I’m going to say something here, and I’m sure you’re going to kind of freak out when I say it, because on the surface, it’s not really true, but you have to hear me out.
Mommy wars—they don’t exist.
I hear you. I know what you’re going to say.
Here’s the thing: Do you know why mommy wars exist? Because we use the term “mommy wars.” We created the term. We are perpetuating the legacy by using the phrase.
People will always have opinions; they will always disagree with each other. Periodicals have had a “letters to the editor” section forever, and they welcome disagreements, no matter how friendly or unfriendly.
Until we learn to censor ourselves (along with learning manners), we give our opinions freely. Just think of your kid when you ask him which shoes look better with your outfit or whether he likes your recent drawing. Kids are overwhelmingly honest. And not only with their enemies; with the ones they love too.
At some point in our preteens, we realize that we will lose friends if we don’t censor ourselves. So we begin to hold back our opinions, especially when we’re around loved ones. We’re not used to being honest with one another.
Then we become adults, and we become more self aware. We are mindful of when it is appropriate to share our honest opinions and when we should hold back. Of course, hiding behind computer screens has made it somewhat easier to be sincere, so perhaps we are now more straightforward more often than we would otherwise be if facing people in person.
Then we become mothers. And apparently all hell breaks loose (!?)
There is a thing these days. It has a name. And it makes many honest interactions between moms seem negative. In other words, I think it’s great that more moms are able to connect with each other; and I think it’s beneficial (for women personally and for society) that moms are able to be more honest with each other and with themselves.
Yes, when women are honest with one another, it can come across as catty. People may get offended. That happens when you share your opinion sometimes. It’s the way of the world, and it happens within and among every demographic group. It is what it is. It’s human nature. And there will always be mean girls. They will always suck, and we can always hate them on an individual level. But we don’t need to constantly tell grown women that we need to be nicer and more respectful to one another. That goes without saying. We’re not five year olds.
But when we label it as a “war,” it becomes one.
When we are confronted in a war, we are defensive.
When we are in a war, we feel like our side has to win.
When we are in a war, we’ve gone beyond trying to understand the opponent’s point of view.
When we are in a war, we are trying to take someone down.
Is that what moms are trying to do to one another? I really don’t think so. We created the notion of mommy wars, and saying it has made it real.
Let’s stop calling it that, and maybe we’ll all be more happy to express our opinions and listen to honesty, and it won’t turn into something it’s not.
Let’s stop calling it that, and maybe we’ll be more respectful when giving our opinion. We won’t feel like it’s a competition.
Let’s stop calling it that, and maybe we’ll all put ourselves in the other’s shoes before being harsh.
Let’s stop calling it that, and maybe we’ll try to life each other up more.
So who’s with me? Who agrees to stop using the term “mommy wars” in their blogs, on their social media pages, and in daily conversation? If we can change the rhetoric, we can change the movement. Click here to join the movement!
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