On Judgement and The Mommy Wars

I have a question.

I’ve had it for a long time, actually.

I tried to dismissed it.

But then I thought about it again.

And then I dismissed it again.

And then it hid behind a giant oak tree on the path behind my house and jumped me when I wasn’t looking.

So, fine, Question. You’ve got me in a headlock. Let’s DO THIS.

Are the Mommy Wars even real?

Yeah, yeah. I know that’s a silly question. (I’m telling you – I TRIED to dismiss it.) And I can turn to any news source and hundreds of thousands of blogs to get a resounding YES for an answer. The arguments are real, certainly. And the battle cries ring loud and clear. And I can hear the swords crashing somewhere in the distance.

But I wonder.

Are the Mommy Wars even real?

War, to me, implies a massive scope. An enormous scale. An all-encompassing effort and the necessary engagement of the populace, if not to fight the actual war, then to support it by rationing our supplies and standing in gas lines and paying with our taxes and buying into the propaganda.

And, man! The propaganda is real, too! I see it everywhere. “This just in!” the headlines read, “Mommy Wars Reignite! Mommy Wars Flare on a New Front!” Right? That shows up in my news feed every day.

And yet, I wonder – are we mommies buying it? Do we believe it? Really? And – if you do – if you’re engaged on the Mommy Wars front line – if you enlisted – will you raise your hand, please? Will you self-identify? Because I don’t know you; I’ve never met a mama who says, “That’s me! I am the Mommy Wars.”  And I’d like to invite you over for fresh-ground coffee with fancy creamer so you can tell me what makes you fight – not in a skirmish, not on the playground by the monkey bars, not even for an occasional and very important issue you find very close to your heart – but in The Giant War. In the Epic Battle. In the Big Fight of exhausted mommies against exhausted mommies.

‘Cause I have to admit, whenever I see the words “Mommy Wars,” that’s how I picture them, as a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners fight to the death.

And, well, that’s at odds with my experience. So I find myself in a strange place where I have to ask

Are the Mommy Wars even real?

There are things for which I stand, you guys. Tall (well, as tall as 5′ 2″ gets me!) and proud, there are people for whom I will stand. Convictions that I embrace. Beliefs I hold dear. And there are ways that I am judged. Ways that we have all felt the heavy hand of judgement descend upon us – for the ways that we feed our kids, and the ways we help them sleep, and the method we choose for schooling, and how we teach them right from wrong, and the ways we protect them from illness…

And and and and and and and. 

The boundaries of the ways in which we mamas are judged are limitless. Welcome to being a mommy! And, to tell you the truth, being judged for the mama decisions I make always, always hurts my feelings, because I ache to be told I’m doing well at this, my most precious and vulnerable task.

But I have to ask, is being judged as a mommy – even if I’m found wanting – the same as War? Is it?

Are the Mommy Wars even real?

It was Wayne Dyer who said,

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” 

Being judged is terribly painful. I like it zero percent. But another person’s judgement does not define who I am.  It defines who they are.

Do you know what another person’s judgement means?  It means that they’re judgmental. (How’s that for being judgy? Ha!) And that is all it means.  And that is all it will ever mean. And I’m smart enough to know it. And I am friends with lots and lots of mamas who are smart enough to know it, too.

So if being judged does not a war make… well, what does make a war?

What about differences of opinion? Or different choices? Do those make war?

I don’t think so. I don’t think so at all, in fact.

For example, my parents spanked me when I was a kid. They were very Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child. Oh my gosh, you guys: there was even one time when they mistakenly spanked me for something my dumb, little brother did. (I hope that sugar you snuck from the pantry tasted real good, Jeff.) I know; my parents are terrible people.

