Monday, August 15, 2011

vs.

I got an email from one of the eight million "Mom sites" that I subscribe to the other night that got my panties all in a knot. It was something along the lines of "stay at home moms vs. working moms" and had percentages and crap with information about both sets of mothers.

Truthfully, I don't care what the numbers say, I could not get past that one little word in the title; versus.

That word, or vs. in this case, automatically implies some sort of competition. And why, when mothering is already the hardest damn job there is, do we need to add more competition and fight to an already fierce battle?

The part that gets me more than anything else, is that nine times out of ten, it is moms that are fueling this little fire. Moms keeping this competition going. You don't hear our husbands talking about stay at home moms or working moms over their lunch. Or berating the formula feeding Mom for reaching for the bottle instead of popping our her b*oob when her babe gets hungry. That's us that is doing that. Other Moms.

I don't get it. One thing I love about the blogging community is the absolute support that you get. You ask for prayers; you'll get them. You suffer a miscarriage; emails will flood in with support and prayer and compassion. Your baby turns one; everyone will celebrate with you and make you smile at the Tweets and emails that come in for your little one. It's awesome. And totally helped me survive my first year.

But then there's the other part of blogging; that dang competition part. I freaking loathe that part.

Moms struggle enough with every single decision they make. Stay home? Work? Formula? Breast? There is no black and white when you're a Mom. While some love staying home and are fortunate enough to do so, some simply don't want to. And some can't. Who are you to ever judge what that Mom chooses? Some working Moms have to work. Maybe they don't want to tell you that. Maybe it breaks their hearts so much that they can't even share that it's not an option to stay home. Thought of that? Maybe some SAHMs want to work. Maybe they can't. Maybe they can't afford to go back because of the outrageous cost of childcare. Thought of that?

Breast versus bottle steams me to no end. I tried nursing BG. I tried until I had beat myself down and still wouldn't give up. I tried til both she and I were screaming in frustration, despair and plain hunger on her part. When I pulled out a bottle and mixed formula in a restaurant once, I wanted to shank a lady two tables down that gave me a "look". I wanted to jump on a table and scream "I couldn't make milk heifer" but I didn't (my husband is so thankful for that). But give me a break. No one wears a sign explaining their every move so don't assume to know why they came to the decision they did.

It amazes me how fired up people get about crying it out. I get it. It's not for everyone. Some people are tougher with it than others. I did it. Yep. I said it. I didn't do it as strictly as it might have called for, but I did it. And my kid started sleeping through the night at six weeks. Now to some, that's not important and the soothing of their baby trumps sleep, and guess what? That is fine. Get it woman. Go get your child and snuggle and cuddle. Because they are only that little once. I don't care how you "sleep train" your child. It's your child. But do not judge me for the way I did mine.

Sometimes I think we look for things to judge. Whether it's how we dress our kids (good grief let the smocking nazis die), whether we have housekeepers, how we budget, where we buy our clothes; someone is going to judge you. Someone made a comment to me once about how many other clothes I could buy BG if I would lay off the smocking. Maybe true, but dude, I buy 97% of her clothes secondhand or off a discount site. And I don't shop for me. Like ever. So I'm giving up stuff because I want her to have those clothes. Sacrifices people. Some people give up nights out for pedicures. Not this girl. So don't look at my toes ;). Some people drive older cars so they can afford a housekeeper. Me personally? I don't trust anyone enough to let them clean my house. But if you have one, more power to you.


Chill the heck out people. If you want to make your own baby food or buy it off the shelf. Who cares. Just feed your kid. If you want to delay vaccinations or not (just please get them, but that's another rant for another day), you get to choose. Circumcise or not. Breast or bottle. Stay home or work. No kid is the same and no one will know what is best for your kid but YOU.

My point? Lay off people. . We're all doing our best. We're all just figuring this out. We were all a first time mom at one point just trying to hold on for dear life. Support one another. Because Moms, get this; no one else understands your job but other Moms. Not even your husbands. Yep. Said it. No one else will ever get it. You can wax poetic to a friend of yours without kids and while she may be all "I get it", newsflash; she doesn't. Only another Mom will.

So build each other up. I'm all for healthy discussion and heck even a debate, but to bash another Mom for her choices? That is so dumb. For real (thanks Antoine for making that statement one I'll always hear your voice on). I guarantee you that she's already put herself through enough to come to a decision. She doesn't need you to help her with that. No two people are the same (thank God), so why should they all make the same decisions? Every Mom, every day is making the decisions that she thinks are best for her family. I promise you that.

