The Mommy Wars are just another strategic move by human beings to avoid their own bullshit
I say this lovingly. Really.
Here’s the thing: My own judge-o-meter has been all over the place when it comes to parenting. Before I was a parent, I was the Mayor of Judgeville, which is the title held by any of us anywhere who judge anything we have not actually experienced. (See also: how other people should grieve, care for their own bodies, love other people, etc., etc.).
After I became a parent I assumed the title of Angry Judge. I went hard. I was in disbelief that so many people were not parenting the way I was. I mean, HOW COULD THEY NOT CHOOSE TO FEEL THE PEACE I WAS FEELING EVERY DAY, DAMMIT?!? (The irony is free today, folks.)
And then something happened. I had more kids. I got tired. And most importantly, I did the hard work of what a dear friend of mine lovingly titled “sitting in my own dirty diaper.”
In short, this meant that I learned to sit with feelings of shame, discomfort, anger, sadness, etc. instead of spending days on end running from them through some combination of workaholism, sticking my head in a bag of chips, constant Facebook checking, judging people for their choices on HGTV, and on and on.
During this process, I was a mess. Sitting with your own stuff is not pleasant. But it beats the alternative, which often includes anxiety, depression, overspending, overeating, and other items included in the buffet of self-avoidance and self-hatred.
As I learned to just sit with yucky stuff, I slowly started to own the pieces of my life that felt messy.
I asked tough questions about why I felt uncomfortable explaining some of my parenting choices to friends and family. And then I stopped engaging in conversations that felt unproductive.
I also asked myself what made me feel most complete on the mothering front and started making changes accordingly (taking more breaks, giving myself permission to say no to the child asking if I want to hear her three-minute, made-up, screechy violin song at the end of a long day, etc.).
I eventually came to see that I only judge people when I don’t want to look at myself.
Which brings me back to the Mommy Wars.
Today was Monday morning after a looooooong holiday weekend.
How did I feel about everyone going back to work/school/daycare and having the house to myself from 8-6?
Don’t let the door hit you, people!
And I realized that I am 100% totally okay with my kids being cared for by other people for 9-10 hours a day. They are better off, I am better off. We are all better off.
It feels like a combination of angels, Hallelujah!, and the best thing ever.
But here’s the thing:
What’s good for my family has absolutely nothing to do with what is good for anyone else’s family. I’m not sure when we decided that the two are at all related. Different people, different kids, different needs. It really can be as simple as that.
If being at home with your children gives you joy, energy, and peace, power on! I am more than sure that you know what you are doing and what you need. Instead of judgment, let’s continue to support each other in owning our own truths, even if they differ wildly, okay?
I hope that whatever choices you are making in your own life either bring you joy and peace or a roadmap for getting off the path of judgment and onto the path of self-reflection.
Let’s call up courage and end the Mommy Wars together. We can do this.