The Mommy Wars need to end. There is no way to NOT put that bluntly. I don’t understand how, as moms, we judge and tear each other down. Are we not all here to do the same thing? I have no idea when this war started- if it was going on long before I became a mother or if it is relatively new- but it is childish and petty and I’m getting really really sick of it.
This morning I read this article that came across my facebook feed. It is a post about a mom’s horrendous day during which her 3 year old daughter threw 44 temper tantrums. Now, this mom is clearly making a joke out of the tantrums and not acting like its all ok. To break it down a bit, I’m sure the “tantrums” described (at least most of them) were not full on tantrums but maybe a scream or a 10 second crying fit (I know my 3 year old LOVES those!). I honestly can’t say that I would’ve done the same things that this mother writing the article did, but I’m not living in her shoes and I don’t know the circumstances. For example, one of the tantrums she writes about is her daughter being upset that she cut her sandwich into triangles. The next tantrum she writes about is how her daughter was upset that the second sandwich was cut into squares. Now, personally, I would not have made a second sandwich. In fact, my 3 year old’s lunch is still on the kitchen table right now since he refused to eat it before naptime (he didn’t want lunch- he wanted a snack) and I refused to give him anything else. However, being open minded, how do I know that this mother hadn’t made 2 sandwiches- one for herself and one for the child. In that case, I probably would’ve just cut the 2nd sandwich differently to avoid the meltdown because reasoning with a toddler who is ready for a nap is just not worth it! All in all, the article is funny. I applaud this mother for being honest and reaching the hearts of other moms who are maybe having a bad day with their 3 year old.
Then I read the comments. Granted there are a few who told stories of their toddler’s meltdowns, but the majority of what I read literally made me sick to my stomach. They were tearing this mother AND HER DAUGHTER apart by the seams for writing this article. Comments like “what a spoiled brat” and “that’s horrible parenting” are completely out of line and so disheartening to a mom who opened herself up to make other moms feel better. There was even a comment from someone who claims that she is now a grandma and she raised 4 children and not one of them ever threw a tantrum because “they knew better”. Well, I don’t believe that for one second and I hope the author doesn’t either. I don’t believe there is a child out there who was born perfect. If you are religious, it actually says in the Bible that we are all born with sin. And the phrase “they knew better” leads me to believe that her children were probably beat with a belt (which was much more common then) or something worse and were terrified of her. I know I don’t want to raise my kids in fear. I know adults who were beaten as children and it has deeply affected them into adulthood. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about spanking- I’m talking about children being beat in anger.
Anyhoo, the comments about this mother “giving in” to this child’s every demand are ridiculous. I mean, it does seem like that a few times but, like I said, we weren’t there to see the circumstances surrounding each example. Another commenter comments on how, if that were her child, she would’ve put her down for a nap after the second tantrum and that would be that. Well, my response to that is this: if anyone has figured out how to get a 3 year old to sleep an hour after she wakes from the night, I’d love to hear the secret! I know I have a hard time getting my 3 year old to nap 6 hours after he wakes and some days he doesn’t! I can’t FORCE the kid to sleep!
Reading this brought back so many memories of me, as a first time mom with a little colicky baby, and having NO idea what to do. I still have no idea what to do most of the time! But back then, I felt constantly beat down- like the worst mother on the planet while everyone told me what I need to be doing. I couldn’t understand how everyone else had it so together and I felt like I was falling apart at the seams. But I’ve learned that everyone doesn’t have it together and that I need to follow my instincts and do what my heart tells me to do, rather than what every other judgemental “perfect” mom has to tell me.
So, as I read more and more comments on this article, my heart broke a little more and a little more. We are all different people with different personalities- so why is it such a shock that we all “mother” differently? I call for an end of this mentality! I’m not stupid and I know that one post on my little blog isn’t going to make a huge difference but there are entire organizations out there dedicated to bridging the gap between moms. When did we stop working together? When did the “it takes a village” mentality go away? How can the village work together to raise a child when every mom in the village is against each other?
I know of one movement that was getting pretty big in Florida. It is called the Mother Manifesto and it is simply a group of moms getting together to support each other and try their best to end the mommy wars. The movement is spreading across the country so, if this is something you would like to be a part of, JOIN THE MOVEMENT and see if there are any #mother meetups near you! Surround yourself with other mothers who, although they may make some different choices than you, they respect your choices the same way you respect theirs. I’ve met some really great friends through this (even though some are just online) and I would love for you to do the same!
Have you ever been in a position where someone made you feel like you were making horrible choices for your children? When they acted like they knew what it was like to be in your shoes? I’d love to hear how you handled it and show my support because MOMs- YOU ROCK!!!