Seriously, can't we all just get along?!





60 comments:

Ashley said...

Amen sister.

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

I know you must feel better after getting all of that out...I agree so much! I just try to remember "if you can't say something nice, don't say it at all!" Hope you have a great week (and don't get any negative comments!)

The Smiths said...

Love this post. I had all kinds of preconceived notions before becoming a mom and now? It's all out the window. Bottom line you what works for you, your child, and your family. Couldn't have said it better.

Abbie said...

Right on. I feel like any time I post something about my kids there are certain people who will respond and say something along the lines of, "I can't believe you are doing X! Gasp! You need to do Y!" and it's stupid stuff like, why are you starting solids at SIX MONTHS, you shouldn't start them until your baby initiates weaning or something dumb like that (I mean, ignore the whole AAP recommendation thing or that my pediatrician wanted me to start them two months ago). It's so dumb. Can't we all get along? :)

Anonymous said...

I have never commented before, but I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog. I especially love this post and couldn't agree with you more! I have a one year old little boy and unfortunately, my husband and I are not in a position for me to be a SAHM. I would love nothing more than to stay at home, but for us, me working is what is best for our family, so it kills me when people judge us for this decision.

BTW...your little girl is just adorable!

Val

Meg said...

amen.amen.amen!

Ashley said...

I totally agree. I feel the competition SO much. And, I want those mom friends because they ARE the only ones who get it. But then when you surround yourself with other moms, you feel the competition again. Ugh! Loved your post!! : )

Lynsey said...

Thank you for taking all the thoughts in my head and writing this wonderful blog post. I couldn't have said it better myself. Amen!

Blue-Eyed Bride said...

Can I sing the "amen" song? I feel like you climbed inside my head and wrote this post! Haha. You know I completely agree with every single point. You raise your kids and I'll raise mine!

Pinot after Playdates said...

So true!! What's up with the Mommy Mean Girls....makes me sad and angry all at once, great post!

Lucy Marie said...

I want to jump in the air, pump my fist and shout AMEN. okay, so maybe I actually did that. Honestly .This post fired me up. I agree with so utterly and completely. I have STRONG opinions, don't get me wrong - the choices I made/make during pregnancy/childbirth/child raising stem from some very very strong convictions I have. But that's the point they are convictions ***I*** have - it doesn't mean anyone else has to have the same ones.

Maggie said...

Preach!

Emily said...

I feel like you read my mind. LOVED this!

Kodi said...

You KNOW I agree- here's my post to prove it.

http://bevelleboulevard.blogspot.com/2011/05/on-working-and-staying-home.html

Moms are terrible to each other. What breaks my heart is knowing that I've said things that have probably made another mom just as sad or mad as people have made me.

Love your heart girl. You're a fabulous mama.

Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linds said...

this was the best mommy post I've ever read in the blogging world. And SO SO SO true.

Rachel said...

GREAT post!!! This is a must read for all blogging moms. Could not have said it better myself. I always say, we have a enough stress as it is without other moms meddling, SUPPORT EACH OTHER!!! Adding you to my daily reads :)..

KTB said...

Word!

Rhonda said...

I actually started a "mommy wars" series last week, in which I lay out the way I personally do things and why. But in the end, I always point out how terrible and stupid it is to judge other moms for the way they do things!

Megan said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. You literally took the words out of my mouth. I've been working on a blog post that is very similar in nature. I can't STAND how some moms play the competition game. WHY? Why do we do this to ourselves?!? Thank you for writing this!

Dan and Liz said...

What you said times 100-especially the vs part. My now 19 month old Sam went on formula at 7 weeks, after a HUGE battle trying to breastfeed and it didn't work for either of us. And guess what? He's TOTALLY fine! Crazy how I pretty much said this entire blog post to some friends of mine just last week, and reminded my sisters (who breastfeed like cows) that it IS ok to do things a different way.. cause it works for us :)

Lesley said...

WOW! I think you've captured every random motherhood thought I've had for the past 6 months since my son was born. Great post!

Ashley Paige said...

A M E N. Thank you for collecting so many of this Mama's shared thoughts and frustrations and penning them down. This is a fantastic post. Every mom, dad, MIL and mom-to-be should read this! :)

Angie said...

Great post lady!! I love it!

For me personally with age comes the "I don't care" mentality. I do not care in the least when people judge me. I am so over the snotty mom judging. I have come to realize all I need to worry about are my two babies, myself and my husband. The end.

