When my day is “done” and my kids are sound asleep , after I’ve made my tea and can relax before folding yet another load of laundry, I’ll usually sit down and read different blog posts that I follow- or I’ll skim Facebook briefly. Ya know, because we all have to skim Instagram and Facebook as we lay in bed thinking about how tired we are, right ? Anyhow, in doing these things lately, I have noticed one common “trend” that sticks out to me: mom’s bashing other moms.
When did it become a thing to judge whether a woman breast feeds or doesn’t? Who is one mother to say how long is too long for a child to co-sleep, or that it is wrong to let your toddler sleep in bed with you at night when they wake up and want to snuggle or had a bad dream? Who is one woman to judge another for having children before marriage? Who is to say one method is better than another, if each one works for different people?
Shouldn’t we as women and mothers be uplifting one another? Don’t we all have the hardest (and most rewarding) job in the world? Shouldn’t we be sharing advice and tips for each other on those sleepless nights that seem to never end, or offering some encouraging words for a fellow mother going through a rough day and sleepless night? Motherhood came very naturally for me, as I am sure it does for many, but that doesn’t mean it does for everyone and that definitely doesn’t mean I have it all together every day. (If you saw me at Trader Joes with my kids this week – you’d know.)
How do we as mothers and women for that matter, find it acceptable to make someone else question themselves as a mother or parent? Some children talk at 1 some talk at 4 – some are potty trained at 2 some not till 5! I’m sorry, but unless you have M.D after your last name, serious medical advice or diagnoses should not be being passed around like you are sharing recipes; ie : vaccination chit chat or trying to assume why ones child doesn’t have a 1,000 word vocabulary by the time they are three years old.
I consider myself an informed mother, I read as much as I can regarding my children, I ask the appropriate questions at check ups, but I can read every study and every medical journal – it’s still not going to give me a medical license. So I ask myself ,why would someone feel justified in trying to play doctor when giving “advice” to someone on such serious things such as vaccinations, and behavioral or cognitive and developmental issues?
Something else that I have seen and it makes me so angry- nasty comments on different mamas photos – especially ones that have to do with body image. How hurtful. How rude. How wrong. In no way is it ok to make another mom feel bad about themselves – especially after giving birth. Maybe it’s been a year since they gave birth… maybe it’s been 5 years, but judging someone and making your negative opinion known is wrong.
Some women like Tommee Tippee bottles, some prefer Dr. Brown’s. Enfamil , Similac, breast milk, organic food, making your own baby food, or regular ‘ol store bought baby food- it’s their choice. Screen time vs no TV. Then there is the ever popular divided line between moms who work out of the home and stay at home moms. The moms who work outside of the home think the SAHM’s live some life of luxury or couldn’t possibly be as tired as they are or work as hard as they do – because they are in their homes doing it. They either forget or don’t realize a SAHM works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and not for a paycheck. Their pay comes in the form of hugs and kisses and their boss still wears diapers and doesn’t quite stand 3 feet tall.
And then there’s some SAHM who judge the working moms for being out of the house all day. Maybe some of these SAHMs don’t realize these moms may have no choice and providing for their family is their responsibility. Or maybe they busted their ass for their degree to have the career they have and being a mom is just as important to them. Why can’t they have it all ?
Women should be able to have it all!
We are capable of having it all and should support each other in that! Being a stay at home mom myself for the first couple years of my kids’ lives – I find this argument to be petty. Why do we divide ourselves into these 2 groups? After going back to work, I can appreciate it from both sides.
At the end of the day aren’t we all just Mommy? Don’t we all have the same common goals? Don’t we all just want our children to grow up happy, to laugh with them, keep them healthy and smiling, to hug them, watch them hit their milestones and keep them from harm’s way? SAHM’s need to stop and realize that the mothers who work outside of the home probably have their own anxieties and guilt about not being able to be home with their little ones. Maybe that mother has no choice but to work to support her little ones. While the out of home working moms need to remember or realize that the SAHMs have days where they don’t even get a minute to use the bathroom or shower without an audience in a highchair.
We as women and mothers need to support one another and stop ripping each other down because of the brand of baby food the other may use or how one disciplines their kids or the routine they use. I previously belonged to a group for moms and their little ones to meet and socialize, and before I could even make it to one event, I realized quickly that it was definitely not the group for my children and I. The catty like behavior I saw through social media between some of the mothers made me soon realize that I definitely did not have time for the drama or want to be on the receiving end of an unwarranted attitude, opinion or unsolicited advice.
Anyhow, after talking to a friend of mine and fellow mother, I decided to leave that group and start my own and I couldn’t be happier with the result. It is a group of local moms with children of similar ages, many of whom I know. Everyone is there to share stories, advice, vent and just have some down time when possible, and there are no negative attitudes. And the group has grown more than I ever anticipated and somehow has become this community of moms for moms.
I guess the point I’m trying to make, and believe me I in no way am trying to sound “preachy,” but the point is, we are all mothers and women, with the same insecurities , anxieties, fears and goals for our children. We will never know what another mother is dealing with some days , and with postpartum depression being so common, we should offer kindness, encouragement and support instead of a rude comments or judgemental opinion. There are some days I feel and know I’ve got it all under control, and those are great days, but then there are days where I feel like a complete failure! Any day it could all just go to hell before nap time.
No one is perfect, no mother has it under control 24/7, and the sooner we stop trying to act like we do have it all under control, the sooner we can all laugh together at the ridiculous tantrum our 2 year old just had in the middle of the shampoo aisle, or the fact that your 2 year old is refusing to wear pants for a 3rd day in a row. Let’s face it and get real – there are days when the only thing you can get your 18 month old to eat is yogurt and a pickle!
No one is harder on themselves than a mother. No one second guesses themself more than a mother. No one needs to hear they are doing great more than an overwhelmed, over exhausted mother.
Come on we are better than this, ladies!
Laugh, let go of insecurities, let go of judgement and let’s just do what we know how to do best – be loving mothers and good women. Because at some point, we are all going to be that mom in the grocery store with a screaming child while getting sympathetic/horrified stares from onlookers – and today, that mom was me.
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