The War of Moms
While it is a lifetime's work to be able to say 'I am a good mommy', it takes only a couple of seconds to express squashing criticism and feel like a 'better mommy' than any given peer.
You thought that peer pressure in the teen years is hard, just you wait until you have a baby! From breastfeeding to diaper-brands, c-sections to cell-phone radiation there are women who, like a marauding army, invade our mommy-lives with soul-destroying criticism thinly veiled as 'advice'.
My very own mommy-friends have fallen victim. One friend, for example, felt so guilty that she had to have a c-section that she didn't want to ask for the extra help. Others have desperately struggled to breast-feed only to be made to feel like a 'failure' when the complex mommy-booby-baby equation is just not working out. I've had friends who return to work made to feel like a mother who sacrificed her child on the altar of career. I've had friends not return to work told that they are they alone are the reason for the failure of the women's movement.
I, for one, am done with these mommy reincarnations of Ghengis Khan. Thus I make the following proclamation:
There is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach to being a mommy. That mommy does not have all the answers; she is not perfect and, even if I did everything like she did it, my kids would probably still have a meltdown in the supermarket (or insert your own mommy nightmare here). Let's stop kidding ourselves that she offers up 'advice' because she is truly concerned for me or my child's welfare. Unless I'm pregnant, snorting crack in a back-alley behind a 24 hour club that I haven't left in three days while my toddler is home alone being babysat by my five-year old I'm probably not the 'worst mother' in the world.
So why does she feel the need to pass your judgements and then communicate them to me?
Well, amongst other reasons, my theory is that one who cannot self-generate a feeling of success will sometimes 'squash' others in order to make themselves feel 'more'. While it is a lifetime's work to be able to say 'I am a good mommy', it takes only a couple of seconds to express squashing criticism and feel like a 'better mommy' than any given peer.
Motherhood is a precious gift that we, as women, have been given. While I doubt that this rant (vaguely disguised as a blog) will make a mommy warrior mend her ways, I hope that it minimizes potential mommy-casaulties and help us turn motherhood into something that unites us in our cause.