made that my life. Other friends went to college. Some stuck to the work force. Some decided to spend their 20’s partying. Different strokes. But, since I’ve been keeping so much to myself, I’ve more or less sheltered myself from the outside world in the best possible sense. I’ve been innocently unaware of something which is apparently pretty widespread– the concept of “mommy wars”.
Who knew that grown women would have pissing matches to compare one another against all mommies, in an effort to see who the best Mommy is? What kind of catty nonsense is that? Do you think Dads do that? (God, I hope not.)
This was lost on me, but then again, I’ve never been in a Mean Girls clique, or been fond of keeping a brood of female friends. I think part of what makes me not fit in anywhere and why I’m “so different’ from other females is I don’t feel the need to lean on other women for support or to feel good/better about me. I am a woman and a mother, with or without their validation.
I only recently found out about this Mommy Wars idea accidentally, through finding my way to my best birth. It was through that channel that I went down the rabbit hole into the internet cesspool and discovered that birth was measured, being “crunchy” was measured (a new term to me, as well), etc.
Then I discovered that some of the biggest people to bitch about Mommy Wars are perpetrators/instigators themselves. They talk incessantly of how unfair it is to be compared, all the while laughing at and ridiculing others for their choices. Go figure. Now I’ve even seen it in the realm of internet bullying. I told some friends recently that my high school experience had more maturity, and I wasn’t lying. What I left out is that it had more class, too.
The source of it all is insecurity. Even other women who do not knowingly partake in Mommy Wars have felt challenged by others who merely mention ways they are doing good for their families or themselves (like in birth). I know I can’t speak for everyone, but I promise you that if I am talking about how I’m doing and how great it is, it is not to make you feel bad about your own life. Likewise, when I share the down moments in life, I hope it doesn’t make you feel superior. Make choices that make you honestly proud and then others won’t be able to shake your faith in yourself!
I never feel insecure about how “crunchy” or “uncrunchy” I am, because I never made anyone feel bad about it on purpose, and I never felt anyone had done this to me, either. I guess it’s a good thing that I’ve never become an active member of a playdate group? So yeah, I cloth diaper when I can. I give drug free, unassisted birth and advocate for going all natural. I also eat potato chips with my kids while they watch Spongebob. STFW? And you know, this is normal to me. I never stopped to question if this was normal to others “like me”, or if that even mattered. Which it doesn’t.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in a contest and I’m not interested in a comparison. I’m only interested in doing the best I can for my family. I want me, you, and everyone to live life healthy and happy. That’s all I ever wanted, and even if the Mommy Grade you gave me in this Mommy War was an A+, I’d tell you to
stick it up your ass look in the mirror before judging others. I give most people the benefit of the doubt that they are doing what they can for their families. Do yourself and everybody else a favor– do your best, let yourself off the hook, and then let everyone else off, too. (This is that forgiveness I keep talking about in the book!)
I’ll make every woman a deal– I won’t base my self worth as a mother around what I think you think of me if you do the same.
If we could do that for each other, we could be like we were when we were kids again, innocently playing dolls, being friends.