Battling the Mommy Wars

Here at Red Stick Mom, we offer dozens of ideas from diverse perspectives in our mom hacks, tips and tricks category. From taking road trips from Baton Rouge to meatless meals to natural cold remedies, we’ve written about it. We are here to help everyone as we navigate through this wild ride through motherhood.

When it come to battling the mommy wars.

About a year ago, I woke up to a beautiful fall morning and toted my kids to our favorite Baton Rouge outdoor play area, Leeward Park.  While snuggling my then five-month-old Ben, another mommy of a young baby approached me.  We began with small talk, but eventually our conversation moved to our birth stories.  She told me with much enthusiasm that she supported natural birth and labored med-free with both of her babies.  I told her my stories; that my first was a scheduled induction that ended in a C-section after nine hours of labor and that my second was a scheduled C-section.  We both told our stories fondly, reminiscing on some of our favorite moments in our lives.

the love of a motherhood and a newborn baby in hospital However, when I finished telling my birth stories, I was very quickly barraged with some very uncomfortable questions and statements: “Did you really believe your doctor when she said you needed a C-section?” “Surely you didn’t desire to have an induction or C-section, right?” “You really should fight next time for a better delivery.”  “You know you have a voice, right?”

Now, here me out.  I BELIEVE she was coming from a good place.  She desperately desired for me to have as incredible of a birth experience as she had.  But the problem was one simple fact: I adored my birth experiences.  Even though I had hoped that my labor would have ended in a vaginal delivery, I was happy with how things turned out.  After that conversation, however, I wondered if there was something wrong with the way that my children were brought into this world.  For a few hours, I wondered if I was a worse mother because of the fact that I didn’t desire or advocate for a natural, medicine-free labor and delivery.

Ladies, the mommy wars are fierce!!!  Some of you (lucky ones) may not be really aware of what the mommy wars are.  To put it simply, it’s the practice of making others feel inferior for their decisions in light of the decisions that you have made.  Part of why moms do it is to defend what they do.   It’s easy, after all, to feel threatened by other people’s choices, especially if those choices are in complete contrast with the decisions you have made.  Another reason is to attempt to “bring you to their side.”  With good intentions, these moms hope that by educating you more, you will see their way and eventually make the “correct” choices for your children.  Whatever the reason may be, the truth is that, no matter how you look at it, it is rooted in judgment.

The Mommy Wars and mom bullying imageSome of the hot topic debated issues when it comes to battling mommy wars are:

  • natural vs. medicated labor and delivery
  • breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding
  • working or staying home
  • public school or private school (or homeschooling)

The list can go on and on, but these specific issues have generated a great deal of controversy among mothers.

Here’s the thing, ladies.  Motherhood is HARD.  We all love our sweet babies so much and desire the absolute best for them.  We come to the decisions we come to after prayer, conversations with our husbands, internal anguish, etc. We make our decisions hoping we will be the best possible mothers to our young children while fearing that we will be far from that.  Then, after we have made our decisions, things happen that make us have to choose otherwise.  Our labors don’t progress.  The baby won’t latch.  Formula is too expensive.  We can’t afford to stay home.  We miss work.  It goes on and on.  We all deserve to cut ourselves and each other a little slack. There is no need to have the battling mommy wars when we already have a lot to battle with daily.


So, how can we remain passionate about our decisions while offering support to other moms with differing views? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Megan Wall
Megan is a wife and stay-at-home-mommy to Matthew and Benjamin. A Navy brat, she spent her childhood moving and traveling throughout the country. Her family finally settled down in Louisiana, and she has called Baton Rouge her home since she became an LSU Tiger in the fall of 1998. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and her Master’s in Secondary Education, she and her husband, Kenny, were married in 2004. For nearly ten years, Megan taught literature on the middle and high school levels. She is passionate about reading and instilling the love of reading to children. After four years of struggling through infertility, they were ecstatic to enter the world of parenthood in 2010. A true lover of lunching with friends, pedicures, exercise, literature, and lattes, her latest interests include tractors, pirates, climbing, and superheroes.


  1. I delivered my first child this past August completely natural and had a wonderful experience and super easy delivery. I am also breast feeding and my goal is to do so for a year. I personally believe that natural birth and breast feeding is what is best for me and I am well aware it is not for everyone. It is not easy to push a kid out with no medication or help and if that’s not something you want to do or think you can handle then by all means get an epidural. To me, it’s all about personal choice. Each mom/parent gets to decide what is best for her and her child. No one else’s opinion matters…well maybe your doctors opinion 😉 I would like to say that I know most of the time it seems most pro-breast feeding or pro-natural birth moms look down on or frown upon those whose chose formula or an induction. But that’s not always the case…I have been told I’m crazy, lost my mind, what is wrong with you, formula is so much easier, you can’t do anything when you breast feed, no one else can help with feedings, etc. why does one way have to be better than the other? Why can’t this just be what’s best for me? It doesn’t have to work for everyone. I definitely agree that every mom just needs to respect others decisions. There isn’t a textbook way to birth a baby, feed a baby or raise a baby. We are all just moms doing the best we can!

