We’ve all heard the term “Mommy Wars.” It just doesn’t sound right. Moms are supposed to be peaceful role models for their children. We teach our kids not to fight, to think of other people’s feelings, and to be kind to others. I have struggled the last few months to find just the right words to sum up my thoughts on the “Mommy Wars.” Turns out I don’t need to find the right words; one picture has a thousand of them! So, why not include a whole bunch of pictures? I was inspired to create my own photo montage with local Hudson Valley moms after I read the CT Working Moms Group blog a year ago. I sent out the call to arms to all my Whatever mom friends. They eagerly jumped on board!
As the project unfolded, I realized I know most of the moms pictured here personally. We all met through a Hudson Valley Moms’ Facebook group. We’ve celebrated birthdays together, brought each other meals, and have encouraged and supported each other through the trials of motherhood. There we were standing next to each other smiling and holding signs reflecting our “opposing” mom choices. This just goes to show that even though we make different choices for our families, we can still be friends and even respect each other’s personal choices. Without the different opinions and choices presented by other moms in my circle I wouldn’t know I have options in my parenting.
I admit I am still a little confused as to why we even have a war going on. My mom world does not come to a screeching halt when a mom decides to feed her kid formula or non-organic potatoes or even McDonald’s for dinner. I don’t even feel a slight shift in the wind when a mom uses 409 to clean her floors. And, I’m quite sure that if a mom falls at the playground and no one is around to hear her she still swears like a trucker (oh wait, that’s probably just me).
Most people hear Mommy wars and picture this:
I hear Mommy wars and picture this:
I am convinced that not once has a Harvard grad mentioned in their acceptance speech their gratitude for their mother keeping a meticulous house; making perfect dinners and throwing over the top birthday parties; nor cited those exact reasons for all their success. I am also convinced that if at the end of the day you have kept your kid safe and alive, you’ve pretty much done your job. We all bear the same burden of motherhood. By burden I mean the labels (fun mom, mean mom, Pintrest mom) and the judgments (spoils her child, doesn’t discipline, too strict). No matter what our style of mothering is, we have all run the same course: stomach bugs, sleepless nights and feelings of self-doubt. All of these quintessential mom moments level the battlefield on which we fight our “Mommy war.” None of us is free from flaws, and certainly none of us makes perfect decisions. We all have the same end goal- to raise healthy, happy and productive humans. Does it really matter what path we follow to get them there?
So here’s your call to arms Whatever Moms: do whatever it takes to let go of your fears and worries that you are not enough. Take up the charge to own your mom choices. Decide right now to be confident in your decisions because any decision we make in the best interest of our children is the best decision we can make for them. The question isn’t “which side are you on?” The question is, “can we all stand together?”
SPECIAL THANK YOU TO: Danielle Sidarous for lending your excellent photography skills. Your time and talent is very much appreciated! All the moms who participated in creating this montage. Thank you for your commitment to helping me complete this project! And my husband, Keith for racing home to help twin wrangle while I got to do something besides wipe butts all day!
Important note: republication of these photos is expressly prohibited without consent from Danielle Sidarous.
This is your best article by far!!!!!
Thanks Debra! It was a really fun and important project for me to complete!
I…….LOVE……THIS!! I spent many years as a stay-at-home and heard multiple working moms chastise stay-at-homes for, “not having a ‘real’ job,” or “she only stays at home.” On the flip side I heard multiple stay-at-home moms chastise the working moms for, “letting someone else do the job of parenting.” I said, more than once, “Aren’t we ALL moms and shouldn’t we be supporting each other as women???” Excellent write up, Roxanne. Carry on.
Thanks Tamara! I’ve heard the same chastising too! It really takes a village to raise a child- what kind of village are we creating if we are always working against each other?
Loved this! I am in the same season of life and deal with these same things. Check out my blog Mother’s Divided http://www.atasteoftheforbiddenfruit.com/comforting-confessions-blog/mothers-divided
I would love your feedback! Thank you!
Wow, this is an awesome post that I am sharing now!!
Thanks so much for reading and sharing!
What a great reminder…thank you for sharing! Parenting is difficult enough as it is without feeling pressure and judged for all of your parenting decisions
Thanks for finally writing about >The Whatever Mom Wants You to Join the Whatever Army!
| the whatever mom <Loved it!
Thank you! I have gotten more peace and self-acceptance as my role as a single mother with foster children than a year in therapy! I so needed to hear this and be reminded that it’s ok to do things differently and that I’m still a good mom. I know I work too much, try o clean too much, yell too much, let the kids use technology too much so that I have time to shower and relax too. I compare myself to “Rockstar moms” that have their kids on structured schedules, enrolled in all sorts of activities, feed them home cooked organic meals. All while showing daily, wearing make up, exercising and never raising their voices. I’m so far from that type of mom. I end up feeling like I’m failing as a parent. this site was a great reminder that it’s ok to do things different from other moms – and yes – if they are safe and alive at the end of the day I do give myself a give five and count it as a success! I found your blog when looking up how to mail something to my students I teach online who live in china. When I goggled that, your article on how to get free stuff in the mail for your kids came up! These are such wonderful Ideas and I will definitely be getting some free mail for my kids and helping them practice letter writing at the same time. Sometimes we all just need a little inspiration and your site gave me just that tonight. Thank you! You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers as we navigate this motherhood thing. You will never know how much your words have helped me tonight. For that, I am very grateful!
Wow, first of all you sound like a completely amazing mom to me! Thank you for taking the time to write such a heartfelt comment. You have no idea how much your words helped me! Second, I hope you look at your own supermom abilities and realize just how truly unique and perfect they are for your own family- a family you have to work twice as hard for. That’s all that matters! You are perfect just the way you are!! <3