When I was younger, my girlfriends and I loved watching the movie “Mean Girls”. We watched it so many times, I can now practically quote the entire movie. Since my high school years are long gone I expected the mean girls in my life to fade far into the background. I naively believed that growing up and starting families meant that everyone would act like respectful adults, right?
However, after I welcomed my kids into this world I quickly realized the “Mean Girls” movie pertained to my life now more than ever. I’m reminded of the infamous cafeteria seen where Janice and Damian map out the school cafeteria to Cady every time I think about mommy wars.
“You got your Young Moms, Baby Wearing Moms, Preps, Jocks, Organic Eaters, Soccer Moms, Unfriendly Suburbanites, Moms Who Eat Their Feelings, Moms Who Don’t Eat Anything, Desperate Housewives, Burnouts, Working Mamas, The Greatest People You Will Ever Meet (aka our OKCMB readers), and The Worst.”
Mommy wars and mom judgment are easy traps to fall into. The average mom truly believes she is raising her kids the “right” way. She has done the research and has figured out her own parenting style and technique and I think that’s wonderful, go mama! However, I can hardly join an online mommy support group without the drudgery of reading through hateful posts. Each post arguing about different parenting topics and often attacking mamas who are looking for support. Rarely do I find an argument that is written out of genuine love and concern.
It’s okay to disagree. We don’t all have to raise our kids the same, in fact, that would make the world a boring place. I’m simply suggesting we stop fighting and belittling each other based off of unimportant disagreements.
I am so over the mommy wars. I want to learn from my friends who do things differently. I want us all to support each other on this exciting journey of motherhood. Basically, “I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school… I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy.”
5 reasons I am so over mommy wars:
1. Different strokes for different folks – I’m a firm believer that there is no “one-size-fits-all” guide to parenting. Every child is different and every parent is different. Judging and criticizing a mother who does something different than I do is not my place. I do not know her unique situation.
2. There are things to be learned from mothers who come from different backgrounds and who parent differently – One of my dearest friends is from Peru. I noticed that she was still nursing her almost 2-year-old and I asked her about the benefits of extended breastfeeding. She told me that in Peru nursing through toddlerhood is the norm and that it is very beneficial for both mother and baby. After learning this information, I decided to nurse my baby past the typical 1 year mark. I learned something from her that I never would have thought of on my own! We come from different backgrounds and were raised in two different cultures, however we have bonded over our similarities rather than our differences.
3. Ain’t nobody got time for that – Fighting and arguing are stressful to me. Bickering about parenting choices is something in which I do not wish to participate. Let’s spend our time encouraging each other and building each other up!
4. Just because someone parents differently than I do doesn’t mean they are ignorant – There’s a popular saying among us mamas, “When you know better, you do better”. I understand what the saying means, and for the most part, I agree with it! There have been times when I have not “known better” and I have made ignorant mistakes. However, sometimes that quote is like nails on a chalk board. I personally feel like that saying can be used as a condescending stab towards another mama’s parenting choices by implying that her decision is a result of ignorance, when many times that is not the case. Just because someone parents differently does not mean they are ignorant.
5. Every mama is doing the best she can – Most moms are simply trying to do the best for their kiddos. Parenting is hard, and sometimes it feels like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders. We each have parenting strengths, however we also know we have areas in our parenting in which there is room for improvement. I don’t need the Regina George’s of the mom world to point out that I fall short in some areas, I’m fully aware of my imperfections. I truly strive to be the best mom, and I know you are too!
I wish all of us mamas could band together and become a universal support system instead of a boxing competition. No more fighting, name calling, and no more bashing each other’s choices. Because, if we could all get along, well, that would just be so fetch wouldn’t it?