    • Cheryl,
      You are so right…these Mommy Wars certainly bleed across all aspects of motherhood. While I didn’t have a natural birth, I did nurse both of my children for nearly a year. I received my fair share of criticism for that as well. What you said…”Why can’t this just be what’s best for me?” echoes my sentiment. We should all encourage and champion other moms in their journeys!

  2. This is a great post! I think as I have gotten further in my journey, the mom wars thing fades more for me because I just don’t care anymore!

    but I definitely agree, it can be really hard, especially for new mothers and can sometimes really mess with a mother’s parenting mojo~!

  3. You are totally correct about the Mommy Wars…they are brutal.
    I think the key is support and it’s sad that some people are so passionate about their views that they miss the opportunity to be supportive. Also, we need as moms to try to be easier on ourselves that we aren’t exactly what we think we should be. Great Post and so true.

  4. Thank you for this post. As a momma who had two inductions with epidurals, did not breast feed, and works, I often feel that I am on a very, very losing side of the mommy wars. It’s nice to be reminded that I am not less of a momma for any of those things. My babies (who are sadly not “babies” as much as I would like for them to be!) are happy, healthy, well adjusted, and sweet kids. As mothers, I think the main things that matter are teaching our children where their worth is rooted, and raising them to know Truth. Great post! Loving this blog all the way around! 🙂

  5. You are so right. This alpha mom myth has really done damage to the communal feeling that motherhood should bring to all women who are raising children. I delivered three of my children with epidurals, and I delivered my last child with no meds. I think birth is natural regardless of the method used to bring a baby into this world… I think feeding a baby can be a bonding experience regardless of the way the baby is fed. If, at the end of the night, a child can close their eyes and feel safe, loved, and nurtured, then someone is doing a wonderful job.

  6. This is a beautiful post! I remember seeing you go through
    this journey knowing I would be shortly behind. The way you handled
    it all gave me courage to go through what I knew would be a
    c-section, and even helped me feel confident in all the other
    difficult things in that first stage of motherhood – including my
    inability to nurse. Thanks for being such a beautiful example of
    Grace. I love the reminder for all of us to support each other on
    our journeys, as unique as they could be!

  7. Another thought I had was that sometimes it is such a
    subtle thing that hurt people- “why would you want to do natural?
    that is weird. are you a hippy?” and one of my biggest pet peeves
    “doctors try to do what is best for their schedule and will bully
    you into an induction or a c-section” Generalizations like this are
    so wrong! (going to med school, being at the beck and call of 500
    pregnant women, getting sued left and right, being criticized for
    taking a vacation or going to one of their kids’ soccer games b/c
    your labor day is more important, and barely getting 1 day off of
    work every 3 months does NOT qualify as “doing what makes my life
    easier.”). The one that has hurt me the most is “This is how God
    intended birth to be.” Well, what is it about me that cannot follow
    through with God’s design? I believe that when he created me, he
    created me knowing full well that I would require c-section, and I
    am just so thankful to have been born in a time when c-sections are
    available. I would have never gotten pregnant, had it not been for
    fertility procedures, and then I would not have been able to give
    birth and could have possibly died in childbirth, and the last
    straw was when I could not nurse – as in i physically could not do
    it, not I didn’t stick it out long enough. I would have random
    people stop me in the mall and say “uh, formula? why?” and “you
    just have to get through the first 2 months.” and “yes, you have
    milk. you just have to not quit yet.” i had a guy ask me at church
    one sunday as I was showing off Sullivan “why in the world would
    you have a c-section?” omg! how personal! Maybe this pendulum will
    swing back sooner than later and everyone will sort of mind their
    own business. All sides are guilty at times.

  8. I think an important step that many moms skip is the simple gesture of earning the right to be heard. Being moms together sometimes gives strangers the false freedom and comfort to question others’ choices under the guise of concern, even if that concern is genuine and heartfelt. Take the time to earn someone’s trust and be a friend first, then share your experience and how it has positively shaped your life. If your friend wants to know more, they will ask. Of course, it’s hard not to speak up when there might be a danger to mother or baby. Unfortunately, there are lots of differing opinions about what defines danger. Formula: Dangerous? I’m sure there’s a crunchy momma or two at the park that think so….

  9. I so agree! And the more outspoken moms get about it, the more passionate we become, the more we polarize ourselves. I think the problem begins when we see ourselves as an “advocate” to a certain decision. I make my personal decisions, but I am an advocate for ALL moms. Not for breastfeeding (even though I encourage it), not for natural birth (even though I desire it for myself even if I’ve never done it), not for xyz. I’m an advocate for all mothers, no matter their choice, because we need to feel like we are good enough and like we are important enough and like we are doing the best we can!

  10. Wonderful post! I’m truly sorry that you had to sit through a conversation like that. I’d be willing to bet that we’ve all been in that boat at some time or another. Unfortunately, I think the real issue just comes down to people’s personality types. I have to believe that most of the women who would be overly pushy, to the point of being judgemental, are probably that way in every aspect of their life. And for someone who loves to assert their opinions on others, I doubt there are many experiences more passionate than childbirth and motherhood to really get those opinions flowing. I think the best way to fight in the mommy wars is to just kill everyone with kindness. If someone is unable to have a respectful exchange of ideas without making their company feel bad than it’s best to just smile and move on. And pray that one day they’ll see it is a losing battle.


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