Why the Fight?

It's been called "The Mommy Wars" and whether we think we fight in the war or not, we have all felt the effects of it.

Ever compared yourself to another woman? Ever felt doubt in your abilities? Ever felt the need to defend your choices?

I have. I have recently had to defend my choices and felt the need to educate other women about some of my beliefs. It makes me feel uncomfortable and I worry that I stepped on some toes. I won't go into details, but it has led me to contemplate why it is that we women continuously compare ourselves to others.

The truth is, no loving mother who is doing the best she can would ever make a decision to intentionally harm her or her family. So why do we judge other women who are doing what they think is right for them?

I think it's because when we see someone choosing something that we wouldn't or didn't, that that somehow makes us feel like maybe we aren't on the right path ourselves. Consider the following debates:

Homebirth vs. hospital birth.
Breastfeeding vs. formula feeding.
Stay at home mom vs. working mom.
Home schooling vs. public schooling.
No vaccines vs. full vaccinations.
Big family vs. no or few children.
Whole foods vs. fast foods.
The list could go on . . . .

It doesn't matter which side you're on, as long as you are doing the best you can and recognizing that so is most everyone else. Let's not compare ourselves to others who either live in a way we never would or appear to be doing it all better than us. Remember that some women don't necessarily have the blessings in life that enable them to make the choices they would otherwise. Don't fret about all the things you would improve if only you had more time, more money, more energy, more support, better health, less stress, etc.

Motherhood and womanhood are joyous challenges. Let's spend our energies loving our families and blessing our homes. Focus on the joy in your life. Strive to improve where you need to. Give others the benefit of the doubt.

Let's stop the fight.


Mamma Mia said...

I read your entry thinking to myself, "I definitely have opinions about every one of these" debates you illustrated! And yet I have never read in the Bible or in other scripture that 'thou shalt clothe thy baby in clothe diapers.'

It is perfectly okay to have differing opinions. Do our differences mean I am right, or they are right? Nope! I think it is healthy to express our differing opinions. But our expressions fall short of healthy when they turn to picking apart another's character.

You hit the nail on the head that we could be so much better if we focused less on our differences and more on improving ourselves (and, I might add, others).

Thank you for giving me something to think about and chew on! I have been thinking about your words for the last couple days. And had a few thoughts floating around in my head.

Perhaps we focus too much on the actual opinions and less on WHERE IT IS COMING FROM? Is it coming from love, sacrifice and genuine care? That is what really matters.

I like what you said about "giving others the benefit of the doubt." And perhaps it is about giving our offender the benefit of the doubt as well. Perhaps they were having a really bad week and are trying to build themselves up (be it in a destructive way). Or, maybe, I misconstrued their words.

Perhaps in those moments, it is better to give to them what I want to be given to me.

These instances are the hardest to show love and be a friend. But ultimately the instances in which our spirit grows the most.

We as women and mothers could be such a strong and unstoppable force if we would strengthen one another and lift eachother up IN our differences. That is one reason we wanted to start this Oak Tree blog. What a great resource to be able to unite as women in strengthening one another and bringing this into our life and those around us.

Druantia, thank you for giving me something to think about by sharing your recent experience. I am going to go forward today trying to love those around me more. And...show that love, even when it is the hardest to.

Tallulah said...

I keep thinking about this sceme from one of my all time favorite movies, "Harold and Maude."

Maude: What kind of flower would you like to be?

Harold: I don't know. One of these, maybe.

Maude: Why do you say that?

Harold: Because they're all alike.

Maude: Oh, but they're NOT! Look. See, some are smaller; some are fatter; some grow to the left, some to the right; some even have lost some petals. All kinds of observable differences! You see, Harold, I feel that much of the world's sorrow comes from people who are "this" (points to individual flower), yet allow themselves to be treated as "that" (motions to field of flowers).

I had to giggle as I started to read your post not because it's a funny topic but because this epidemic you've described has become almost ridiculous! I completely know what you mean. Too often I feel threatened by a strong opinion or I've observed many get puffed up with another perspective.
For me, sometimes, it's a matter of me not trusting my own self. I really have to work at "clearing the mechanism" so I can understand what my gut is telling me. It's a very meaningful process for me, even though it takes time and patience. I often make mistakes and find myself interested in everyone's ways. So often I want to be in that field. It seems easier but I agree with Maude, I only feel sorrow when I forget my indivduality.

Anyway, thanks for the post. You rock!

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