We moms are b*tches.
It’s hard to say because I’m a mom and a lot of my friends are too.
But we are. With a capital B.
We passive-aggressively fight about parenting styles, nap times, working, preschools, staying at home, making baby food, sleep training, formula, nursing, pacifiers…
You might not believe me, because we’re often very nice in person, or at least too sleep-deprived to take seriously. But just go online. The Internet is where we take off our pretend nice gloves and yell at each other in the comments sections of parenting posts.
What’s the deal? Why are we all so damn self-righteous?
I mean, parenting is HARD. We need SUPPORT. And a hug.
Moms know that better than anybody. Other moms with kids around the same age should know that. The amnesia of time hasn’t set in yet. They know that you don’t enjoy every minute of your kid’s childhood. They know that sometimes you struggle just to make it through the day.
But I am no exception. I sleep-train, breastfeed, use the City Mini stroller, give my kids drugs on airplanes, and only drink organic milk. I’m happy to tell you why you should do these things, too. I’ll try not to dis your way, but you can read between the lines.
I think this return to a high-school-like party of judge-and-judge-alike starts when the baby’s born.
You’re overwhelmed. Your hormones are raging. You might feel unattractive. You won’t be sleeping. Things are… volatile. You’re looking for anything to make you feel like you’re good at something.
Out of this crazy time, we hatch our DOGMAS.
Maybe breastfeeding was incredibly difficult for you, but someone from La Leche League saved you. So now you’ll defend them to the death.
Maybe your baby is lactose and gluten and sugar intolerant. Instead of one more day of nursing-diet prison, you switch to organic soy baby formula. Liberation! Other moms should do it, too.
Maybe your baby was colicky and the only thing that made him be quiet was being swaddled all day in a Moby Wrap, co-sleeping, and being nursed on demand. Now you’re ready to punch any anti-attachment parenters in the face.
Maybe the day you got your sanity back was at the end of the week of sleep-training your six month old. That’s right: crying it out at six months old. Bring on your disdain!
The list goes on.
We’re a society that through research can find out the empirical answer to most any question. And we like to place our expert stamp on parenting because it makes us feel like we’re doing it the right way. So if we demand-feed, we look for people and research to support it. If we sleep-train we do the same thing.
We need the validation we’re doing it right: Please, please tell me I’m doing something right over here.
That’s the problem: as new parents, we’re insecure AND there are no right answers.
At church the other day, these thoughts stuck with me: If you sow sparingly, you reap sparingly. If you sow generously, you reap generously.
So I guess we should try to be a lot more generous with each other. It’s a lesson I need to remember as I fight my way through another day, hoping that I’m doing something right.
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