I am sick of mommy wars.
Why does a comment from one mommy camp have to evoke an incendiary response from the other? Isn’t the whole debate absolutely, sickeningly reductive? No two mothers’ experiences are the same. Some stay-at-home moms might have a dozen kids while another might be dealing with an only child! Some working moms may be experienced while others new mommies, starting out! Some moms may be healthy while others may be grappling with an illness! Some may have a support network while others may be dealing with the rigors of parenthood, single-handedly and isolated! Some working moms might be drawing a big, fat paycheck while others may be making minimum wage. Some may be struggling with lactation issues while others are getting judged for breastfeeding in public spaces! Some may have family members to watch over their kids while others are choosing day care or nannies! There could be so many more scenarios outside of these possibilities and so many permutations and combinations within.
Image source: mommyish
But the point remains the same- every mother’s journey is unique and personal.
Why subject it to our tired modes of judgment? What is there to judge?
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Every mother is making a choice (freely or otherwise) to do the best she can, for her child. So, let’s stop jumping in on a woman buying formula at a store, because we think breastfeeding is better! We may not know if she’s switching to formula because her baby has an undiagnosed tongue tie problem or she has breastfeeding issues and can’t afford a lactation consultant! Heck, we don’t even know if she is buying it because she needs to get back to work in a week, because the baby-bills are piling up and she’s a single parent dealing with a deadbeat dad! Even if none of the above are true and she deems formula the best option for her child, who is to say it’s not! Not you. Not me. Not any other soul in the world.
Let’s stop judging mothers for their choices. Let’s stop shaming mothers who breastfeed in public. Let’s stop shaming those who pump their milk in bathroom stalls or ill-conceived workspaces where people barge in, without qualm or courtesy. Let’s stop judging women who choose to go back to work days after her hoo-hah popped out a tiny little being or the one who gave up an enviable career because she wanted to stay at home with the kids! Let’s stop calling out mommies who sleep-train or potty-train their kids way before you think is ‘right’ or those who choose a mode of disciplining that doesn’t sit well with yours’!
All mothers, as mentioned earlier, are making choices that they can. It may be a free choice like deciding on what your child eats or not, because your personal circumstances force you to opt for a special diet but neither is any less valid. They are choices you make, as best you can, to do the best you can, for your kid. And nobody, I daresay, nobody is allowed to guilt you into believing otherwise.
Mommy wars are sh*t. Let’s flush them out.
Let’s replace them with a more healthy system of support. The mommy support network.
It doesn’t have to be open to just mommies- daddies and other people can join in too- as long as all participants actively swear to be empathetic to every mother’s journey and share information that might help others about to embark on the parenthood journey or already grappling with the same. Let’s make it our agenda to allow families to have ‘true choices’ instead of being pushed to pick ‘lesser of two evils’ because the government isn’t rolling out mommy-friendly or family-friendly policies, companies are refusing to support their would-be/current parent workers and so called ‘baby experts’ are splattering the world with their profit-reeking ‘poop-y’ advice!
Let’s strive to end discrimination against all mothers- whether it be at the workplace due to work gap, loss of experience, a trade-off of higher wages for a mother-friendly position or stay-at-home moms who are busting their a*s to get that sippy cup spout clean twenty times a day while making sure a family of six gets their lavish meals!
Let’s make it a point to understand that mothers do not have it easy- and even the most fortunate ones, with supportive spouses and good jobs, are still paying something to do what they are. Motherhood isn’t an easy journey- but we can definitely make it less painful.
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Ending mommy wars is a start.
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Mothers aren’t a monolithic entity but nor are they to be stuffed into different compartments just to be branded ‘lazier,’ ‘more selfish, ‘having it easy,’ etc. Let’s stop trying to do this for petty one up-manship. Let’s stop waging war- because, maybe, just maybe, then, we’d be able to direct our focus toward REAL mommy problems.
Featured image source: Shutterstock