I love when I ask questions about parenting and others offer different advice than what I'd give. It helps me to see different angles and ways I can improve on my job as a parent. Just because someone does something different than I do doesn't make it right or wrong. I understand that, I just wish other moms did.

Lindsay said...

Great post! I feel like in the 2 shorts months I've been a mom I've already had to defend some decisions we've made!

Nishehe said...

100 % true...i agree with you completely :D

Kimmie said...

I absolutely *HEART* this post. Thanks for saying what needs to be said. :)

Waiting for Bulgaria said...

Yes! I couldn't agree more. I work partly because I need to and partly because I want to. Sometimes I feel like crap about not being a SAHM. And then there are people (almost all Christians and a lot family) that make comments about the "sacrifices" they make to be a SAHM. As if I don't sacrifice. I say do what's right for you and your kids. As long there's food on the table and the bills are paid who cares? Thank you for this awesome post.

Jenna said...

just found your blog from twitter and I love this post. It is SO true. Thank you for saying what we are all (at least the sane ones of us) are thinking! Being a mom is hard enough!! I'm a new follower now!

Legallyblondemel said...

Amen. It always amazes me how it's other moms who tend to be the ones stoking this "versus" nonsense. I try - and likely fail at times - not to judge other mom's choices & would that we could all do the same.

Mere said...

This is an awesome post! Awesome, awesome, awesome!!

MrsSouthernBelle said...

Hallelujah!!

BCuenin said...

You have an excellent blog: I am exactly at your stage on making mom friends and the VS. We all make such difficult decisions as mothers, whether or not we work outside, whether or not we whether or not. We are so hard on ourselves as mothers - why make it even harder?

Great post - great to read and made me think about our roles as mothers!

Jillian Vanover said...

Amen! It's a sad, sad thing really. Those who have experienced motherhood and could absolutely offer the most support and advice are often the ones that choose to criticize and berate. More power to ya, sister! Your little one is precious; you are certainly a GREAT mother!

Shannon Dew said...

Awesome, awesome post! You are absolutely right! I struggle with going to work every.single.day and it sucks, it is hard. Thank you for saying what so many of us feel!

LAURA@laurasblondemoments said...

You said it best! It's the moms that keep this competition going.

Breast vs Bottle
organic vs non organic
SAHM vs working mom
I haven't really been offered unsolicited advice personally, but I get it from magazines, books, tv, you name it. When I had to go back to work after having my son, it was the.hardest.thing I had ever done! I put on a smile so I wouldn't break down and have to be put on meds, but the truth was it was hard. And I just made myself do it at the time because we had to have two incomes.

I am so blessed to get to stay home this time around, as we get ready to welcome my daughter next month, so I can be on "the other side" of the debate. And truthfully, I know there will be hardships there too. Moms should never judge, but be supportive, and it's a shame that so many are so competitive.

Great post!
Laura
laurasblondemoments.blogspot.com

Lindsay said...

Great post. So so true. And smocking is cute. :)

Duchess of Fork said...

Wonderful post! I've only been a mom for 2 weeks, and am already dreading mom wars. Ugh. I don't know what the heck I'm doing most days, and for someone to beat me down with snarky comments...I'm sure I'd just lose it. We're all fighting the good fight of motherhood!

Laura @ My Thoughts-Uninterrupted said...

Love this post. As soon as I admitted to using the crying it out routine and having a schedule, I immediately got judgey comments. I don't attack those that co-sleep or do the opposite of me. What works for one, doesn't always work for the other and THAT IS OKAY! Why can't people understand that? We should be able to share our experiences with out the judging.

Michelle said...

I jumped over here from BEB and this is exactly what I needed to hear! I am due with my first in November and am already tired of all the unsolicited advice I'm getting. I, too, believe in CIO. While I'm going to do my best to breast feed, I'm terrified I won't be able to or will just hate it and then be judged. I'm glad to see someone post like this!

Dishy Decorator said...

Fabulous post. I've found that all the things I judged moms for in the past have come back to haunt me. Motherhood is hard enough. We beat ourselves up and let others' opinions get the best of us. After 9 years of being a mom, I'm finally learning to let go of what others think about me. XOXO

The Nelsons said...

HELLO! I just found your blog.

I am not a mom yet.

But I loved reading this post.
girl you PREACH it :) Heck yea.

Come check me out!
http://niftynelsons1.blogspot.com/

The Morrows said...

This is an amazing post.
Can I link you in my blog!
I want my readers to read this.
Thanks for writing this.

