Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

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Giving Up on the Mommy Wars

Earlier this week, I heard from a young woman—an intelligent, strong young women—who confessed her fear of having children.

The fear wasn’t about labor pains or a loss of freedom. This early-twenties law student referenced the fact that she was afraid of the apparent explosion of the Mommy Wars.

My eyes were opened to the strong influence my peer group of mothers has had on this rising generation, and I can’t get past the feeling that we have painted a pretty nasty picture of the mommy club.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve felt the judgment from other women with babies on their hips.

Plus, there are enough opinions flying around the internet to confuse the hay out of anybody with a brain.

That leaves us ladies taking offense to other peoples’ parenting differences, then seeking out blog posts to defend our own maternal instincts.

Essential oils or Tylenol?
Corporate job or stay at home?
Pick up my kid or let him cry?

OH MY WORD. I’M SO TIRED.

And I’m tired for you, too, Momma.

Have we really not learned from all of the painful mind games? Do we really insist on continuing the cycle of pointing fingers, playing the victim, and teaching our daughters to do the same?

Mothers, are we really going to allow this to be our story? Name-calling, side-choosing, and whistle-blowing? 

Heaven forbid this be my anthem. No, not on my watch.

I want something different for my home. I want something different for my generation.

And there’s something I think we’ve missed in the midst of casting so much blame.

I believe the Mommy Wars are much more in my own head than they are in my interactions with women.

What if the baby-wearer isn’t really looking disapprovingly at my stroller?
What if the home-schooler isn’t really criticizing my desire to work?
What if the granola-maker isn’t really judging my gummy snacks?

What if they’re all worried about what I think about them?

Perhaps the Mommy Wars are really stemming from each of our insecurities and personal comparison.

Who’s to blame, now?

I have a biological fifteen-month-old. I’m adopting an African child. I live in the heart of Southeast Asia. Hey, that’s crazy.

I could insert all of my beliefs about whole foods and TV watching and potty-training, car seat brands and diaper styles and age-appropriate toys.

But read above: I’m crazy. {And I rarely have a strong opinion about car seat brands.}

The bottom line is that my children will grow up. Without a doubt I’ll make mistakes. There’s nothing about my parenting choices that is guaranteed to manufacture perfect mini-adults.

One thing is constant, though, and that’s the love that I have for my kids.

And if you’re a mom who’s reading this, I can be pretty sure that’s a constant in your home, too.

So I don’t want to write a blog post about that mother who raised an eyebrow at my sleep training.  Or the one who huffed at my choice of second-hand clothes. Or the one who rolled her eyes at my homemade food purées.

That’s not encouraging to her. That’s not encouraging to me.

And I’m already good enough at criticizing myself. There’s no room for tacking someone else’s negativity onto my delicate heart.

My ability to mother in the midst of flying words and opinions must come from resting my spirit in the fact that God made me a mother, and His creation is good.

So if another person says, Oh, you’re one of those moms, huh?,
I’ll say, Well, yes. YES I AM. I’m one of those CRAZY AWESOME MOMS.

The kind that loves her babies to pieces. The kind that uses her best instincts to give them what they need. The kind that has confidence in the areas that matter and relies on grace to fill in the gaps.

What if we were a generation of women who took ownership of our motherhood, planted our feet firmly in God’s affirmation, and refused anything less for our sisters?

I don’t want my children to miss out on my strengths because I was comparing my weaknesses to other mothers.

via Unsplash

via Unsplash

And if the Mommy Wars are actually magnified in my head, then I have the power to stop them.

Judgment from other women seems a lot more real if I’m camping out on a poor self-image. And I’m a lot less likely to think about that same judgment if I’m confident in my role as a mom.

I have yet to meet a caring mother who isn’t doing all she can for her children.

So maybe all of this conflict lies in the fact that we’ve forgotten how good we all are at doing what comes naturally: loving our kids.

Maybe we need to remember that the main thing our children need is simply what flows organically between them and us…all that mushy, sweet, heart thumping goodness.

Our children want us mommas getting cozy in the fact that we were made to mother. They feed off our confidence, and they need our security.

Don’t let guilt and comparison tell you lies about the other women surrounding you.

Maybe they’re not looking down at you after all. They might even be consumed with the areas of their own insecurities.

Let’s all be for each other. Let’s be for ourselves, too, shall we?

Let’s be for children being raised by confident women who mother by the instincts that were given from Above.

Surely there can’t be anything wrong with that.

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