I recently met a mom who was in desperate need of a day of rest. She needed to take a day off of work, send the kids to daycare and the husband to work and she needed a day to sit in her pj's, soak in a hot bath tub, watch dumb daytime TV, and eat cold pizza.
But she couldn't do it. Because she felt guilty.
She works full time. She travels for her job. To take a day off of work and not dedicate it to her family...
She would be judged by her peers, her church, her co-workers. She would be judged by other moms.
I roll my eyes every time someone starts up a conversation about the "mommy wars." I find the whole thing somewhat ridiculous. Why do we need to compete with each other or fight each other? There is a large segment of the Mommy population that is trying their best to do what's right for their family. Just because my right is different than your right doesn't mean my right should be your wrong.
And because we engage in these competitions and comparisons... many moms are left feeling guilty. And other moms are quick to jump on that vulnerable state and make that mom feel worse. And sometimes it's done for the sake of feeling superior, to feel like the "better mom."
I've been a mom for almost 9 years. I don't have as much experience as some moms and I have worlds more experience than some.
I'm no expert.
But of all the moms in all the situations in the entire world... no one knows me, know one knows my marriage, no one knows my family, no one knows my husband, and no one knows my kids better than I do.
I'm an expert on My Family.
And if I know that I am a better mom and a better wife and a better employee and a better volunteer by taking a day of rest from time to time... the rest of the mom world needs to suck it up and keep their opinions to themselves.
You don't like it when moms celebrate back to school time?
You don't like it when a mom tries "crying it out?"
You don't like it when a mom nurses her 4 year old?
You don't like it when a mom works full time?
You don't like it when a mom picks up take out 4 out of 5 nights of the week?
You don't like it when a family buys grocery store veggies instead of growing their own?
You don't like it when a mom shops at Wal Mart?
Well, then I guess you're going to be unhappy. Because moms choose things every single day - big decisions and small decisions - that work best for their family, not for yours.
So the next time you are checking Facebook and you hear the disapproving voice in your head that can't believe so-and-so isn't going to her kid's music program because she has a meeting at church... when you hear that inner voice being superior and critical of a mom's choice to give her baby formula... you have to tell yourself to just stop it already. Stop and think before you reply. Verify that any response is one of support - it doesn't matter if you agree or not. It doesn't matter if you would never do what that mom is doing.
As long as we are all making choices that protect our children from harm... as long as we aren't making abusive and neglectful choices... as long as we are talking about the every day choices that every mom frets over, stresses over, worries about...
Stop it, already. Just stop with the negative comments or posts.
And if you're a mom who is feeling guilt because of the judgements of others - you'd better stop that, already, too. The way I see my own motherhood is that it's between me, my kids, my husband, my God. It doesn't concern you. If I want a day off, I'll take it. If I want to commit to extended breastfeeding, I'll do it. If I want or need to work outside the home, I'm gonna do it. I know what I need, what my kids need.
We are our own worst enemy - in 2 different ways. We fight each other, competing to see who will be someday named "Best Mom Ever" by the entire population (here's a hint - that is never going to happen to any of us). And then we fight ourselves - criticizing ourselves, putting ourselves down, weighing ourselves down with guilt.
Just stop it, already!