April 2, 2013

I Think It's Time (How to Fix The Mommy Wars)

I think I've found the solution to the mommy wars. No seriously, hear me out.
From what I have gathered through observation the mommy wars all stem from feelings inferiority we have about ourselves.
The impetus to defend ourselves as wonderful, fantastic, amazing (because let's face it good just doesn't cut it any more) mother is greater than ever before because the pressure of motherhood is greater than ever before. The lovely invention of the Internet brought us that gift. The ability to share, like, photograph, tweet, instagram and blog about every minute of our lives leaves us comparing ourselves to others.
That has to stop.
It's time that we learn to become responsible for our own feelings, our own lives and no one else's.
I've read many many times how proud a woman is for exclusively breastfeeding her child. It used to seriously upset me, and hurt my feelings. I felt like her being "proud" of her accomplishment meant that I had nothing to be proud of after switching to formula exclusively at four weeks. Then I realized, I don't have to feel that way. I can get all grumpy and stabby about it, or I can commend her for her accomplishment AND commend myself for my accomplishment. That woman is just sharing that she's proud. Nowhere in there did she say anything that should make me feel bad. I let myself feel that way. I made a choice which was the best thing for our family. It's time I own that decision. So I don't get gold boobies, but I get a gold star. Go me! And go you!  
The stay at home mom who says I just can't imagine leaving my kids with someone else? She's probably not judging me for working, for having a career. Maybe for her that's true, but I bet it has absolutely nothing to do with me and my child. I can't imagine ever being a full time stay at home mom. Seriously, I would pull my hair out and we'd have to buy stock in a vineyard, but that has nothing to do with anyone else but me. If either of us feels put out or judged then that's our own deal.
Maybe there are women (in fact I am sure there are) who sit around and judge all of us other mothers every day for not breast feeding, for nursing in public, for having kids that are too big or too small, for how we gave birth, what kind of diapers we use, how we taught our kids to eat, how we sleep, how much TV we let our kids watch, how much time we spend with our kids, how we discipline, how we teach our kids and for the love of all that is good and holy, how elaborate we make holidays for our kids (fellow bloggers you know this is no joke). You know what? Screw 'em. Seriously, screw 'em, in five different languages. You have a choice, you can get pissy because people are judgemental and mean or you can just let it go, take some responsibility for how you feel, move on and get back to living your own life without comparing it to anyone else's.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
So let's stop giving our consent. I think it's time we own up to our responsibility to control our own feelings, realize, as long as we are doing the best we can, that we have no right to feel inferior to anyone for any reason; it's time we reclaim our consent and get back to the business of mothering and being friends.