Except that my parents are not terrible people. My parents are wonderful and they never abused me, no matter how much they wanted to, and, judging by the way my dad’s eyes occasionally bugged out of his head and the giant, cordlike veins that stood up on his neck and the fire engine color of his face and the way he said through his clenched teeth, “I am not going to spank you right now because, if I did, I would beat you within an inch of your life, and I love you way too much to do that to you,” sometimes they wanted to very much. And even though Greg and I have elected to use other forms of behavior training, and we don’t spank our kids, I find it amusing that we’re raising kids the same way as our parents. By which I mean, we’re doing the best we can. And we’re screwing up. And we’re going to have to ask for forgiveness. And Please, dear God, let our kids grow up to be self-sufficient enough to pay for their own counseling.

My brother and sister-in-law sleep train their kids. I know; they’re terrible people.

Except that they’re not terrible people. My brother and sister-in-law are wonderful and their kids feel secure and comforted and loved. And even though Greg and I have elected to ruin our sleep forever and for always by letting kids in and out of our room and our bed at all hours of the night, I find it amusing that we’re raising kids the same way as my brother and sister-in-law. By which I mean, we’re doing the best we can. And we’re screwing up. And we’re going to have to ask for forgiveness. And Please, dear God, let our kids grow up to be self-sufficient enough to pay for their own counseling.

I could go down the line, you guys. All of the parents, all of the family, all of the friends who make different decisions for their kids than I make for mine. And yet, we find ourselves on the same side. The side where we’re doing the best we can. And we’re screwing up. And we’re going to have to ask for forgiveness. And Please, dear God, let our kids grow up to be self-sufficient enough to pay for their own counseling.

I know – I do know – that just because I’m not fighting about these things doesn’t mean that others aren’t. But I wonder if perhaps others’ fights aren’t really War? If, maybe, they’re skirmishes between mamas who are hurting and feeling the heavy hand of judgement and the rather desperate need to defend their choices because defending our mama choices feels a whole lot like protecting our kids, and, well, protecting our kids drives straight at the heart of being a mama. And if, maybe, we’re doing mommies everywhere a terrible and grave injustice by characterizing that as war.

Maybe?

Here’s what I suspect is closer to the truth:

I suspect that the Mommy War banners are carried by a very vocal minority.

I suspect that we mamas really are judged. For real. Really, really judged.

I suspect that we’re at our tiredest and most vulnerable when we do the hard work of loving those who are dependent on us, and that our exhaustion and exposure make us susceptible to feeling hurt.

I suspect that we lash out – even the very best of us – when we’re down and we’re sure we’ve just been kicked.

I suspect that we must – sometimes, we simply must – stand for our convictions and that that can look messy and bloody and ugly before we’re through it.

I suspect that those things we see labeled under the broad heading Mommy Wars aren’t in fact wars at all, but are, instead, hurt people who need compassion and grace and generosity and time to wrestle and space to freak the hell out and then, often, to be told that they’re good mamas even though their decisions look differently than mine and even when that’s a hard thing to say.

And I suspect that the Mama Majority is made up of women like this:

We are women whose hearts have screamed with total exhaustion in the middle of the night and the middle of the day and the middle of the bathroom which was just soaked with toddler urine.

We are women who’ve lost ourselves somewhere in the vast, all-encompassing Mama Ocean and felt the water closing in and wondered if we’re gasping our last breath.

We are women who’ve found serendipitous measures of gratitude and peace in the middle of the chaos and the mess and despite the filthy cushions on couches and the milk on our floors and the mountain ranges of laundry.

We are women who’ve given up in despair, only to find ourselves somehow stronger and smarter and wiser and more lovely than we ever knew we could be.

We are women who are all of the above, all in one woman, complex and confusing and amazing.

Here’s what I’m trying to say:

I think there are a whole lotta mamas out there in the world who know the Right Way to raise chidren. Or some of the Right Way. Or a piece of the Right Way. Or have glimpsed a sliver of the Right Way under an unmade bed along with a missing sock, a raisin, a matchbox car and six dust bunnies. And almost all of those mamas are willing to admit that they’re Making Stuff Up as they go along and that the Right Way pieces are really, truthfully, more like the Right Way for Me pieces.

