If you’ve been around the internet for a while and have browsed mom blogs or joined some mom groups on Facebook, or even if you haven’t, you’ve probably heard of the “Mommy Wars.” This term refers to the often vicious and attacking nature that moms can have toward each other when their parenting methods differ. Perhaps it stems from feeling like you must have made the right choice in parenting, otherwise you are the bad parent. Maybe you did a lot of research and want to share your knowledge, but somehow it comes across as imposing or condescending. Regardless of the reason for the Mommy Wars, they exist and it can cause parents to flock toward those who agree with them and to shun those who don’t. However, I found that it can be very difficult to pay attention to all the different topics and to start Mommy Wars!
Mommy Wars: Stroller vs. Babywearing
We arrived at the park and I saw your car pull in across the parking lot. I was going to walk with you, but my daughter had other plans. You see she has just learned how to walk in shoes and she was off and running before I could wait to walk with you. She took a detour around the restrooms and through the bushes before running around a tree seven times. When we finally made it to the playground, you had been there for a few minutes and your kids were having a great time. Due to our extended detour, I didn’t notice if you brought your kids in a stroller, a wrap, sling, or structured carrier. I did notice that they all arrived safely and did not get run over by a car. Good job, mama.
Mommy Wars: Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers
Our kids had been playing nicely in the sand together for five whole minutes when a distinctive scent wafted our way. We both went to check our little ones, and sure enough your little guy had really taken care of business. I saw you lay him down on a changing pad in the grass when I noticed my little girl making that tell tale grimace. I also had a loaded diaper that needed urgent attention. As a result, I didn’t notice whether you took that foul mess and dumped it in the trash or zipped it into a wetbag to wash at home. I did notice that he no longer reeked of his own bodily fluids and was happily playing again. Good job, mama.
Mommy Wars: Stay at home vs. Work outside the home
While our kids were playing so well, we finally had a few minutes to talk to each other, like adults. I asked whether you worked outside the home or if you stayed at home with your kids. Just as you opened your mouth to answer, your son came up to us crying that he hurt his knee. After performing a 50-point inspection, applying a kiss and a band-aid to his scraped knee, he joyfully ran off to continue doing whatever it was that injured him in the first place. Our conversation turned to childhood injuries and ER visits and we somehow never made it back to your employment status. I do know that you work hard at caring for your children, you spend lots of time with them, and you love them very much. Good job, mama.
Mommy Wars: Breastfeeding vs. Formula feeding
Your 4 month old baby started fussing and you told me he must be hungry. I saw you cradle him lovingly in your arms in preparation for feeding. Just at that moment, my daughter noticed an enticing pink and green sippy cup that belongs to another child 50 yards away, partially obscured by a diaper bag. I chased her down to prevent her from swapping mouth germs with some poor, unsuspecting child. By the time I returned, your son had fallen asleep in your arms and you were gently swaying back and forth. I didn’t see if you breast or formula fed him, but he was full and content, sleeping peacefully. Good job, mama.
Mommy Wars: Fast food vs. Whole food
When we all sat down for a picnic lunch at the park, I know you fed your kids. While you were feeding them, my daughter tried to eat a rock, a leaf, a stick, three handfuls of sand, bird poop from the bench, and she licked the grass. Unfortunately, I was distracted by keeping non-food items out of her mouth and so I didn’t have a chance to notice whether you pulled out a bag full of chicken nuggets and french fries or whether you served them organic apple slices slathered in homemade almond butter. I do know that you fed them and they ate every bite of whatever it was. Good job, mama.
Mommy Wars are an unfortunate reality that we have in our society. The fortunate part is, you don’t have to condemn others just because their parenting choices differ from yours. Sometimes it can be so much effort to even find the differences that it is hardly worth it. We mamas have so much more in common that we can commiserate about that these hot topics seem minuscule in comparison. Remember, we all love our kids and we are doing the best we can with the skills and resources we have. Good job, mama.