The Mommy Wars:The Next Frontier
In the past week I have been told by two separate women, on two separate occasions that I am not busy. Not only am I not a busy person, but I have no idea what being busy might actually be like.
In both circumstances I had made a passing comment about my own restrictions due to my busy-ness. In no means was it an attack on the other person, or a commentary about theirs busy-ness. It was simply a comment saying, "Hey, I can't do X,Y or Z because I'm busy."
Personally I was affronted in both cases, because dammit I AM busy and honestly my feelings were hurt. As a result of these two encounters I have spent some time mulling over what I consider the latest front in the Mommy Wars.
When our babies were young we judged each other and wrinkled out noses at each other over whether we breastfed or bottle fed, whether we followed a strict napping schedule or practiced attachment parenting, whether we worked or stayed at home.
We followed that special Hell by competing over when our children learned to read, how well they read, what they read and their math levels.
However, I was unaware that not only did I have to struggle with competition over my children's intelligence and ability levels with every Mommy Jane I meet, I must now also play the Busy Game.
"The Busiest Mom wins! She has (undoubtable) the most talented children and she is the most devoted mother because she has, once again, sacrificed herself on the alter of Mommyhood." Sounds like a most delightful game, does it not? Yet here we are.
Go into any room with a mother over the age of 10 and you will likely get a litany of the activities in which her children participate. Some mothers will actually give you a detailed schedule of where they are at what time of day. And to be clear, I am guilty as charged.
I think perhaps on some level this is some coping mechanism all mothers engage in, particularly new comers to the Busy Game. We are so surprised by our slavery to the car and the calendar that we have truly to list off our To Do items every 30 minutes to ensure we don't actually forget to do them.
Many of us find ourselves commiserating about our busy-ness because we are seeking support and understanding for the exhaustion and over-stimulation we feel.
Finally, I think that by listing of all we do, we are asserting our value. Mothers are often over-looked not only by society, but by the very people for whom we are sacrificing ourselves. Our husbands don't realize the time, energy and management involved, our children don't care and like little sponges they simply want more. We turn to each other to share our lists of duties because we share a common bond.
Perhaps I am able to disengage and shake my finger at this behavior because I am blessed with enough awesome women in my life that I don't have to engage constantly in this nonsense in order to feel important or valuable.
Most of my friends, family and I respect and love each other enough to acknowledge that motherhood is a tough job. No matter what activities your children do or don't do, the simple act of mothering is a stressful and busy task which deserves respect. The least our sisterhood of motherhood can provide us is a little patience and understanding for each other. Because we have a choice to be each other's best friends or worst enemies.
That being said, I'm over the Mommy Wars because beyond being pointless and hurtful, I am just busy enough to realize I simply don't have time for them.
Please head over to hear more about our 'Busy' life at MerryHell.