Tag: Mommy Wars

#TheWhateverMom Army Still Charges On

The term “Mommy Wars” just doesn’t sound right to me. As moms we are supposed to be peaceful role models for our children. We teach our kids not to fight, to think of other people’s feelings, and to be kind to others. So how can we be at war with each other and still teach our kids how to be decent, inclusive, thoughtful humans? We can’t. Four years ago, I was inspired to create my own photo montage in protest of the mom war struggle I was feeling. I enlisted the help of my local mom friends and got to work.

 

All the moms in these photos are friends I met as members of a mom’s group on Facebook. Over the years we’ve celebrated birthdays together, brought each other meals, and have encouraged and supported each other through the trials of motherhood. On this day four years ago, we were standing next to each other smiling and holding signs reflecting our “opposing” mom choices. It was all the proof I needed to see that even though we make different choices for our families, we can still be friends and even respect each other’s personal choices. I have come to realize that without the different opinions and choices lived out by other moms in my circle, I wouldn’t know I have options in my parenting.

 

 

 

Seven years into this mom gig and I have learned to let go of the pressure to make the same choices as other moms. I have also learned that it is par for the course for every new mom to grapple with her confidence as a mom.  That’s really where the mom wars start. It begins with that first wobbly step into motherhood. As we put one foot in front of the other, we learn the path that works for ourselves and our families. We also begin to realize that choices other moms make in their own homes really do not affect us. For example, nothing in my world shakes when another mom feeds her kid formula because she can’t breast feed. There isn’t a slight shift in the wind when someone feeds their kids McDonald’s for dinner because they are too worn out to cook. And if a mom uses bleach to clean her floors instead of the finest essential oils, I can still sleep at night. I firmly believe that if a mom falls at the playground and no one is around to hear her she will still swear like a trucker (all moms do that right, not just me?).

 

 

I haven’t done any hard research on this, but I have yet to see any viral social media clips of a Harvard grad mentioning their mom’s meticulous house as the reason for their success, or that her perfect dinners and over the top birthday parties drove them to the top of their class. If at the end of the day your kids are safe and alive, you deserve a round of applause. We all bear the same burdens of motherhood so why do we put so much pressure on ourselves (and each other to be perfect?).  No matter what your style of mothering is, we will all run the same course: stomach bugs, sleepless nights and feelings of self-doubt. All of these quintessential mom moments level the battlefield for the “Mommy War.”  Certainly none of us makes perfect decisions, but 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?

 

My call to arms remains the same: 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 you make in the best interest of your children is the best decision you can make for them. Never ask yourself, “Which side am I on?” Instead ask yourself, “How can I stand with my momrades?”

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

 

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The Whatever Mom Wants You to Join the Whatever Army!

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!

SAHM

DSC_4900

tatoo

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.

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Twin moms

Hudson moms

Crunchy mom

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).

Tech rox edit

Formula fed

birth edit

Gay edit

Food edit

Most people hear Mommy wars and picture this:

Mom life edit

I hear Mommy wars and picture this:

Glasco3

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. 

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