Society’s perception of women and mothers really makes me lose my mind. Let me pull out my soapbox for just a minute here …
We are lead to believe in a competition … a MOM-petition, if I may. I don’t know about you, but from my little corner of the world NOTHING is clearly black or white when it comes to women, mothers, and gender roles – and I am good with that. We should be able to decide what defines us – not society and the fear of what others may say or think. I have enough to do without trying to keep up with this kind of division – and so do you!
I know the comparisons exist, but I completely stopped buying into them years ago. I am not participating in the so-called mom wars and I hope you aren’t, either. We all have our own paths. Each path is formed by individual choices based on need and necessity for each family. My path works for me and my family; it represents what I can do at this time and this phase of living and parenting. For instance, it makes no difference to me if a mom works outside the home or stays home with her kids; both paths have their own ups and downs. That is where the comparisons need to stop.
I would like to believe that all moms want to be good moms and would rather not focus on being a better-than-someone-else kind of mom. We want to do the best we can by our kids and bring them up ready to enter the world on their own. That’s why I am calling for a mom uprising to get past the divisions created by magazines, news reports, and a culture that supports the mom wars mentality.
There is no right way. There is no perfect mom. There is no need to focus on others’ lives or steal from the experience of others. If we can get back to what really matters, I think we would all recognize the need for community and support from one another. The following is a favorite quote of mine because it centers on community and the true need we each have to work together:
Of course, this feels unattainable and at times, overwhelming:
Communities (a.k.a. “villages”) aren’t magically a part of our lives; they take work, honesty, grace, and time. They only become a part of your life if you widen the circle to let other moms in for support … not cliques – women who lean in when needed and are leaned on when able.
So, what? Where do you and I begin? Well, maybe – just maybe – it starts with us not buying into the stories around us or wasting our time comparing our lives to someone else any longer. I try to look past what this means for me and imagine what twenty-thirty years will be like for our children becoming parents. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for these so-called mom wars to not be part of their lives?
What if instead of comparing, judging, or limiting our own experiences, we worked together? Maybe that old African proverb needs some updating …
I want help, encouragement, and support from others so that I can be a great mom for my kids. I want them to see me find support and GIVE support to other moms so that the mom wars end. I want them to know that moms have a deep love for their children and that they try their best, but feel they fail often and need others to share their parenting journey in order to help them along.
Can you help create a culture of mothering that doesn’t participate in the mom wars for your children and your generations to follow?
I am hoping we can shape the future and choose to find one another instead of fight one another … for our own good.