I see more mamas every minute of every day who, rather than speaking loudly online or in the news about their differences, are quietly and kindly and lovinglingly coming alongside each other to support and befriend and beLove. I see you here on this blog every day, and I know in my bones that we are not the only ones who are giving mamas room to breathe and space to be different and to be ourselves and to screw stuff up. And I guess that my experience with you and with my friends and family just makes me wonder

Are the Mommy Wars even real?

………

Please do tell me, because I’m eager to hear… what do you think?


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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
34 comments
  1. […] families. I’m not sure such mommy wars even exist, something Beth Woolsey pointed out in her excellent blog post last week. (I’ve also argued herethat women’s choices in these matters should be honored, […]

  2. […] vulnerable positions in our culture: motherhood. (By the way, my friend Beth wrote a beautiful post here about the mommy wars and the deep pain of feeling judged for our parenting […]

  3. So true, we have one child and that has elicited many negative opinions from friends and strangers alike over the years. It’s hard enough making choices that seem right for your family without the judgement of others, especially other mamas. Women can be wonderful and create community, but they can also wound you a little more.

  4. I confess it–the mommy wars are the felt of men. We men realized–sometime in the early 20th century when women started getting uppity and making unreasonable demands like, you know, voting, education, and reproductive rights–that in order to keep women from competing with us, we’d add fuel to the fire any time women compete with each other.

    I know: it’s insidious. And when we also made you feel guilty if you worked away from home, if you DIDN’T work away from home, or if you did BOTH, we really drove it home.

    …And just think, we’re the same gender who can live in a house 10 years and still not know which drawer the dish towels are in–or how to put a new roll of toilet paper on the holder. Or maybe these things are also part of our evil plan.

  5. Beth,

    This line “We are women who’ve lost ourselves somewhere in the vast, all-encompassing Mama Ocean and felt the water closing in and wondered if we’re gasping our last breath.” chokes me. It is too close to my heart. As Mamas, we never get everything right AND we get front row seats to our own insecurities, mistakes, and foibles. And sometimes seeing your worst with little people you love best is enough to NEED to make it all right – and often when I find myself being unkind and using hurtful words or faces to other moms, I realize it is often because I need to make myself feel like I am doing ANYTHING right in my own home, with my own kids. Unlike a “job” where tasks get checked off and performance can be positively measured (more or less on a daily basis)- being a mom is so much more difficult. The task – “get child to stop sticking finger up nose so far that you can no longer see finger” – only takes like a bazillion years. So amen sister, amen. (and thank you for posting).

  6. Love the post. Love the comments. MAMAS UNITE! Unite AGAINST the Mommy Wars!

    As usual, Beth, you have provided the perfect perspective. And, God has provided the perfect timing. As Hubby and I are discussing and deciding what exactly my role will be in the fall (roles, actually, because there’s never only one). Working Mama? Stay-at-home Mama? Part-time? Full-time? Homeschool? Writing/Blogging Mama? I know we’ll find The Right Way for Us.

  7. I blame it all on the media. The headline “Some Moms Disagree About This Issue” simply will not attract readers/viewers the way “Mommy Wars Ignite” does. And without the audience there is no revenue from advertisers.
    Media attention has a tendency to blow things all out of proportion & then you get the side of effect of a mob mentality going. Once people who think alike start shouting about something they attract others- those who disagree feel they have to shout back & those who agree pile on and then you have the text based equivalent of a riot. But it’s not a war. It’s a momentarily loud disagreement.
    I’ve never felt particularly judged for my parenting choices but that is probably because I went into parenting late in life, knowing there were many options, knowing I would screw up here & there and that it would probably be just fine. I never stressed about how I choose to discipline my kids, or put them to sleep, or what I let them eat. I made what felt like the best choice at the time & moved on. I never felt my choices were anything other than what worked for me & don’t particularly care about others choices unless it impacts me. Someone else’s choice to let their 7 year old shoot a BB gun while my 7 year old is playing with them, does impact me. But whether they work from home or let their baby cry it out does not, so I really don’t care about it and I don’t see why others do.
    I’d spent 35 years as geeky nerd & not particularly caring what other people choose to do or what they think about my own choices when I had my first child. I probably would have been more concerned about it at 25, more worried I was doing the ‘right’ thing. I’ve seen that concern overwhelm my younger friends. There is no ‘right’. There is only the best choice for you and yours, the end.
    And I really wish the media would stop trying to deflect our attention from the real issues with this made up insignificant crap.

