An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Fighting Mommy Wars

Monday, February 2, 2015

Fighting Mommy Wars

I wrote this post before this video went viral... By now, you've probably seen it, or have seen 47 of your friends re-post it.

It's hilarious and eye-roll inducing, then finishes with a strong message. Even if you aren't a parent, you might enjoy it. Especially if you have, oh I dunno, a soul.


Anyway, it got me thinking. I've seen some RIDICULOUS "mommy war" type articles with insane comments circulating Facebook in the past few months. Articles that pit moms against each other by saying things like, "If you live in these states, ____________ (fill in the blank: you pay more for childcare, you have the worst public schools, your child is more likely to have autism. And on and on.) Basically, they're promoting a culture of complaint or superiority.

Both of which are particularly obnoxious, especially on Facebook.

Those aren't even as bad as the stupid circulating articles/blog posts on topics like breastfeeding, discipline, or the ever-obnoxious debate of "cry it out." Usually, the article takes a strong stance on why that way is the ONLY way, and how parents who do it differently than the article suggests are ruining their kids. And society. And probably the planet too, based on their logic.

I'll confess: I had strong ideas of "the right way to parent" before I had a baby, and even while I was pregnant. I couldn't understand why some women chose to formula feed their babies. Didn't they know breast was best? There's corn syrup in formula for the love of God! The horror!

Then I had the baby, and s**t got real.

I made it three months breastfeeding. My son wanted to nurse every two hours, around the clock. I was loosing my mind. Our whole day revolved around feedings, pumping, eating and drinking, then feeding and pumping again. Nearing my breaking point, I gave in and introduced formula. It was the best decision I ever made, and saved my sanity.

The point is, why are some women so righteous in her parenting that she would actually condemn another mama? Hasn't she ever struggled, and then knows that the other mama is struggling, and should cut her some slack? Can't she see that every baby and every mama-baby relationship and every family is different, therefore there is no one "right" way to do anything?

I've vowed to stop reading all these insane, pitting-women-against-each other articles. Enough already. We're all here doing the best we can with the information we have at the time we make the decision. How about we judge less and support more, alright? Cool.



 *This is not a sponsored post from Similac. I just thought that message was worth sharing.

 

36 comments:

  1. Amen! I couldn't agree with you more.
    As the only formula feeding, working, cry-it out Mama, in my circle of Mom friends I have been judged and judged hard.
    But you know what? At the end of the day, we are all Mamas and we all want what is best for our kids- to be healthy, happy and kind.
    Judge less, love more :)

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    1. Yes! I'm the only cry-it-out mama I know too, and it works wonders for us. I get asked, "doesn't it just break your heart to hear him cry?!" What, like I'm calloused and unloving because I let him fuss for 10 mins?! Sheesh!

      Judge less, love more. Yes yes yes!

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  2. I've actually never seen that video so I'm late to the party on that one!! I really love the message of the video - it's true, it doesn't matter what you believe or choose to do, but just that you are parenting your child to the best of your ability!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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    1. You were busy on the beaches of FL this week, that's why you missed it! Even though it's an ad, I really think the message is great. Everyone relax! Just try to be a good parent and good person :)

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  3. YES!!!

    I seriously love you. I know when I have my own kids you're going to be someone I can really look to for guidance, judgement free... plus, you've done a hella great job with Henry. He's an amazing kid.

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    1. Love you too boo! And please do come to me with any questions or simply the need to vent. Motherhood is hard and we just need to band together to make it through!

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  4. oh. my. word.
    I hadn't seen that video or even heard of it, but I just watched it and thought it was funny and then I was sobbing by the end. Holy moly.
    I agree with you - I don't know why people have to drag down others to make themselves feel better about their choices. Sure, when I have a kid there are things I *want* to do, but if I can't do them - breastfeed, stay at home etc - then whoopdiedoo, it's not the end of the world and as long as I love my kid and do my very best, that should be enough!

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    1. I know! I almost didn't watch it because it was created by Similac and I didn't feel like watching an ad... But it's so good! And the part where all the moms are judging and staring each other down? Oh, I've experienced that!

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  5. When I think about having kids, I imagine the way that I want to try and do things, but I don't necessarily think that it's the 'right' way to do things. I know that what I plan to do will definitely change when/if I actually have a kid someday, but I think it's sort of, dare I say 'fun', to think about those things. That being said, I know that it can get crazy in those comment sections. I stay out of the fray, but I do think it's interesting (and hilarious) to read some people's insane statements. At the end of the day, if you have a happy, healthy kid with a happy healthy mom, that's all that matters.

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    1. Absolutely true! I think it's just emotional because you have all these great ideas about how to parent. And then you're on three hours of sleep, for the past three straight months, and you lose it and give in to things you'd never thought you'd give in to. But that doesn't make you a bad parent! Live and learn. Then relax :)

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  6. My best friend became a step mother to two young boys a few years ago. She was having issues with their attitude towards one another and went to a motherhood forum to ask what were some ways she could deal with their aggression towards each other (little fights and things) and instead of offering her support, people (other moms!) ripped her apart basically telling her it was her fault in every way. She was devastated. If there is one thing I have learned in all my years of taking care of other people's children for a living, it's that as long as a child is loved and being taught to love others, it's all going to be A-OK. This is a great post. To be honest, I hadn't seen the video. I've seen it circulated around the web but hadn't taken the time to watch until seeing it here. I also think it's awesome of you to admit you thought you'd do things one way but ended up doing something different. I think that's a valuable human lesson in general, some things don't always go as planned but don't beat yourself up. If you know truly in your heart that you are doing your best, be confident in that and keep moving forward. Henry is obviously in good hands! ;)

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    1. Oh man, I'm SO sorry for your friend! Honestly, that's why I never took a "new mommy" class. I didn't want to sit there and hear about what everyone else was doing and how I was or wasn't doing that. Or worse, how their babies were sleeping and mine wasn't! You just need to keep trying things until you find a method that works for you and your kiddo(s).

