*All opinions below are uniquely my own. And if you disagree, well that’s ok, too.
Remember that Similac commercial? You know the one that had us all wanting to hold hands around a fire and sing Bob Marley songs? Well, I’m not buying what Similac is selling. Why, you ask? Because I don’t believe in the mommy wars.
Fact: Women always have and always will judge each other (GASP!). We used to judge each other for things like letting our kids eat candy before dinner and wearing white after Labor Day. We gossiped to our girlfriends and our mothers on our corded phones about the local drama. The Internet, bless her heart, has simply given us a new platform to judge. A BIG one that allows us to connect, essentially anonymously, with other women around the WORLD.
Why do we judge other moms? Sometimes it’s a defense mechanism. Maybe we are insecure about our own choices and that is how we justify them to ourselves. Sometimes we are legitimate experts and we get annoyed that everyone seems to have a Masters in Google. Or maybe we’re just bored.
If I’m being honest, I don’t think some judgment is a big deal (GASP AGAIN!). And even if it was, it’s so engrained in our human nature that it isn’t going anywhere. Judgment makes me think. Makes me question things that I never thought about before. It demands that I see things from other perspectives than my own. Judgment keeps me on my toes and opens my mind.
The thing that will end the imaginary mommy wars is not lack of judgment, and it has nothing to do with being a parent. It’s about basic human decency.
- Be kind and respectful to others. I mean, really. Just do it. I’m convinced that this would solve 99% of the world’s problems. Believe it or not, it’s very possible to present an opposing view in a way that is kind.
- Accept that not everyone is going to agree with you. It’s ok if you’re always right, and they just can’t figure it out. Just nod your head, steer clear of the “like” button, and move on.
- Control what you can control. You don’t get to determine what other people say, think, or do. I can’t even control my two year old, the interwebz are way above my pay grade. What can you control? Your reaction. See number one above.
- Do not engage. You’re an adult. Ask yourself, “What would a grown up do in this situation?” And if all else fails, do what Elsa would do and LET IT GO.
- If you aren’t comfortable with negative and possibly aggressive feedback, share with your close friends instead of one billion of Mark Zuckerberg’s closest pals.
- Be kind and respectful to others. This one bears repeating (like a million times).
If there’s one thing that turning 30 has done for me (other than to gift me with twice as many grey hairs), it’s that it’s given me perspective and the ability to take fewer things personally. I won’t give an Internet stranger the power to ruin my day. I will, however, model kindness to my daughter. I will treat others in a way that I would be proud to see her doing. But sometimes, I’ll judge your parenting choices. And I know you’ll judge mine, too. Franky, my dear… Well, you know the rest.