  8. I don’t think I have anything to add that hasn’t been said already! Thank you all for such great comments. Beth is quite right about this fantastic blog community, who are “are quietly and kindly and lovingly coming alongside each other to support and befriend and beLove”. This is so important and dilutes the other, less edifying, stuff we all hear out there on a regularly basis. I agree completely with the “being blissfully unaware of what’s going on around you” thing – I and my two preschoolers spend most of our days at home together, I don’t watch much TV and I have learned to be selective about which magazines and news sources I consult. It’s amazing how I’ve unconsciously stopped worrying about the particular things that those sources would try to force upon me. But that doesn’t mean the war isn’t out there, and I’ve talked a great deal with friends about the UK NCT-style attitudes on subjects like natural childbirth and breastfeeding which can’t always be controlled by the mother but are often used to insinuate that “wrong” choices have been made. We’re all in this together, and wouldn’t it be lovely if everyone would act accordingly! I’m sure the best response in the face of judgement is to smile and thank the judger for their input. This is all the harder if one is short of sleep, which one almost always is!

    LOVE the expression “Judgy McJudgerpants”! Awesome.

    Thanks so much, Beth, for this fantastic post. You’re great.

    xo

    1. PS I know it’s not at all my place to thank people for their comments, since it’s not my blog, but I so much appreciated reading what everyone else had to say 😀

  9. What’s a mommy war?

    1. OK – isn’t that funny?? I didn’t define my terms and made a HUGE ASSUMPTION, didn’t I?

      Google “Mommy Wars” for more information than you ever wanted.

      And it makes me smile that you didn’t know. I love that.

      1. Ah, I see. I looked it up. I guess I’ve seen a lot of this being part of a baby forum while I was pregnant with my youngest. Breast vs bottle, modest breastfeeding vs hang it all out for the world to see breastfeeding, cloth vs disposable. Luckily, in my group, we have weeded out all of the die hards and are only now left with a group of about 30 women that realize we all have different parenting styles and no one’s is better than anyone else’s so long as we love our babies. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but no one is entitled to be self-righteous. ♥

    2. Amanda – I was thinking the same exact thing the entire time I was reading this post . . . . quite confused! (or simply blissfully unaware!)

  10. I know I am judged because I am a mother who believes in training my children at home. We are conservative Christians or “bible beaters, ” so I have been told.

    I believe we are all called to be the person He designed us to be. It’s His plan, not mine. Some are called to homeschool, some not. We are all created differently, but in His image.

    In a nutshell, the Mommy Wars really do not offend me.

    BTW, I forgot to mention, my dh and I do not USE birth control. That should get some chattering going! (: However, I respect others who do! It’s a conviction that my dh and I have.

    1. And THANK YOU for chiming in, too.

      I so appreciate your gentleness with this comment. I’m a Jesus-follower, too, and I agree wholeheartedly that we are all created differently and in God’s image.

