The Mommy Wars: and why I’m opting out
Now, I’m borrowing that phrase from the title of the book, which compares the lives of mothers who work outside the home with those who do not. Clearly, Play Eat Grow has not been involved in any of that controversy (in fact last year, we had one mom blogger who was working full time outside the home, one mom blogger who was at home full time, and one mom blogger working part-time from home – so I’d say we’re a pretty open minded lot on that front). But, I will admit that I think pretty carefully before I tell a new friend, “I write for a blog.”
I’m not embarrassed by our blog. Truth be told, I think it’s pretty cool.
But I wonder what people picture when they hear “I write for a blog”. And when they look at it and see me doing holiday craft with my kids, or learning activities, or science experiments, or cooking projects, or lessons on spiritual growth. And I hope that they don’t think, “She has it all together.”
That sounds a little silly, doesn’t it? That I don’t want people to think I have it all together? I mean, sure I’d like to not come off as a total disaster area, but the goal of my writing is to offer inspiration, not judgement. At the crux of The Mommy Wars is a spirit of competition. And that is the exact opposite of why I write for Play Eat Grow.
|Not convinced? Here’s my living room last night 30 minutes prior to dinner and 1 hour before heading
out to church for the evening. Crunch time for the cleaning fairy…
It’s not “I’m better than you.” It’s “How can I help you? Can I inspire, motivate, inform, encourage, or persuade?” And there have been those glimpses of “yes!” that are a big part of the reason I keep writing. When I saw a friend come out the library and hold up a book about groundhogs, and the little girl she was babysitting said, “I made a groundhog puppet this morning!” When I wrote about my desire for a meaningful family story, and a stranger emailed me to tell me how much it meant to her. When I look at the google searches that have led people to our blog and see “praying for my child who is afraid” come up day after day. The fact that nearly 20,000 of our pageviews have come from people in countries like China, the Ukraine, Russia, and Germany. It is not about saying I’m better. It’s about touching the lives of friends and strangers across the globe, and being taught by others as well.
So if we have to join, let’s agree to join The Mommy Wars together. You won’t judge me for having a messy, dirty house and refusing to wear skinny jeans. I won’t judge you for thinking AC Moore is the devil’s playground. Instead, we’ll war against the things we all face together. Let’s stage a Mommy War against fatigue, impatience, frustration, and perfectionism! Against discouragement, self-doubt, and hypocrisy! One where we encourage each other instead of tear down, and compliment instead of compete. And if that vision is not big enough, how about a war against poverty and hopelessness and loss faced by Moms who don’t have enough power to fight for themselves? Because I think if we were all on the same team, we could get a lot done.