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Winning the Mommy Wars

✌ peace ✌ mšvidoba ✌ мир ✌ שָׁלוֹם ✌ سلاThese days I find myself thinking about the messages our culture sends about motherhood.

The double standards, the mixed signals. The way we’re told to cherish every second while at the same time rushing to the minivan each morning.

You can’t have it all.

Don’t settle for less.

You can’t get these years back, you know.

Once when I was a working mom I was at a social gathering with mothers of all stripes. There were stay at home moms with nannies. Working moms whose children were in day care. There were moms who worked at home and moms who shuffled part time work with loads of whites and colors and mashing bananas for the baby.

I stood on the fringes of a conversation, nursing a drink, biting my tongue.

I could work, one woman told another, but I’d be missing so much.

The other woman nodded. That’s right, she said, you’re doing the right thing.

It stung.

The Mommy Wars are last week’s news. Every angle of the issue has been examined, every public battle line carefully drawn. We’re to imagine the Attachment Moms with their toddlers at their breasts. Tandem nursing twins they co-slept, pre-masticated food still digesting in their happy bellies. Across the battlefield are the Tiger Moms, refusing children dinner if they forget to wipe.

But in the private of homes and the public of parks, on playgrounds and in baby pools and Sunday Schools across the country, the War on Moms wages on.

It’s in the perception of judgement cast, the comments made, the sting of guilt for missing so much.

It’s in the assumptions made, the internalization that we’re Not Mom Enough. It’s in Mom Guilt. It’s in believing the lies. Buying into the hype. Losing sight of why what you’re doing works for the people you hold dear.

It’s in perpetuating the stereotypes, believing you’re More Mom If…

Motherhood is not one size fits all. Different choices work for different families.

Judge me only after walking a mile in my mom jeans, and I’ll promise to do the same.

Photo Credit: Bitzi/Flickr

Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Related Posts:

The Mixed Messages of Culture and Motherhood

A Mother’s Day Boycott

Is There Tension Between Parents and Non Parents

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