      Also, your birth control comment about getting chatter going? Made me laugh out loud. Six kids is a lot of kids. 😉

  11. As a new mom of an almost one-year-old, I feel much more acutely aware of how this talk about the Mommy Wars makes me feel than ever before. I think you’re right in that we are all just doing the best that we can with what we have in that moment, and honestly for me, I think it’s hardest and scariest and the most painful when I feel like the best I can isn’t good enough, or isn’t as good as someone else, or most importantly isn’t as good as I hoped I would be. I work, outside the home, full time, plus have a second job several evenings a week, and pick up weekend shifts when I can, because my family needs all of my income, and then some. I feel twinges of envy, if not resent, sometimes when mamas who can stay home without financial sacrifice don’t seem to understand the fact that I’m not choosing to be away from my baby because I care more about my career than my child. I feel defensive about my family and the roles we have to hold in order to support ourselves, and I think that is what fuels the “Mommy Wars”, that nagging voice of insecurity about our own needs/decisions/choices/non-choices, and just wanting to be understood. I do occasionally find myself thinking to my friends who stay home full time that if they could just live one week in my life, they might understand how painful and exhausting, rewarding and challenging it is to raise a little one with the style of parenting I believe in, while working outside of the home as much as I have to in order for us to survive.

    Anyway, sorry for the rambling thoughts. But, thank you for the post…I’ve been meaning to write something on this lately too, but am afraid of offending friends and family, and therefore have done nothing at all.

    1. Tanya, THIS COMMENT is so very, very moving to me. Thank you for sharing your heart. I truly believe that the only way we can learn from each other is if we’re willing to expose ourselves in ways that are vulnerable and true – and this comment is both.

      I love that you nodded to defensiveness and especially (see Melanie’s post above) to insecurity when you wrote “I think that is what fuels the ‘Mommy Wars’, that nagging voice of insecurity about our own needs/decisions/choices/non-choices, and just wanting to be understood.” I think you’re exactly right. Exactly times one thousand.

      I’ll never forget my anger (hot anger) at my cousin seven years ago when she put her daughter in public school instead of at the same, private school my oldest attended. I was SO INVESTED in her decision and I wrestled with it for weeks and weeks until I finally discovered – *gasp* – that I wanted her to choose my daughter’s school *to validate my own choice*. WOW – that was an unflattering moment for me, but the realization changed everything for me and allowed me to FINALLY let others make choices different than mine. Of course, now that I have five kids, I have kids in public and private schools all over town – so the joke’s on me.

      Anyway. I’m grateful that you took time to write this, Tanya. It’s very powerful.

  12. I’m not a mom, but I love your attitude and humility. We frequently receive the kind of superior attitude you’re describing from our daughter’s daycare person, who is a Messianic Jew. We are atheists (well, I am. My wife isn’t sure). The religious things our daughter learns are really interesting to hear about at home. The “I’m going to heaven, and so is X, and so is Y, but you and mommy won’t be there because you don’t believe in Jesus” conversation was awkward, to say the least. But even with that kind of conflict between our parenting style and the daycare lady’s (our daughter LOVES going there, and outside of doctrinal differences, we have no qualms with her), we’ve decided it’s best that our daughter be allowed to receive input from everyone, even those we disagree with. We can all have our own ideas for what works best, but ultimately, if we’re approaching our children’s upbringing with love, humility and patience, chances are they’ll be just fine. If my life has been an example of anything, it’s that even the most dug-in wrong ideas can be unlearned. Hopefully the damage our parenting mistakes cause can be healed just as easily when our children are old enough to realize our good intentions.

    1. Yay!

      Ryan, thanks for chiming in on the Mommy Wars and Judgy McJudgerpants. I SO appreciate having your perspective here.

      I love that you’re allowing your daughter to receive input from others. That is FANTASTIC. We’ve done the same thing, and it’s very freeing, I must say. I, for example, drink alcohol. Greg doesn’t, nor do his parents. I’ve told my mom-in-law many times that I hope she’ll tell my kids why Not Drinking is important to their side of the family so my kids will have lots of information for making wise decisions.

      I agree that it’s important to raise kids with love, humility and patience.

      Great to hear from you, Ryan! Welcome here.

