I’m tired of the Mummy Wars.
And I know I’m not alone.
I’ve spoken with countless mothers who have expressed, in some way, their disgust at the shaming and blaming that goes on within parenting communities.
Particularly online, it seems.
In fact, the Mummy Wars seem to be at their worst online – due to a dangerous combination of anonymity and depersonalisation (the lack of empathy that occurs when we interact with a screen, rather than a person).
Bullying – in all it’s forms – stems from a lack of self-confidence or self-esteem. It’s hurt people, who hurt other people.
Whether you are the instigator or the recipient, there are no winners.
It’s called hate.
Hate wins, when we engage in Mummy Wars.
Hate is the combination of ignorance and fear.
Hate is what causes people to band together against a common enemy.
Hate is what drowns out compassion, kindness, and empathy.
Hate is what dulls our creativity, inspiration, and wisdom.
When we hate, we don’t bother to listen to anothers’ story. We don’t bother to ask WHY someone would take a certain path in life.
We simply assume.
We assume that the mother who uses formula is lazy.
We assume that the mother who breastfeeds is perverted.
We assume that the mother who uses child care is selfish.
We assume that the mother who works full-time is apathetic.
We assume that the stay-at-home mother is directionless.
We assume that the pregnant mother who wants to avoid a flu shot is ignorant.
It’s human nature, to fear what we don’t know or don’t understand.
Of course, fear is not inherently bad. It’s what saved us in pre-modern times when we were living in the wild at the mercy of the elements.
In modern times, we still experience fear.
Only now, fear makes us withdraw.
It makes us close-minded.
It makes us cling to our comforts and security blankets.
It makes us adhere to the status quo, rather than innovate and grow.
And, fear generates a lot of business.
Fear of chemicals, toxins, and germs. Fear of crime. Fear of wrinkles. Fear of disease. Fear of something terrible happening to our kids.
(Even though some of these fears may be completely understandable, they are monumentally overblown – thanks to the sheer intensity of our technological connectedness, which makes us all hyper-aware of every terrible event occuring in every corner of the world.)
Fear sells products. Fear sells papers. Fear keeps us glued to our TVs and smart phones – where businesses vie for advertising space to promote their wares.
There are plenty of people who cash in on fear, and thus have a vested interest in perpetuating the Mummy Wars.
But we don’t have to buy into our feelings.
Because when we allow fear, ignorance, and hate to take hold – no one wins.
We can do better.
We can meet fear with curiosity.
We can meet ignorance with open-mindedness.
We can meet hate with empathy.
Maybe then, we can say goodbye to the Wars.
And we can start caring for one another, educating one another. and supporting and encouraging one another.
After all, it’s what mothers do best.
When I first became a mother, I struggled with a chronic case of low self-esteem. To find out how I became a happy, confident parent – and overcame stress – check out my program, Chaos To Calm.
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