I think it is in women’s nature to be a bit judgmental. Before you get all offended and say “Wait!!! I’m not judgmental at all!!”, stop and think. Have you ever said “OMG….WTF is that chick wearing?” or “I would never let my kids (or dog/cat/whatever) behave like that!” Chances are, you’ve said something similar at some point. It doesn’t make any of us bad people-we’ve all made a snarky comment or two (or a thousand.) What I have found, however, is that this characteristic multiplies by a trillion in many women when they become mothers. Not all, mind you, but many. You know that mom-the one who gives you bitch-face when your kids are acting up at the supermarket-as if she’s saying in her snooty head: “My kids-who take French lessons and can play 7 instruments while wearing nothing but designer bloomers-are perfect and would never act like that.” Or the mom who turns her nose up at you when she sees you take out Chicken McNuggets at the park for your kids- because she only feeds her kids organic and raw fruits and vegetables that have been locally grown and then blessed by the town high priestess and whose proceeds go to starving children in Africa. Yeah, that mom. I first encountered those moms a couple of weeks after I gave birth to my daughter. I was breastfeeding and really, really struggling. By struggling I mean crying almost all day everyday, slamming my head against the wall, and not sleeping for more than 30 minutes at a time. I had no idea what I was doing and was so tired I was speaking in tongues. Not a pretty scene. I didn’t really have any close friends who could help me with this issue and I needed a lot of help, so I turned online. There are quite a few resources online for breastfeeding mothers, and I was hopeful they could help. I “liked” a few of the sites on facebook and signed up for updates from a few pages. Honestly, I did get some good tips, but what I found the most of was judgmental mothers. I read things like “I saw a woman in the mall feeding her baby a formula bottle and I was so disgusted I almost threw up”. Seriously? WTF? I added my two cents (a bitchy retort) and got the hell outta there. There seems to be a really big battle between breastfeeding moms vs formula moms, and I think it’s the most ridiculous thing ever. But it doesn’t stop there. Just yesterday I was visiting one of my favorite mommy blogs-Baby Sideburns (flipping hysterical take on motherhood-you will laugh your ass off.) and the post was this:
“You know what totally sucks? When you’re looking at some super hot nanny take care of a little toddler and suddenly the toddler looks up and calls her mom. WTF, she’s a mom and she looks like that? Okay, now I feel even shittier about my frizzy ponytail and mom jeans. Didn’t think that was possible.”
Funny, right? Well apparently a bunch of troll moms didn’t agree. The comments that ensued lit a fire under my ass. They called this mother (mind you-a woman they’ve never met/seen and could even very well be fictitious) a bitch, a lesbian, a bad mother-stated that the time she took “primping” was taking away from her time with her kids; the awful comments were endless. Like it’s inconceivable that a woman could be a good mother and be presentable. Well, of course I chimed in again. (I’ve never been good at keeping my mouth shut.) What was supposed to be a funny comment-giving the readers an “I’ve been there too!” response, instead ignited an all out bitch-fest. But why? As mothers, aren’t we ALL trying to do our best? We all have good days and bad days. We all struggle. We all love our kids unconditionally and would move heaven and earth for them. So doesn’t that make us all on the same side?
Now I’m not saying that all of motherhood is a battle. Of course it is wonderful, rewarding, full of love and amazing. But it’s also a battle. And as fellow mothers, we should support each other and lift each other up, not judge, belittle and tear each other down. So next time you find yourself horrified at the poor mom whose children are acting all Exorcist-like and are on the verge of having their heads rotate 360 degrees and spew steaming green projectile vomit, why don’t you instead pat her on the butt and say, “Carry on, warrior. Six hours til bedtime.” (A fabulous quote from Glennon Melton of Momastery.) Because you know you’ve been there. And if you haven’t, you’re headed there. But it’s ok, you’ve got your team behind you.