The Mommy Wars Why
I’m a new mom. I’m not a “cool” mom, not a veteran mom or a super mom. I’m just new. I went through 9 months of pregnancy, 12 hours of labor, two nights in the hospital, and then was just given this baby. I was told “good luck” and that was it. I went home scared shitless. I’ve worried about every little thing: are those hiccups okay, is that snot too green, did she just spit up too much, she hasn’t slept through the night yet, why isn’t she crawling yet, AM I DOING THIS RIGHT?!
I have never done this before. Every day is a brand new adventure. I have no clue what I’m doing 99% of the time and I’m totally making it up as I go.
But you know what? I think I’m doing a pretty darn good job!
But wait, this mom on Instagram just posted a photo of a homemade birthday cake that looks like something out of a magazine, in a perfectly white kitchen with not a speck of dirt, she’s in a designer dress and the kids are clean and smiling and eating nicely…
My kitchen has dishes all over the counters, crumbs littering the floor, grease splatters on the stove, I’m in yoga pants, hair unwashed, Lilly is crying…
My friends baby is crawling, talking and sleeping through the night… unlike mine.
This mom told me I shouldn’t be feeding my baby that because it’s not 100% organic and comes from a jar…
Well crap, I thought I was doing a good job!
As a new mom, a veteran mom, super mom, you name it and you wade through the mommy wars, the unsolicited advice and the judgements. Self comparison, guilt and fear.
You constantly worry if you’re doing this right, if you’re being a good mom, you’re worried about keeping up with the Joneses and everyone in between.
What’s that saying? Comparison is the thief of joy…. damn I never knew that was true until now.
I honestly don’t think anyone means to start the mommy wars. Or maybe that’s just my naive self hoping there is more good in the world than there is.
But sadly I know that this is a real thing. The way other mom’s talk. “Did you see what Susie is feeding Sally?” “Cathy told me that Becky told her that Mary co-sleeps with her baby!” And so on and so forth.
When you’re pregnant you’re bombarded with lists and advice. Do this and not that. You need to raise your child this way and not like this. You’re told that this way is wrong and that the only way to calm a baby is this way.
But what they don’t tell you is that it is all garbage. That none of it matters. That you will make this entire thing up as you go. Your baby may not like what worked for your friends baby. Your second baby won’t be the same as your first. You’re going to make decisions one day and have to toss them out the window the next.
Why? Because none of it stays the same. Because babies are human. We are human. And quite frankly, sh*t just happens sometimes.
None of us can say we raised our children the exact same way. None of us are the exact same. So why do we care? Why do we compare and talk? Shouldn’t we all know as moms that we’re just doing what we’ve gotta do to survive? To raise a tiny person?
I don’t really care about how other mothers parent. But I know I am guilty of looking and talking or wondering, even judging. I think we all do it. I compare myself to what everyone else is doing, I wonder what people think of my mothering. Do I like that I do it? No, but here I am. Perfectly human and imperfect.
Becoming a mother has taught me so much. One thing being, that things like this don’t matter. It doesn’t make me feel good comparing myself to everyone. It is stressful worrying what other people think. When it really comes down to it, I really truly don’t care what you’re doing. You do you and I’ll do me.
You need to let the baby cry it out? You go for it girl! You wanna plop your kiddos in front of the TV to get some chores in or just a minute of quiet? I totally get it, bring on Paw Patrol! You wanna use crib bumpers? I did too! You want to co-sleep? You enjoy your little bundle mama! I’ve done all of those things and more.
Everyone is unique, in large part because we are all raised differently. So why are we forgetting that? I know it’s in our nature to be competitive and to want to be the best, therefore wanting our child to be the best… better than everyone else's child. We want to appear to have it all together, to be conquering motherhood, and doing it all. But dwelling on that and taking down other parents certainly doesn’t seem to do us any good. It’s exhausting, and aren’t we all already tired enough?
I guess I need a call-to-action now, so here is what I suggest. Tell a fellow mommy or daddy that they are doing great. Share a picture of the hot mess of a house you have. If you blog write about it. Give yourself a pat on the back and remember, that no matter what Susie next door is doing, you’re both doing this amazing thing. Raising little humans!
We’re all working hard, we all care, we all love our children, we all want what’s best for our families. That is what matters, that is all that matters. Now that I’m stepping off of my soap box, go celebrate each other and raise each other up. Because we’re all just trying to make it through this crazy journey.
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