BY: Deborah Levine-Powell – “The Soulful Wonder Chef”
The holiday season is upon us, and thus starts the long month of “so and so has this”, and “so and so has that”. OMG, I am already exhausted and it is only December 4!
After a long conversation about the fact that I lost my job in September; we came to an understanding.
It left me feeling bad that I could not give my kids more this season. But, it also led to think about the “Mommy Wars”.
I deem the “Mommy (or daddy or anyone else) Wars” as the unspoken comparison of how we parent our children, and what we do for them materialistically, emotionally, etc.
I think any parent reading this can understand that internal battle to teach your kids that materialistic things are really not that important, while at the same time having that nagging feeling that you want to give them anything and everything they want.
I never realized that one of the hardest parts of parenting is the battle you face with that thief of joy- comparison.
We all parent in our own ways. Everyone has an opinion from the minute your children are born. All of a sudden everyone is an expert on your life, and will tell you how to feed, clothe, raise, toilet train, crib/co-sleep, what methods to use, organic food, breast milk, bottle feed, formula – THIS LIST COULD GO ON FOREVER.
I wish the one thing I would have realized as a new mother was that none of it matters because they will survive it all and so will you. Generations of women have raised children in many different ways and it is what makes our world so diverse.
The “Mommy Wars” are a real thing ask anyone stepping onto a school playground, PTA meeting or open school night. It feels like you are entering a war zone at times. When our kids enter school it is like reliving high school all over again. The cliques are present, as well as the judgment.
What if we didn’t judge one another? What if instead we helped without being asked, gave without telling the world, lent a hand, sent a meal, a word of encouragement that you are doing the best you can? What if we took all that negative energy and put it into lifting up another mother?
I have always felt better after helping out another mom, from simply telling them where to find something at a better price, how to bake cupcakes, telling them it is okay to not feel like you have all the answers, and that we all worry we are FUCKING up our kids on a regular basis.
Parenting does not come with instructions. I do not care how many books you read on the topic. There is absolutely nothing that can prepare you for the most important job you will ever have; raising a child.
Deborah Levine-Powell is a psychotherapist in New York, where she works with teenage girls who are victims of abuse and trafficking. She is a wife and a mom to a tween and teenager. When she is not working, you can find her engaged in PTA activities, a leader at Girl Scouts, having fun with her friends and family, while serving up hot soulful dishes in the kitchen.