  13. Beth, I am 100% with you. I have always disliked the term Mommy Wars, as it is so against what mommyhood is about. I think someone who coined this term must have a fantasy of well endowed women fighting one another over SAHM and breast vs bottlefeedung . I also agree with how sleep deprivation affects judgement sensitivity and ability to act rational, calm and otherwise examplary… But us mommies, we band together and pat one another on the backs for making yet another day without being enrolled on the CPS rolls…

    1. HA!

      Yes. I think we should develop mommy sticker charts, Yelena… we can get a gold star for every day we survive. (But, um, will I still get stars on the days I have to call Poison Control? Or the pediatrician? Or immediate care? How about stickers those days for trying really hard? Effort-based sticker program?)

      1. Beth, stickers can be a pain on linoleum kitchen floors 😉
        And other hard surfaces … We get our reward in sticky kisses,
        snotty hugs, and our older children’s secrets they trust us with…
        And wonderful blogs like yours, that make us laugh and cry, and validate and upbuild us, and make us feel like we can do whatever it is we do once again tomorrow. Thank you!

  14. I always figured I was just unaware of the majority of the Mommy War since my kids aren’t in school. I mean, I feel judged too but I can pretty much ignore it because I just really don’t care. I know what I want for my kids and I know that it’s changed over the years (toward more of an attachment parenting approach) but . . . that’s okay! I did my best back then, and I do my best now and hopefully my kids survive and forgive me eventually 🙂

    One of my friends lives in Portland and her kids attend a very elite preschool (oh, excuse me, Learning Community). They love the school but apparently some of the parents are very difficult to be around. She was coming to visit one weekend and said, “Oh, thank goodness I can come see you and have a laid-back conversation about our kids!” We parent very differently but both respect each others’ decisions and can talk about them quite easily. Maybe the War is all about who you surround yourself with? I can imagine that if I were around people who were constantly judging me, I would feel under attack.

    1. I love this, Meghan! My parenting journey mirrors yours in the way it has changed over the years toward a more relaxed approach… and the hope that my kids forgive me eventually!

      I do agree that the War – or lack thereof – can be about who we choose as our friends.

  15. I tend to be blissfully unaware of a lot that goes on around me, so maybe that’s why I never really felt “judged”. 🙂 But I do remember as a teacher being very surprised, even shocked at the realization that some of my students’ parents were very intimidated by parent conferences, expecting that I would judge THEM by their child’s performance. I found this amazing when I was quite a bit younger than they were and not yet a parent. I was prepared to talk about academic performance and school behavior issues, but what did I know about parenting? All this to say, sometimes people expect to be judged, and perceive judgment from others when it may not actually be happening. Or perhaps sometimes we communicate a judgmental attitude even if we don’t intend or recognize it.

    1. Background for comment readers: Judy is my mom-in-law and she did an excellent job of raising Greg for me (although I suppose that technically she didn’t raise him “for me”), so she has a lot of street cred around here.

      I think the advent of the internet and the All News All The Time and social media have helped advance the concept of Mommy Wars, too. Moms are bombarded today with all kinds of “positions” and “right ways.” Raising kids in our Information Overload world is increasingly challenging – shutting out all that external noise and finding which voices to trust are paramount. I often wonder what it must’ve been like to raise kids in the 1970’s and 1980’s without the internet weighing in on my every decision. But then I also wonder – HOW DID YOU LIVE WITHOUT GOOGLE? 😉

      I so appreciate this perspective, Judy, especially as another “blissfully unaware” person (as you know!), and I think you’re right that we must guard ourselves against holding the “you’re going to judge me” chip on our shoulders.

    2. “sometimes people expect to be judged, and perceive judgment from others when it may not actually be happening” and then react…

      Oh my gosh, I think this is the root of so many of our issues! I know it’s the root of a whole lot of issues in my own household that have nothing to do with the Mommy Wars! 😉

  16. My only war is against clutter, dirty dishes, laundry, etc. I will sometimes lash out if an attack is perceived. I think that and sleep deprivation are the main reasons we fight against each other.

