Something that seems to be getting worse every day to me are the mommy wars. I'm not talking about the wars about whether it is better to work or stay home (let's all just assume, incorrectly, I might add, that every mother is ever afforded that choice in the first place), it isn't about whether formula is perfectly fine or breastfeeding is right. It's not about the usual suspects, this most recent war.
This war is about cupcakes.
I'm not kidding.
The newest variety of the mom war has Pinterest written all over it, accented with handmade bows and custom outfits.
Let me explain.
Some people are crafty. Some people were born crafty. Some people become crafty when they have kids. Some people actually enjoy making 50 cupcake toppers and coming up with awesome decorations for parties. Some people actually bend over backwards to make special cakes and adorable invitations. Some people loathe it but do it anyway because they want to do it for their kids.
|An actual cake I made. Haters gonna hate.|
Why does what someone else does or doesn't do for their kids have anything to do with your parenting?
It doesn't, in reality. It quite literally has nothing to do with you.
It does, though, or at least it seems that way, because every time I see a friend post something kickass she did for her kids on the book of face, someone has to come along and crap all over it.
It seems like someone always has to tell this mom who is just doing something cool for her kid that she is making the comment leaver feel inadequate as a mother.
You've seen it.
Why does my kid's birthday cake make you feel inadequate?
How does anything I do in my family have an affect on your self-worth?
It shouldn't. This isn't a contest. There is no winner for best-mom-ever, but there are definitely losers...and as long as we're comparing ourselves to each other, we are all losers.
I've written before about this, about how I truly believe that we are all different as mothers. We all kick ass at something, we all go way over the top when it comes to our kids about something. Whether your something is birthday cakes or homemade pancakes or notes in lunches or bedtime rituals or whatever it is - we all are totally awesome at something.
And we all suck at something. There is some aspect of parenting that we all hate, that we all loathe with every ounce of our beings. There is something that no matter how many times we have tried, we are terrible at.
And it is all okay.
We live in a world now where the response to feeling inadequate about our parenting because of what someone else shares on Facebook or Pinterest has resulted in mom shaming, hence the comments being left on all things awesome. It's even gone so far that mom fails are now a thing.
And they are. We all screw up. We should be as willing to admit the times we forget about a lost baby tooth or yelled at a kid purely out of frustration or tried that new Pinterest recipe and it was an abysmal failure as we are about the things we did right.
But that isn't how social media works. Social media, for most people, is a platform for the shiny and happy and perfect and positive. All that is great, this is true, but the shiny and happy and perfect and positive is only part of the story of our lives as parents.
And none of it has anything to do with anyone else.
I joked (sort of) yesterday about how I am starting to feel like I need to make a gigantic IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU sign and staple it to my forehead.
We, as a society, and especially as the mothers of the children of the next generation, have got to stop taking everything so goddamn personally. We have to stop believing that what anyone else does is a reflection on our triumphs or failures as people, as mothers. We have to stop making other women feel as though the things they do for their kids make us feel bad.
We have to stop.
Because it is not about us. It never was about us, it was about their child. For the love. We don't get to insist that it is about us simply because it makes us feel bad.
There is a moral imperative here. An absolute crisis of conscience going on, and it's one that we are modeling for our children. We need to support each other, celebrate the gifts of our friends, support one another when things aren't shiny and happy and perfect and positive.
We need to stop making other women feel bad when they have done something they should be proud of, something special for their families, something important for their children.
And we need to do it now.
I'll make my ridiculous birthday cakes. You do whatever your thing is. We can high five each other instead of snarking, honest.
Let's do that instead.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a Princess Celestia My Little Pony Rainbow cake to make....