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  7. No kids here, but I feel like there is so much shaming - no matter what you do you're wrong! That's a lot to keep up with! I'm with you, whatever works for your family is what you should go with.

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    1. Yes! There's judgement and shame about EVERYTHING. "Why do you let your kid have a paci?! Why would you deprive your child of a paci?! Why aren't you co-sleeping?! Co-sleeping is dangerous!" And on and on. I love that you understand that and don't have children yourself :)

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  8. You're the coolest. I know I've told you this a million times but as much I like to skip mom/baby posts, I never skip yours because I know they are going to be awesome. I love your realistic attitude toward motherhood and I'm so glad you share it because let's be real...lots of moms be cray. You seriously give me hope that if I do decide to be a mom some day, I can be a mom AND still be a normal, non-judgey, non-crazy human being ;)

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    1. Awwww, jeez! Thanks! And so many moms be cray. Which I understand, because we all want what's best for our wee ones, but dang does it bring out the crazy. Not saying I don't have my crazy days, and if you choose mama-dom you will have yours too, but I'm far more relaxed than just about any other mom I know. And guess what? My kid is pretty chill and well behaved, too. Kids read and emulate your energy!

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  9. A to the MEN! Well said, Paige. I'm super sick of the mommy wars too. Being a mom is just hard enough without having other mommas criticize your decisions. All of the criticism ruined my confidence as a momma in those first few months of Joshua's life–I felt like I was doing everything wrong. When I decided I didn't care what anyone else's opinion of my parenting was, I finally enjoyed it. We all just have to remember to live and let live and parent and let parent, am I right? :)

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    1. Exactly! I also get the sneaking suspicion that some women like the mommy war drama... Which is why it keeps circulating. I'm so glad you found yourself and your parenting style and now have the confidence to rock it - especially since #2 will be joining you soon!

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  10. I totally get this. I joined a local mother's club but hated it because of judgemental "friends"!

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    1. Yikes! I know some other women who have said the same... That it's one big nasty competition! I haven't taken any classes or joined any groups outside of my friends, maybe for this same reason!

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  11. Exactly Paige, exactly. I think the mommy wars are ridiculous especially since every baby is different! I had a friend who was hard core into breastfeeding and did for all 4 of her kids, well #5 came and wanted nothing to do with the breast. She found out real quick how wonderful formula is... we are all trying to do our best and be the best for our kids, that's all that matters. I loved the message of the video :)

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    1. I love that! Yes, parenting can throw you some surprises, even between babies. Just because one will/won't do something doesn't mean the next will/wont do it - it best to just chill out and enjoy the ride!

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  12. High five! My previous self has been guilty of "knowing what's best" for kids. I'm a social worker and I've trained in ages and stages and stuff like that but until my sisters had kids I realized I didn't know squat! And I need to zip it. Besides, what works for one kid might not work for another and really parenting is flipping hard. I think you're message is probably good all across the board, less judging more supporting in general people.

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    1. Don't worry, I was right there with you being a know-it-all. Now I just admit I have no idea what's going on, how to best raise a kid or what will work best. And life got so much easier!

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  13. I had never seen this video before! I just shared it to the world though after seeing it. I normally keep my parenting choices strictly between Nicholas & I, as I also find so many family members try to judge on our decisions (everything from wanting to take parenting classes, to also using formula, to not wanting to bring Sophie out before she gets her shots). We even had a family member try to control us in our name choice for her. Its so crazy how people act like its their child!

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    1. Isn't it a great video?! And holy cow, they wanted to more or less name YOUR baby?! Sheesh! That's a whole different level.

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  14. Yes for not reading the articles anymore! I'm with you! My best friend just had a baby and she gets so irritated because people are always judging her and telling her what to do... what is wrong iwth people!?

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    1. Yup, I'm DONE reading those stupid things! And also interacting with other moms who are posting them/complaining/boasting. People have strong opinions on what to do or not do with a baby... And I just simply no longer care about what they think or write!

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  15. Hi, I thought this was so funny too and loved it. I hope we can focus on womens lives and stories and not mom wars. ;)

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    1. I'm so glad people are enjoying the video too! And yes, I love the idea of focusing on the story (or journey) as opposed to judging.

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  16. Stop that is the first time I've watched the video and it was absolutely hilarious but then that ending! My mother had 6 kids and BF all six......my brothers wife it just didn't happen and my mother out of all people who I thought would have an opinion "it's whatever works for you in your home......moms need sleep period". The best. You know I will be texting you for everything right?

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    1. I don't know her, but I already love your mom! Yes, once I started sleeping more, I think our whole house became happier! That's why Kirk lets me sleep in on the weekends. Your mom sounds like she has it figured out!

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  17. Amen sister! I was totally one of those moms before I had my daughter. Once that baby comes out all bets are off and it's whatever works, works. I don't know why we continue to condemn other moms. Everyone is doing their best and what's best for their baby and their family.

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    1. I was "one of those" too. And absolutely, all bets are off when you've been living off three hours of sleep a night for a month, you just need to do whatever works! Happy mom, happy baby.

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  18. LOVE This! I hadn't seen the video before now, but it's so good! really love the message

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