Oh, the Mommy Wars. We have all been there, either as victims, instigators, gossipers, or all of the above. So much time and effort is centered around this I am better than you attitude, and honestly, it needs to stop. Why is it that motherhood tears us apart instead of bringing us together? Actually, it is womanhood in general. Women are catty, right? Or at least that is the image that many believe to be true. Ladies often exhibit far from ladylike behavior, as we compare ourselves to others, hold grudges, even get into fistfights (hello, Real Housewives!). When our little bitty babies arrive, it is not long before all the cuteness goes out the window and the comparing and contrasting begins, with tons of judgment. You know it- all from breastfeeding choices to clothing options and parenting styles, many moms feel like they are constantly in front of the camera all while having to watch their back. Heck, every summer when I lather my kids in full on chemical Banana Boat sunscreen, I half expect some mother to rip it out of my hands and tell me how wrong I am!
I recently attended yet other child’s birthday party at yet another play gym. While the kids were having the time of their lives, playing with friends new and old, a mother with an infant sidled up next to me. I have partaken in small talk with her before at these events, but for the most part, her and I are strangers. While I chomped on a carrot stick wondering what ever happened to chips at parties, she proceeded to tell me that motherhood has been far from easy for her. Cradling her three month old, I saw it in her eyes, exhaustion, neediness, despair. She said only recently had she begun to enjoy her baby. Initially shocked at her confession, I soon applauded her. Motherhood is not easy. It is tiring, and sometimes newborns are just not fun. Especially when you do not have help around you. We talked for awhile after that about the difficulties and joys of this roller coaster ride called Parenthood (you must be this insane to ride!). My new found friend was a breath of fresh air. She got to the core of what most mothers think and feel, instead of pointing out the mother who was wiping her kid’s nose with her shirt or the mom who fed her toddler an apple instead of birthday cake. I thought, why can’t other moms be like this? Which led me to think, why is this even a thought in my head, shouldn’t all mothers be like this?! This mom was real, we all need to just be real with each other.
We all say the mommy wars need to stop, so let’s call a cease fire. No more judging, no more complaining, no more good mom vs. bad mom attitudes. Let’s teach our daughters, who watch us in this war, to not compare themselves to each other, either. We must show our girls how women can band together and form unbreakable bonds, starting now. If we fail to do this, we will be watching our daughters fight in their own Mommy Wars while we sit on the sidelines in the Grandma Wars (!). We are all basically the same- we are mothers and women, everything else is just trivial.