Mommy wars - What a dumb term. Seriously, so dumb. But the worst part is that this warring between women actually exists. Sure, you can deny its’ existence, because it’s not always apparent – it usually doesn't even involve heated conversations. Mommy wars exist in the form of judgmental looks, gossip behind closed doors, and breaking ourselves off into cliques. It is a much subtler way of warring against each other, but the effect is the same – shattered self esteem, doubt over our every step, fear of judgment if we shake up the status quo. These wars exist. They exist between homeschoolers and public schoolers, big families and small families, SAHMs and working moms, single moms and married moms, and any other dividing line. These lines exist and crossing them is tantamount to treason. Once you cross a line, there’s a good chance your social circle will be altered. Maybe our good friends will stay the same, but most likely you will lose a few, or face their judgment and criticism.
This war is blamed on many things, but let’s be clear: it’s a war on women and it’s being waged by women. We are doing this to ourselves. It is not society’s views that are causing this war, it is not feminism, it is not men viewing us a certain way, it is women destroying other women.
I’m a SAHM. I was a single mom and a career woman. I got married and became a SAHM. We had multiple kids and became a big family. Public school failed us and I became a homeschooling mom. I have been all over the spectrum of motherhood, and this is what I have found: I was judged. When I was a single mom, so were my friends. Most of my friends now are married moms. When I worked, my friends were career moms, now many are SAHMs. A few friends have survived the entire spectrum, but not many. And now, I have a job offer and I spent over a week debating whether or not to take it, and shockingly, I had this thought very frequently: If I take the job I will be judged by my friends and my community, and I will most likely lose friends. That scared me. Now I will admit that any of my friends reading this will say they won’t judge me and I won’t lose friendships. But by taking the job I will insert a gap in between our lives and I won’t be at all of the same things that they are, and inevitably a few people will drift away. And yes, they won’t purposely judge me, but then I will miss an activity and they will think “see, I am here and she is not, it is BETTER not to work.” I will not fault them, because I have done it too – the silent judgment, the comparison that we seem to all need to validate our own choices. I have done it far too often.
I think we need this comparison because we somehow have gotten the message that there is one perfect way to exist as a family, and we need to find that way. I think we
have a fear that we are doing things wrong, and we need validation. Somehow, women in America
have gotten this idea that we can never be enough. There is no amount of volunteer work, church
attendance, educational activities that is enough. Our houses, clothes, and bodies can never be
perfect enough. We must always strive
for more of something. We are striving
to meet some impossible standard of perfection.
We will never meet this standard, because all of us moms and all of our
families are different and will never fit into one “perfect” mold. We
will never be able to fit into everyone else’s molds, no matter how hard we try.
It is time for us, as women to take the power back. It is time for us to stop the mommy wars. I don’t have an answer, but I think maybe I know where to start. I will start by accepting myself and telling the world that I AM ENOUGH. I am good enough, smart enough, pretty enough
THE WAY I AM! I was knit together by an
amazing God who did not make a mistake.
And I DO NOT NEED TO BE LIKE ANYONE ELSE. My personality, my gifts, and my family are
unique. I do not need to compare myself
to any other woman or her house, job, income, clothing, body type, well behaved
children, etc. I am me and my family is
unique and we are just fine the way we are.
And the flip side of that is I
will set aside judgment and become other moms biggest fans. If homeschooling is best for her kids and not
for mine – GREAT! Let’s cheer each other
on! If she loves staying home and I need
work to stay fulfilled and happy – GREAT!
I’m her biggest fan. I will not
judge, I will not criticize. And when I
know that I’m being judged, I will not walk timidly, wondering what everyone’s
opinions might be. I will no longer apologize for my differences. We were created to be different, and that
should be celebrated. It is time for
women to band together and love each other. It is time for us to build each other up instead of tearing each other
down. And we need to start by loving
ourselves and the women around us. Let’s end the mommy wars for good.
Who is with me? Let’s make this a revolution!