When I put in my notice just before my daughter turned one I was so excited to start the new adventure until a co-worker planted a seed in my head, ‘do you know what you are getting yourself into, those stay at home mom’s can be such a nightmare.’
How did this happen? How did the mommy wars even start? Why would you want to compete with someone who could be your greatest ally?
I always heard growing up that it takes a village to raise a child. Each individual in the village has a different perspective on things and brings something different to the table. A new mom can benefit from the experiences of a mom that has already been through the terrible twos, or even learned that twos aren’t near as bad as threes! So what is this obstacle that is bringing up walls by every mom when they enter motherhood?
Our culture seems to push this theory that as soon as we become mothers we are supposed to know everything, keep an immaculate house and make sure that dinner is on the table every time our husband walks through the door. Yes, this was the culture of the 50’s but it still seems to apply today. But the biggest issue is the version of ourself that we project to others. We are so afraid to show our real selfs, the selfs that have a messy house, the ones that sit the children in front of the tv so they can escape for a few free minutes or the ones that are still wearing the yoga pants we slept in because they haven’t had a free moment to shower or change.
The birth of social media has not helped this break the barrier but only increased it. Who is going to post a picture of their kitchen after having feed four kids and show the mess and destruction that they left behind? No, we see all the pictures from their wonderful trip to Disney World. We see the ‘perfect’ version of our friends’ lives and all the guilt that it can bring.
I’m not saying we need to show our flaws to everyone but we need to take what we see and hear with a grain of salt. As we approach this Mother’s Day and a celebration of everything that we do for our family it is important not to compare ourselves to everyone else. Remember that you are the best parent for your child(ren) and they need you, not the perfect version of you that you think you need to be. They are not going to remember the perfect outfit you put together from pinterest or the perfectly balanced lunch you created from Facebook. They are going to remember the time you make for them, and the giggles you share.
Happy Mother’s Day!