When I became a mom, it was a mixture of joy and terror. I was so happy to finally hold my baby in my arms but I was worried about so many things. I immediately set out to find new mommy support. I found support groups, went online, went to parks, went anywhere that I could find other mothers to hang out with and help me feel just a little bit normal and not so alone.
I was a stay-at-home mom so the isolation was very hard to fight. Particularly in the New York metro area, we are a rare breed. I managed to join a play group, otherwise known as a bunch of lonely moms who get together to talk all day long while their kids do whatever. We would meet once a week and spend the entire day talking, laughing and eating delicious snacks. That day was my saving grace. It wasn’t enough though. I still needed sanity the rest of the week. So I started poking around in online forums.
While I did find support and I desperately needed it, I started to notice something I really didn’t like. Moms were mean.
Anytime you didn’t agree with them, anytime you didn’t do what they said, anytime you were different in any way, they went on the attack.
This didn’t make any sense to me. I saw it especially online. I vividly remember a particular battle between the SAHMS vs WAHMS. If you don’t know what that is, that’s a good thing. It is mothers arguing over who is better: the stay-at-home mom or the work-at-home mom. And don’t think that they both didn’t attack the regular working mom, who had her own acronym: WOHM. I would go online looking for support as a SAHM and find all these women engaged in full-out war with each other, defending their choices and verbally assaulting the opposition. There are entire forums for women to argue and fight with each other. For every parenting choice, there were hundreds of mothers arguing over whether or not they should sleep train, bottle or breast feed, use a baby carrier, and the list goes on. And it wasn’t just a pleasant exchange of ideas. It was vicious, cruel name-calling. Personal attacks. It was downright mean.
Why do we care so much what the other mothers are doing? I just wanted mommy friends. I didn’t really care how the other mommies fed their babies or whether or not they worked. Sure, if we did the same things we would have more in common, but that didn’t make her a better or worse mom. On top of that, it was really none of my business. It was her life, her family, her baby.
I longed for a community of moms. I watched all my mommy friends go back to work or move away. What I would have given to have ANY mommy friends to keep me company.
I did find another play group to join. But they disbanded, too. Same reasons: back to work, moving, etc. I eventually went back to school and found non-mommy friends.
But as I come back to the online parenting world, I still see the same longing from mothers.
Why can’t we all just get along?
I hope someday that all mothers will have the same love and compassion for each other that they do for their children. We are all the same. We passionately love our children and families. We want only the best. We are doing our best. While we come here to share our experiences, opinions and ideas, that is for the purposes of sharing information. In the end, our goal should be to support one another.
I don’t ever want to be a mean mom. Sure, I have my own ideas and opinions. But I want to be a mom who shares my experiences from a place of love and support, not judgment. If it takes a village to raise a child, then my hope is that the village would be a community of kind and connected moms. Wouldn’t that be NICE?
Your thoughts, comments and suggestions are always welcome!
- Moms Should Learn to Trust, Not Bully, Each Other (thebump.com)
- Mommy Wars (aliciadarga.wordpress.com)
- So maybe you’ve heard about this mommy war thing? If not, please allow the media to drag you into it. (mom-101.com)
- StrongMoms Empower – We Don’t Judge! Take the #StrongMomsEmpower Pledge (thechattymomma.com)
- Breastfeeding Wars! (shiftedobsessions.wordpress.com)
- Stop Being Such A Bully… Mom! #StrongMomsEmpower (thecinnamonhollow.com)