Posts tagged with Mommy Wars
This May marks a year since I left my full-time office gig to be at home with my girls. Granted, I still work (from home), but my life is very different than it was when I was at a 9 to 5 most of the day. There are things that I miss about working away from home and there are things that I love about getting to go to the park in the middle of the afternoon. Duh.
I’m very fortunate to have gotten to experience both worlds. And I can honestly say that I don’t know which one I prefer. There are things that I love and things that suck about both. So before everyone gets all flustered and relaunches a Mommy War over this one, let me just share the thoughts that have gone through my brain as I have been a party to both sides.
When I was a working (in an office) mom: This is so chaotic and stressful. I hate dropping off my baby and being away from her all day. I’ll never get everything done that needs to be done. If I see one more Facebook post from that stay at home mom bragging about their latest craft project, I’m totally defriending her. Seriously, what do they do ALL DAY? Must be nice to just get to play and live in a world of sunshine, hearts and flowers everyday. Whatever. I work, take care of my child, AND keep the house in order. They seriously have it so easy.
Now that I’m a stay at home mom: Ugh. How dare he (my husband) sit on the couch when he gets home from work. He got to go out and be productive for eight full hours and speak to adults. It’s his turn to man the children while I get a break. If he asks one more time what we did all day, I might get stabby. We survived today! No one died. Nothing burnt down. I consider that a success. I can’t wait for (insert random event) on Saturday. I will get to wear non-yoga pants, makeup, and Frozen won’t be playing on repeat for a full three hours. Wait. Did I shower today?
Seriously, guys. Both sides are hard. Working parents are busy. Like, having to wrangle wild monkeys while juggling steaming hot potatoes busy. And stay at home parents have it tough too. Having to do everything everyday for other human beings, while getting them fed, keeping them stimulated, maintaining the house, and not having regular contact with other adults is a brain challenge of epic proportions. There is no easier road. Both sides are damn hard. If you’re like me, no matter which side you’re currently on, you still secretly (or not so secretly) wonder if you’re screwing up yours kids by working or not working. You constantly hope you’ve made the right choice. And seeing your mom/dad friends on Facebook show the highlight reel of their choice just compounds your feelings of inadequacy.
So here’s me saying what we all need to hear: You’ve made the right choice. Yes, you. Whether the choice was made for you based on financial reasons, because your career is who you are, or because you just can’t bear to leave that sweet baby, you did the right thing. A happy parent is the best kind of parent. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. It’s YOUR family and only YOU know what’s best.
There. Carry on.
I’m tapping out. I’m crying “Uncle”. I’m forfeiting. I am done and over the Mommy Wars. It seems a new battle breaks out over a new topic each day. And I’m throwing in the towel.
I got sucked in early as I read my pro-breastfeeding books and made my own pre-baby parenting decisions in the weeks leading up to HJ’s birth. Before I was pregnant, I was ignorant to the battles and nastiness between moms online, in person, and even the silent judgments passed back and forth. I just thought everyone was a part of this “Mom Club” and everyone was helpful and taught each other all the Mom tricks and Mom songs. I was sure it was rainbows and sunshine as they all adored each others’ offspring and shared cookies at playgroups.
And then I joined my birth month club on the expectant moms website. Wowza. The first battles I saw duked out were over inductions, VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean), and elective cesareans. It got vicious. The women were downright nasty to each other. I had my own opinions, of course, but I had no idea that people felt so strongly about certain topics that they’d be that mean to perfect strangers.
I saw the battles continue over blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, at playdates and so on. The eight most common “fights” I see are:
breastfeeding vs. formula
feeding kids organic vs. processed food
nursing in public vs. private
vaccinating vs. not vaccinating your children
working moms vs. stay-at-home moms
attachment parenting techniques vs. self-soothing techniques
cloth vs. disposable diapers
hospital vs. home births
There seems to be a battle over nearly every aspect of childrearing, which is crazy. People get incredibly riled up about each one of these topics too. Bringing them up is almost up there with discussing religion and politics in some circles: It just shouldn't happen.
I remember falling into this cycle just three months following HJ’s birth. I felt the judgments rising up in my head over another mom’s choice to not breastfeed. I spewed my negative comments to my husband behind closed doors, but I was still no better than the people who said them online or to another parent’s face. It was unnecessary and was none of my business. I needed a slap upside the head.
But there’s something that gets rooted in us when we become a parent. We want so badly to be the best parent we can possibly be to our children that when we make a finite decision on their upbringing, we feel the need to justify it...even if it’s only to ourselves. When someone puts down our way of parenting or a decision that we made, it’s personal. We feel personally attacked. And that need to strike back or explain why our way is the better way to go can be so overwhelming that we get pulled into the battle too.
It’s what fuels the Mommy Wars.
But isn’t it funny that the underlying cause of it all is the same? We all want to be the BEST parent that our kids can possibly have, a parent who makes all the best decisions and fights for their ability to do so.
So that’s what I’m going to do my best to remember the next time I find myself in the battle.
Everyone is doing what they know (or think) to be the best. And that makes them a pretty damn awesome parent.