    1. HA!

      Keep up the good fight, Terri. Sometimes, I’m afraid I waved my white flag at the clutter WAY TOO SOON. (Does that make me a quitter? ;))

      xo

  17. I don’t hear much about the “mommy wars”, so I must be frequenting the wrong blogs or facebook profiles (you know, the uplifting, encouraging kinds). I do, however, know women who have been in skirmishes with other moms where they felt the need to passionately defend their position while the other mom attacks it. Sometimes it seems as if it’s “do unto others… unless they disagree with you”, and that makes me sad. It makes me sad when it occasionally happens to me, and pretty upset when I see it happen to other mamas that I love.

    To me, it seems to boil down to this: “if I don’t defend myself and convince this other person that they are wrong and a terrible parent, then I must be wrong and a terrible parent for not doing it their way”. Sometimes we lose the ability to just agree to disagree. That doesn’t mean that I won’t stand my ground on issues that I believe are important, but it does mean that I don’t have to start a war on somebody’s facebook profile over politics, religion, schooling, parenting, etc.

    So are the “mommy wars” real? I guess it depends on your definition. We’re all moms in the trenches trying to figure out the best way for our families. Maybe that’s the solidarity we should cling to.

    In my few years as a parent, I have actually found more criticisms come from those outside of my peer mama group- those who have older/grown children or no children, who decide that I am in dire need of their advice on how to raise my family. There have been times where I have answered those individuals passionately and in a strong, firm manner. There have been many more times where I have learned to keep my mouth shut (or fingers still) because even though I’m itching to respond, I know it won’t sway the person or make me feel better in the long run.

    I pray for grace a lot. I end up praying for forgiveness even more. 🙂

    1. Courtney, I found myself head-bobbing through your entire response. So, so true! THANK YOU for sharing your words.

  18. Thank you so much for this, Beth. This was a great post, raising some important issues. And I say that as 1) Someone who just read a few articles about the latest skirmish between Hillary Rosen and Ann Romney, and felt angry about it all; and 2) As someone who felt acutely judged this week because I had to go to parent/teacher conferences and some other mommies did not, because their kids are doing great. And you’re right: I’m feeling judged because of my own insecurity and brokenness and the pain I feel for my children, who might be struggling in school; and I know the parents who bragged about how they didn’t have to go to conference are also acting out of insecurity (I think?) and the tenderness they feel for their kids. Anyway, I appreciate this very much!

    1. The Hillary Rosen / Ann Romney dissension ignited my fire to finish this post, Melanie. I just found myself thinking BOTH things… that *of course* Ms. Rosen was speaking about Ms. Romney’s inability to speak to the economic struggles of the middle class… and *of course* NO stay at home mama, no matter how wealthy she is, should ever be accused of never working a day in her life. Poorly chosen words, poorly expressed concepts on both sides, certainly used by all to advance political agendas ON THE BACKS OF MAMAS. So here sit the rest of us, watching them, bearing the burden of the “Mama Wars” on behalf of political parties. It makes me sad for mamas – as though we’re fodder to be thrown under political buses and used to procure votes. (Yeah, yeah – welcome to reality, Beth.) It all makes me want to raise my hand and say, “Pardon me, but I refuse to participate in your Mommy Wars. Kindly leave me out of it.”

      WOW! Look at that soap box I just tripped over!

      Anyway, Melanie. I so appreciate your comment here, but much more so for your vulnerability and TRUTH-TELLING about insecurity and pain for your kids. That hit me right in the heart.

      For those of you reading comments, Melanie is the co-author of the book “Just Moms: Conveying Justice in an Unjust World” which you can find on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Just-Moms-Melanie-Springer-Mock/dp/1594980225, and she also writes about Christianity and womanhood at her blog, titled Ain’t I A Woman, at http://deconstructingchristianimages.blogspot.com.

      1. OOH! New blog to follow! Yay! Melanie, I just read your Titanic post, and I am following! Love your perspective!

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