Mommy wars has been a popular topic for several years. I think it’s a load of crap, personally, hyped up by the media for ratings. There’s the SAHM versus the WAHM versus the working mom. We’re all moms, so what’s the point in arguing over who has it tougher? It’s all tough, and I don’t think anyone has it any better than anyone else.
Then there’s the breast milk versus formula war, and the disposable versus cloth diaper war, and so on. I will not judge what you do. If it works for you, great! If you tell me it isn’t working for you and ask for a suggestion, I’d be glad to help. End of that story.
More awful by far for me is the internal mommy war. The one where I read that someone else has the poison control number memorized already, a birthday party planned 5 months in advance–down to the party favors, and has never EVER spanked their child–and never plans on it, uses time out to great effect and doesn’t EVER yell to get their point across. These are just examples, and not all the same person, of course. They also manage to join the PTA or help out with a recycling event in their neighborhood, go vegan and organic and take vacations with multiple kids and come back with great photos, and get to toddler time at the library every week. Oh and they find time to exercise several times a week and have flat stomachs between babies. I just wonder how they do it. Am I just not fit to be a mother (like so many of my family told me before I was even ready to consider getting married, let alone have a baby?) or is it something else? Am I really a bad mom? Or am I just a ‘C’ student and everyone else does extra credit? This is the REAL mommy war.
Yesterday I saw my toddler tip over in a block bucket–which she is way too big to be climbing in, but I figured she has to learn somehow–and she thumped her head. I went over and ‘awwed’ her, but I wanted to laugh at her for doing something so silly/stupid. She wasn’t hurt, so I didn’t have any sympathy for her. Maybe I am a bad mother, just like I was told I would be.
Then later on in the evening, I was trying to mow grass before it rained, and Keeley approached, so I killed the mower. Even though her daddy was home, and playing with her, she held out her little hand to me. I took it and asked what she wanted, and she said ‘mom’ and pulled my hand. I followed, heart swelling with love-eyes filling with tears, over to play ball for a few minutes. Maybe I’m not such a bad mom after all.
However, looking at what everyone else does, or at least says they do or did, I’d judge myself at getting a round D. That’s only because I don’t want to see myself as a complete failure.
-she gets yelled at
-she’s been spanked
-she watches tv at least 1 hour a day, and sometimes more
-she plays by herself while I do chores or goof on the internet
-I don’t already have her birthday party planned
-I don’t even have a WAY to call poison control, let alone have the number memorized
-no trips to the library
-potty training is definitely not going to happen by 22 months (which is when my mom had all of us trained)
-she doesn’t know her alphabet
-she definitely doesn’t use a fork properly, or brush her teeth right, or dress herself
-I haven’t done anything for anyone else, let alone any charitable organization that requires a commitment since college
-My idea of exercise is running around trying to keep things going smoothly here, and I can barely keep up.
Then I think, for the love of God, Jill, she’s only 20 months old. She’s not a 5 year old. Most of the people you are comparing her to aren’t under nearly as much stress as you are-they also all have older siblings for their kids to play with and learn from. So here is what Keeley knows:
-she knows one letter and is working on 2 more
-she really wants to use her utensils and brush her teeth, and she tries REALLY hard to help with her clothes, and my clothes, even if she can’t do it by herself
-sometimes she gets the color orange right and knows quite a few animals by name and sound or picture
-she has a high passive vocabulary and is starting to get an imagination
-scolding and yelling has taught her that some things are off limits and it keeps her out of trouble for the most part
Considering that, maybe I should get a C instead of a D. I might have been pretty good in school, and I’m a nice person, but I’m just an average mom.