Hello!

By

183 Comments

I once wrote an article for Mouths of Mums, which was about things that people say to a working mum. It was an honest article; all comments have been directed at me personally.

My hope was that other working mums would read it and either laugh in recognition or perhaps could seek some comfort in the fact that they are not alone.

What I didn’t anticipate was a lot of comments from stay-at-home-mums who came out with guns blazing, keen to compete with the comments, which are directed at them.

The Mummy Wars

I don’t doubt for a minute that those comments are real and frequently bandied around. However the comments led me to think about the “mummy wars” – a phrase coined in the media.

Tried This? RATE IT Now…

Oates General Scrub Brush image for the MoM Rate It Listing
Oates General Scrub Brush

Submitting your rating…

If you Google “mummy wars” you will be inundated with articles. Authors attacking one another, making judgements, competing with other mothers. There are also posts commiserating with others and showing empathy and understanding.

I like to think that we are moving to a space where mums stop judging and start supporting.

There is no doubt that being a mum is hard. It is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week gig. The best-made plans can go out the window at the drop of a hat. It is tiring; there are long sleep deprived periods.

Whichever path we choose to travel, there are tough decisions and worries that we are not doing the right thing or the best thing.

Perhaps it is the tiredness and worry that we haven’t quite got it right that leads to scorn and judgement. Or perhaps it is merely a phenomenon promoted in the media. Either way, here are seven topics which, are almost guaranteed to see mums with an opposing view come out and launch an attack:

1) Pregnancy

I for one did not enjoy being pregnant. In fact, apart from the end result of a beautiful baby, there was nothing I enjoyed about it. I felt terrible; I had complications, which made me worried and anxious. I was in pain. I couldn’t eat. I was huge. I was also a little bit scared to voice that for fear of offending someone. When I did complain, there were times I was told I was lucky to be pregnant and obviously hadn’t experienced loss or difficulty conceiving.

With neither of those being true, I have nothing but sympathy for women in that situation. However, my physical pain and worry was still real. I don’t think it is insensitive to talk about how you are feeling.

There isn’t a competition for which is worse, being pregnant and feeling awful or suffering loss or not being able to conceive.

2) Delivery

Another topic which ignites passion and argument.

Why do we need to pass judgement or make unhelpful comments about the birth of children?

We do what we need to do. I am sure we would all love to be able to have a home birth, drug-free in front of the fireplace at home and be up and about the next day with a completely healthy baby. Sometimes that just cannot happen.

A safe delivery is the number one priority. Hearing about problems specific to c-section births or toxicity of drugs used in labour is not helping anyone. Often the birth decision is out of the mother’s control and we just need to keep our eye on the goal.

Instead of judging and scaremongering, we should simply be celebrating a new life.



3) Feeding

Just like delivery, we often have an ideal that we will exclusively breastfeed and then wean to organic home-prepared food.

I am sure nobody anticipates the pain and distress that breastfeeding can cause.

Putting pressure on new mums to do something which is making them cry and fill with dread every two hours is not helping anyone.

Judging mums who feed from bottles or those who feed from jars is commonplace. How often have we heard the “breast is best” phrase? It may well be best in the perfect situation, but is it really best if it takes the mother to a dark, dark place and damages precious bonding time with her baby? I don’t think so.

4) Sleeping

How does your baby sleep? Do you co-sleep? Do they have a routine? How many hours do they sleep in the day? What about at night? How many times are you up? This is an area of hot competition.

I remember when my 2 month old was still waking several times each night (which she did till she was 2) a mum telling me that her son slept all night and it was because I hadn’t established a routine.

Everyone has his or her opinion on how to get baby off to sleep. Don’t lie with them, don’t form dependency on you being there, don’t leave them crying, don’t walk up and down with them…..

All of us sleep-deprived mums are following our own instincts and attempting to do what we think will work for our own families.

5) Vaccination

We have all seen the raging arguments here. There is obviously a lot of passion on this topic.

Perhaps some would argue that this area is slightly different as for once your decision can impact on my family and me. However, there is nothing like expressing an opinion of vaccination to start a huge debate.

6) Television/ screen time

Again, everyone has their own view and their own approach, backed up by what they have researched, what they feel and what works in their family.

I think it would be a dishonest mum who has never used a screen to get a minutes peace.

Unfortunately, there are still many who will judge and will be quick to stand up with unkind comments and supporting research of how we are damaging our children’s development.

7) Working mum or SAHM

My previous article saw the comments start. The reality is that there are tough days for all mums. They are not exclusive to working or SAHMs. Both have positives and both have negatives.

It is hard not to defend our positions, after all we put a lot of time, thought and emotion into decisions, which affect our children’s lives.

Trying to convince others that we have worked through it all and have come to the best decision is understandable.

However, we do not know other mums’ stories nor do we know the reasons behind their choices.

Next time you find yourself judging or questioning another mum’s decision which has no impact on your life, remember that she will be facing her own challenges.

Instead of judgement, let’s offer kindness.

What other controversial topics would start mummy wars? Tell us in the comments below.

  • I agree – screentime, sleeping arrangements (co-sleeping or not) I don’t even want to tell people what I’m doing with my son, because I feel I will be judged. I must admit, before becoming a mum for the first time I thought SAHM wasn’t as hard as it actually is…. and I thought it would be the cruisiest thing out there.. I’m wrong. I love it :) but it was far different to what I had imagined.

    Reply

  • SAHM vs working mum is the worst!

    Reply

  • 100% feeding and screen time. If you say anything that’s along the lines of government recommendations you’re seen as mum shaming. Facts aren’t mum shaming, they’re just facts.

    Reply

  • Agree less judgement and more support for us mums I never judge anyone

    Reply

  • I think every mum is working hard for finding what works the best for family.

    Reply

  • Yes thats why I dont make any negative comments to mums I just intend to keep it to myself

    Reply

  • What we need to remember is that all Mum’s are different and, heaven forbid, so are all babies. There is no right or wrong, there is just what works for you and your baby.

    Reply

  • They’re are so many that come to mind, however I always found ear piercing and what age deemed appropriate to do it was always a contentious topic.

    Another which comes to mind is to RIC (routine infant circumcision) to circumcise or not.

    Baby wearing, co-sleeping, sending your kids to a private school vs public school, sending your kids to single sex schools… the list goes on.

    Reply

  • Its difficult not to judge (human nature) but it doesn’t need to leave your head

    Reply

  • Sleep training methods, activities to play with your child to stimulate them and help their development….

    Reply

  • There sure is a lot to being a mum, but patience, we all get there. Just because something works for others, doesn’t mean it will for everyone.

    Reply

  • Everyone does things different and all children and babies are different, so what works for one may not work for others

    Reply

  • Everyone has an opinion, but no need to make someone else feel bad for their choice.


    • Exactly, when there is respect for each other there’s no need for wars at all

    Reply

  • Geez, if you’re shaming someone for their choice (as long as it is reasonable), then you’re a toxic person

    Reply

  • ALL OF THE ABOVE!! I tick all the other boxes eg. IVF for pregnancy, horrid pregnancy, horrid birth with trauma, then unable to breastfeed, PND, horrid first year child with colic… and the list goes on. So Mother’s Group for me was hideous. And it doesn’t get easier as your children grow up and you realise the issues just change. It’s exhausting and a constant battle.

    Reply

Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account


Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like

Loading…

Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating
Join