Julie B. said...

Today is the first day I've ever clicked on your blog. And this post; I agree with you 100%!! I absolutely also loathe mommy competition; though not as a blogger (because I'm not one). But in real life, school, playdates, even the damn grocery store chats with strangers --everywhere I am, there is mom competition. And it's ONLY ever MOMS that are doing it. And to each other! It's why I cringe a little every time I see a birthday party invite knowing I have a special needs 3rd grader (who unless you really know, you wouldn't think that, which means the other parents get to wonder "oh my gosh! Why is he in special ed part of the school day?!"). I hate that we do it to each other but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. So, I'll just keep on letting my kids "cry it out", letting them eat food that's fallen on the floor if it meets the "10 second rule" and I'll worry about them and let others worry about their own kids. If only they would DO just that!

Great post!!

Stephanie Marie said...

I'm pregnant with my first baby and loved this post! I've already had comments about my registry selections, what I have chosen to eat while pregnant and how I I plan sleep train my baby... She isn't even here yet! I could not agree more that people need to zip their lips with the judgement and try building one another up. Fabulous post!

d.a.r. said...

Oh my word. I am already getting the judgies and my bambino hasn't arrived yet!! What I eat while pregnant, why I work out too much, I haven't gained enough weight, are you sure you don't want to breastfeed, why on earth do you WANT to go back to work, you shouldn't even bother buying a crib--just let the baby sleep in bed with you. It is endless!

This is an awesome post!

A Wedding Story said...

I'm expecting our first and couldn't agree more with everything you said! I know some judgmental people with kiddos that I know are going to tisk-tisk how I raise my kiddos but it's the best choice for ME! Unless you birthed the child, no one has a right to tell you what to do with yours! I loved this...thank you!

Kat said...

I honestly could NOT agree more! It's so important for us to support one another and instead we tear each other down! WHY OH WHY!

Gina said...

HELL to the yes.

I saw a post yesterday by a girl who said something VERY offensive to me about putting your child in day care and I really wanted to go on her blog and tell her to shut the f*ck up but I didn't. Because it would quite possibly start a war and even though what's best for her isn't best for me, I don't think she's going to get that. She needs to read this post.

I have VERY strong feelings FOR extended breastfeeding, spreading out vaccines, eating organically, letting my children watch a little tv, not crying it out, babywearing, etc. etc. etc. But my feelings on it for G are different than they were for L. At that time in my life, I had different needs and therefore decisions. And THAT taught me that every child is different.

And holy crap I just wrote a blog post as a comment. I think I need to write my own post about this. I promise if I ever find the time to do that, I'll link to you. If I could, I'd send you a tiara and a superhero cape too.

You deserve it, sister.

Tiffany said...

Just started reading your blog - thanks for the honesty. The breastfeeding subject is close to my heart. It's just recently that I don't feel 'ashamed' that Logan was formula fed...oh sigh. It can be tough out there.

Mandy said...

LOVE this!!! This is exactly how we all feel as moms. And do you ever notice that the most judgement people of parents don't actually have kids themselves? All my single friends judge me the most. I just smile, nod and chalk it up to ignorance.

LyndsAU said...

GREAT post my friend! GREAT!

Misty said...

I get so happy at posts like this!Moms like us need to learn to agree to disagree (dont we try to teach our kids that?)Were moms, and these kids dont come with a instructions book that must be followed to a t. As long as they are loved, fed and taken care of then lets give those moms a hand. Because that can be a great accomplishment at then end of the day.

Mrs S said...

Love this entry! Now, I'm adding you to my list :)

Happiness Is... said...

I just found your blog and wanted to say Amen, Praise you Sister and Hallelujiah!

This is so darn true. For real (love him, too!)

Mrs. Howard said...

You wrote this so much better than I ever could have!

Mrs. Howard said...

OOh and how about the epidural vs. natural birth debate too!

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

Popping over from BEB! I applaud you for this! I had a woman tell me the other day she was a full time mom. Now I get what she meant, she's a SAHM, but as a working mom I couldn't help but take offense to that. What does that make me? A part time mom? That from 8-5 I turn in my mom card? I let it go because it just wasn't worth starting an argument, but it stung a little.

I hate that women spend so much time judging and tearing each other down.

Ashley said...

WONDERFULLY SAID!!! LOVE THIS POST!!

Lauren said...

You have a gift for words. AMEN to everything you have said. Thanks for the laugh and reminding me that I'm NOT the only one who thinks the exact same thing. Keep'em coming! : )

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