Mommy Wars

Since becoming a mom, I've made the effort to join several online "mommy groups" because let's face it, as a new parent, I have NO idea if I'm doing the right thing half the time. It's really wonderful to have a group of women you can talk to, commiserate with, share and give advice with, all that good stuff. In addition, I also have real life mommy friends who are always there to lend an ear, a shoulder, whatever is needed at the moment. Most of the time, these interactions are wonderful but an ugly little truth has become known to me... the prevalence and nastiness of the "Mommy Wars".

If you haven't joined the mommy club yet, you may have no idea what I'm talking about. "Mommy Wars" basically refers to the differing opinions on some hot-button topics that tends to lead to women dividing themselves. Rather than supporting other moms and their choices, women end up bashing others and trying to persuade people that their way is the right way. Two issues that I've seen spawn a great deal of bitterness and hatefulness:

  • SAHM vs Working Moms
  • Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding

My thought is this: While it's totally acceptable to have a strong opinion on what is best for you, your child, and your family, no one really has the right or knowledge to say what is best for others. Because the truth is, most of the time, you may not truly be aware of what other people are facing and what their health, financial, and family situations are. I happen to be a working mom who formula feeds and I've been pretty offended by some comments directed at that way of life because the truth is, I must work or my daughter would not have a roof over her head or food in her little tummy. My income forms a significant portion of our monthly income, I am definitely the primary breadwinner, and no amount of cutting things out or budgeting will change the need for me to work. I ended up formula feeding because of health concerns and difficulties my daughter and I faced the first couple weeks of her life. It was a rough and heartbreaking choice for me because I loved the connection breastfeeding afforded us and really wanted it to work out for us. But I was faced with unforeseen complications and I was inexperienced, not a great combination. I shouldn't be shamed by others because of choices I've made, or been forced to make.

So I implore all the mamas out there: Think before you speak! You really do not know what someone feels deep inside or the choices that have been forced upon them. Moms should be supporting one another and not letting jealousy and judgment derail what should be positive and supportive relationships. I plan on having another post dedicated to "Mommy Judging" because that's a very real, and very sad thing that undermines mom-to-mom friendships. And as a working mom who has felt small based on the comments of some SAHM people, I plan on writing a post about what NOT to say to your working mom friends. I'll also include the flip-side because I'm sure there are SAHM people who have felt belittled by their working mom friends. It's time to respect one another and lend support because being ANY kind of mom is hard work. While we may all have our opinions on who has it "harder", I think we can all agree that being a mom is hard work regardless of how you spend your time from 9-5 and how you're feeding your little one.

Cheesy, but true: Love, not war, people. Enjoy your weekend! *XOXO*


Karen said...

Awww. I'm sorry this hasn't been a more supportive thing for you. Hopefully you will connect with the right people. I'm sure they're out there.

I'm not a mom but I kind of find this with every type of group I join. It starts breaking off into subgroups that get judgey.


Karen @ For What It's Worth

Karen said...

YES! That's a really good point. I think I'll blame the Brad Pitt/Jen Aniston/Angelina Jolie thing. The "team" thing became big after that, haha :)

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