Why do so many moms feel they have to prove that they have it worse off than other moms? I'm so tired of the "oh my life is harder than yours" mentality. I don't care if you work full or part time, stay home full or part time or work from home full or part time. We all work hard. Instead of making it into a "poor me" contest, shouldn’t we be supporting one other?
Megan, Rhode Island
I appreciate this question so much. Personally, I can relate to it on many levels, having worked part-time, full-time, from home and been a stay at home mom too. When it comes to moms one-upping other moms for their choices, I can’t stand it. If you want a short answer to your question: Yes, I believe that we should stop the nonsense and support one another.
Now for the long answer: You hit the nail on the head when you said, “We all work hard.” Yes, we do, no matter what our situations. There is no reason to make it into a contest over who works the hardest or who sacrifices the most. I honestly enjoy celebrating the fact that I get through every day with my head still intact and enjoy sharing my motherly imperfections with other women. You know why? No mother is perfect. And no situation is perfect either!
By nature, women are competitive beings. When we become mothers, I think this competitive nature transforms some women into what I like to refer to as Monster Mommy Martyrs.
To be honest, I think this is the heart of the problem. My definition of a Monster Mommy Martyr? Mothers who think other mothers are bad moms if they do anything for themselves. The less they do for themselves and the more they do for everyone else makes themselves feel better. Being unselfish is admirable, but any behavior that goes overboard is not a good thing either. There is a reason the flight attendant tells you that you need to put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then your child. It means you need to take care of yourself (by working out, maintaining friendships, etc.) so you can be a better parent.
Every mom is unique. And every mom’s situation is unique. Some moms stay at home and manage the children while the husband works full time while others have husbands who take care of the children so the mom can have a full-time career. Some balance both roles while working from home, while others have less flexible jobs and utilize daycare to take care of their children. There are no wrong situations. It all comes down to respecting other women for their choices.
Motherhood has never been an easy thing, but there’s no reason to “bully” other women for their choices. Being a mom is tough, but it’s also rewarding. (Although I have to admit, I enjoy laughing with and learning from other moms, given all the stuff we go through.)
So what if your husband helps with night feedings? Maybe you want to function the next day?
If another mom wants to make you to feel bad about getting your hair professionally highlighted because you have an interview, that’s ridiculous. So, I say, let’s support one another and learn from other moms and what they go through rather than trying to constantly one-up one another.
Jackie is a local writer and pr professional who blogs about her take on motherhood at www.ventingsessions.com and writes about it in her book, How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker.