Saturday, October 30, 2010

Are You Ready To RUMBLE??!!

Why do moms feel the need to judge, berate, and compete...with other moms? Whether we stay at home, work at home, work on the job site, travel for work...we seem to always be in competition with and tearing down the the moms that occupy the opposing classification. Whatever group we affiliate ourselves with, it appears, to me, that we become very un-accepting of moms classified in the other groups as if it is our own little unspoken sorority. Exclusivity reigns supreme. Non-members need not apply.

I have experienced being a full-time working mama, a college student and working mama, a work at home mama, and now currently holding steady as a stay at home mama. And trust me, in every group I have been a member, I have noticed and joined in on the judgement and ridicule of every other "group". We tear down, turn up our noses and ultimately disregard other possible mothering styles other than that associated with our assemblage.

And I don't understand it. Fundamentally, all moms want the best for her children...and how she achieves that -whether working out of the home or working in the home-is not for other mothers to judge. The very fact that we share "mothering" in common should cause us to rally behind the other; lift her up when she is burdened and down-trodden, rejoice in her victories and accomplishments, help her cry when tears need to be shed, and join in her laughter as we all try to tackle everything that accompanies the title of "Mom".

This is a tough enough job already without heaping onto ourselves and others the stress of "which group of moms is better". Don't we put enough pressure upon ourselves without ridiculing and judging the other moms we encounter at the park, at school pick-ups and drop-offs, at practices, PTA meetings, check-out lines and classroom parties? Shouldn't we stand behind each other by virtue of belonging to the sisterhood of moms?  Is it ludicrous for me to suggest the possibility that we could not only support each other but also learn from each other?

Moms vary greatly in our talents, backgrounds, experiences and skills. We range in differences as vast as economic levels, religious preferences, and ethnicity. Each of us have unique tips, tricks and skills to share with the other....if only we would ask for and welcome each other's advice and knowledge. Just imagine how comforting-and relieving- it would be to not worry about the preconceptions and misconceptions we have previously held over each other. I dare to say that not only could we all benefit from the wisdom of the mom sitting beside us...but she might even be able to help us be a better mom, a better wife, and a better friend.


Kelsey said...

I completely agree, but in this society, with wide ranging values and beliefs, there are very few who truly do not judge.

I have to admit that I'm much more critical than I would like to be, especially when it comes to parenting, perhaps because it's so important to me. That woman with the protruding belly smoking a cigaretter? She will get s kick in the shins from moi...

For the most part though, it's so true that if we were a little more loving and accepting of others and our differences, the struggles we all go through as parents would definitely be more manageable.

Gretchen said...

I think, on some level, women who feel they are competing are afraid that the choices they make about mothering are being called wrong, when other parents do things differently. I mean, if I'm doing the best job I can do, but that's in conflict with what YOU think is the best job you can do, then someone has to be WRONG, right? I'd say, no not necessarily. Not wrong but just different. But not everyone thinks that way. Some moms think HFCS is poison. I think it's no big deal. So, does that other mom think I'm poisoning my child? And if she does, that hurts a little, see what I mean?

I think at our very base, we want to be friendly to one another. But our instincts take over to protect ourselves and counter any disagreement with attacking that person's opinions. It's all very animal-instinctive.

The Lovely One said...

I think all moms feel a little insecure with their decision, whatever it might be. The working moms might feel guilty that they don't spend enough time with the family, the SAHM's might feel like they don't have an identity of their own, whatever. Then our insecurities make us defensive and then the brawls start! I think if we all work at being at peace with the choices we made for our own lives, we would get along much more!

The Mommyologist said...

Moms are the biggest competitors on the planet!! It's unbelieveable. I have seen more bullying among moms than I ever thought possible!

sara said...

Amen to that sister!!