Mommy Wars is a term that was initially used to describe the differing views on working moms and stay-at-home moms. In 1986, Leslie Morgan Steiner published a book titled, Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families. The book gained popularity, and so did the term Mommy Wars.
I was a stay-at-home mom and loved every minute of it. I had friends however, that had to work to help support their family, and others that would be bored out of their minds if they had to stay home with their child all day.
If there were Mommy Wars going on, I was completely oblivious to all of it. My stay-at-home moms and I formed a group and created a calendar filled with fun events for our children. We never criticized other mothers or working mothers. The truth is that most women fear criticism when it comes to their jobs as mothers. Learn how to overcome the fear of criticism.
Within our mom’s group, we enjoyed expanding our vocabularies with other adults. Our children had opportunities to fine-tune their social skills, and we would get the empathy from other mothers who were dealing with the same childrearing issues. I did not feel like we were ever engaged in Mommy Wars and pitted against working mothers.
The Mommy Wars Have Gone Too Far
Today, it seems that the phrase Mommy Wars is used to describe every parenting issue that has two sides. Mommy Wars can be conveniently used to vie one parent’s decision over another’s. With women choosing to have children later in life, you hear younger mothers pitted against older mothers (and yes, there are pros and cons to both sides).
There has always been an argument for and against mothers that use cloth diapers, and mothers that use disposable diapers. We have opinions about mothers that breastfeed vs. formula feeding mothers, and homeschooling moms vs. moms that send their children off to school. Helicopter moms vs. Free-range moms seem to be the latest hot topic. Everyone has an opinion on parenting issues.
If I could start my own Mommy Wars, it would consist of raging war on all the know-it-all, do-gooders that freely give you parenting advice that you did not ask for and do not want. The truth is that some moms can stay home while others cannot. We all have decisions to make, and not a one of us takes it lightly.
I Am A Stay-At-Home Mom
I don’t think that I knew how fortunate I was at the time to be able to stay home with my child. There are mothers that simply want to work, and then there are others that would have traded places with me in an instant.
I think the only time I felt bad about being a stay-at-home mom was when I would meet new people, and they would ask me where I worked or what I did for a living. I always felt a bit uneasy about telling them that I stayed home to raise my child.
I did not have a prestigious title, I had no salary, and no benefits. There were days when I was asked what I did all day, and the only response I had was that “I played all day”. In our culture, we equate play with laziness, and certainly not with work of any kind. Moms that stay home must not work (ask any mom, working or stay-at-home to see if that’s true).
Mommy Wars has no basis and is pretty much just an unproductive distraction to the very real issues that affect mothers’ lives. I would like to see more focus on issues like better and more affordable child-care options, adequate maternity leave policies, and more support in the workplace for mothers of young children. C ‘mon mothers, stop the Mommy Wars! There are more important issues to be talking about.
People have clear opinions and views on the ‘right way to raise children’, and we spend far too much time judging one another’s decisions. If only we can embrace a better understanding of each other’s path and recognize the common ground we share. After all, there is no tougher job than being a mom.