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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Moms at War?

About every month some new article about the Mommy Wars goes viral. The latest installment started circulating social media last week, and with every share and repost that appeared in my Facebook feed, I became more and more passionate. Not necessarily about the article -- I mean, it was fine and I applaud their effort to encourage moms to support each other. But I am becoming more and more convinced that most anti-mompetition articles seem to miss the point entirely.

Most of these kinds of articles just tell me how judgmental my friends are of me and how judgmental I am of them. They tell me we're all insecure and that we shouldn't feel that way. They think the problem is solved by simply saying "Stop judging! We're all in this together!" I don't think so.

Yes, we judge from a place of insecurity, but you can't just tell a person to stop being insecure. Why are we insecure? Let's get to the root of that.

We judge because we're insecure, and we're insecure because motherhood is the most thankless job on the planet. My daughter isn't going to tell me my diaper-changing technique is flawless, or that her eggs were scrambled to her liking this morning. So we seek validation from other places.

What's the ultimate validation? We've been told imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If I convince my friends to mother the way I do, then obviously they think I'm a great mom, right? Imitation is definitely flattering, but we're looking for the wrong kind of validation. We'll never truly stop comparing and judging until we are satisfied with ourselves.

Easier said than done, right?!? Ha! So how do we become secure with ourselves and our parenting abilities? How do we reach the point where we don't take offense when our friend makes a different choice than we would have made?

Honestly, I think a lot of it comes from maturity and humility. The two go hand in hand -- I think the most mature people are the ones who are the most humble. My religion gives me knowledge and perspective that I value. I know we were created in God's image and that he gave each of us our own abilities and temptations.

We're all different for a reason. I have different strengths and priorities, I handle problems differently, I have a different energy level, etc., and the way all of that stuff comes together makes me different from everybody else. Our goal on this earth is to magnify our talents and overcome our weaknesses in positive and pleasing ways. We must humble ourselves and pray to recognize and accept what makes us different before we can move forward. And then we can pray for confirmation that what we're doing is right for us.

Seriously though, this kind of mastery and acceptance is definitely not going to happen over night, which is why we've been given a lifetime to accomplish it. And don't get me wrong -- I don't think we shouldn't learn from others. There are people in our lives with experience and guidance we should definitely value. But in the end, we have to be secure in our decisions, humble enough not to impose our will on others, and mature enough not to give a flip what others think.  Why don't these Mommy Wars articles talk about how to accomplish that?

1 comment:

  1. I love this! And you make a fantastic point. If only everyone could understand this!