Recently, in a conversation with another new mom, an interesting point was raised. Why are moms so judgmental of other moms? I know at first your reaction may be, of course we are not! We are a supportive sisterhood, always looking out for each other. But I think there are underlying issues that we face which we never really raise, in between our deep desires to be considered good moms and a contributing member of the mom fraternity, rather sorority.
The key element here is that in just a few minutes or hours, your world gets turned upside down. You’re bequeathed with this immense responsibility, one that billions of women have managed before you, and you feel that you need to do better than anyone else at it. You need to be game changer. The mom that other moms talk about at coffee mornings. But you falter, you struggle, your perfect motherhood plan has too many glitches, yet you stumble on, in the hope that you still might make it to the front of this mom marathon. That you may be the victor and that you child may be as perfect as you wished him or her to be. But in this impossibly fantastical image of mom-hood, you sometimes end up greatly differing from another mom’s idealistic plans. You both are inherently on the same path, yet you feel that yours is somehow better. And in this quest for perfection, moms sometimes end up making other moms feel bad. Or defensive. Here are some examples of the great mom debates.
Working mom vs. stay at home mom
Ah the great conundrum that has plagued women, and only women for the past few decades. Some women believe that they can best provide for their child by working and building a more secure financial future for the family. They believe their kids need someone to look up to, and a woman who is successfully juggling home and work can be just that sort of a hero. Then there are the stay at home moms that vehemently believe that they need to be there to cater to the needs of their child by sacrificing or putting their careers on hold. They don’t want to entrust childcare to any other person, hence they are hands-on and want to be a part of the child’s milestones. But when these two meet, they don’t agree to disagree. One tries to justify her actions, coming across as condescending, while the other belittles the first one’s choices. Is this really necessary? Can we not just look at the big picture, that both women are just trying to do their best? In this great debate, many get hurt and many women either feel ostracized or demeaned. Why must we do this to each other? Can we not just respect each other’s choices and move on. And also, try to support one another because who best to feel what a new mom feels, but a mom herself?
Some other age old rivalries I’ve seen in my past, and then when I became a mom are below.
My child must be a part of extra-curricular activities mom vs. let’s let the child figure out what he wants mom
I’m a new mom but I’ve done my research and lots of it mom vs. I’ve raised many kids and they’re successful adults hence I must have cracked the code mom
Gerber baby makes amazing food options for my baby so why look elsewhere mom vs. I’m going to slave over each ingredient but I’ll make sure my baby has healthy organic home made food
CIO loving mom vs. No tears mom
Socializing mom vs. I’m fine alone mom
Adventurous mom vs. careful mom
The list goes on. Every woman makes a choice that seems reasonable to her and she goes with it. But she tries to justify her choices. To make sure the others not only understand her but also follow her. Must we be so dogmatic in our decisions that we ignore the purpose of mom-groups and community? Support. Understanding. A shoulder to lean on when the husbands just don’t get why you’re so darn tired at the end of the day. I wish we could see past our parenting skills and decisions and focus on what matters. That when you remove the descriptors and the choices and the titles, at the end of the day, first and foremost we are simply ‘moms.’