Mothers hear so much about the Mommy Wars. We’re told there’s an absolute no-holds-barred battle that leaves moms in the paid workplace and those at home fulltime raising kids unable to share a playgroup or a carpool, let alone a smile or a story. Is life at the local playground and the preschool pick-up line as bad as all that. Mothers report that for the most part, it doesn’t matter who’s getting a check at the end of the month, that—to quote the latest kid-rave High School Musical, we’re all in this together.
Whether there’s a paycheck at the end of the week or not, most moms want more friends, and wish to reach out to others. For mothers who want to move beyond the Mommy Wars, how are five tips for living positively and making life easier for all moms
Be confident in your own life. We each take our individual paths, make decisions, and roll with the punches. Believe in yourself. If you’re satisfied with life at home, don’t be bothered by anyone’s comments. If you love work, express that. Feel good.
Resist the urge to criticize. . It’s so easy to take out our own frustrations on other women. Resist that urge, and take the high road instead. Focus on your vision of life and how to achieve it; let others live their lives. If you are unhappy with your life, take positive steps to make the changes you need.
Cultivate empathy. No matter what we do, moms these days deal with super high standards that no one can meet. Many moms feel pressured to be the “perfect mom.” Look behind this facade. Find the humanity in the other moms in your circle, and together, learn to support each other as women and as parents.
Mothers are constantly faced with mom-negative TV commercials, by mom-critical articles in our newspapers, magazines, and by the publicity around new and ever more extreme Mommy Wars books. Don’t take the bait. Some media push the Mommy Wars in order to raise our hackles—and as a result, get us to read their magazines, tell others about it, or click on their websites. These are best ignored.
Last, and the favorite by far: call a mom’s night out—for everyone. Facing some tensions at the elementary school PTA? Frustrated that you’re not in-the-know at the preschool? Pull out your phone list and invite five moms—whether they’re working for pay or home with the kids—to go out one evening after the kids are in bed. Invite moms you don’t know, and be ready to make some new friends.
After all, getting to know other women is the number one best antidote to the Mommy Wars.
Miriam Peskowitz is the author of The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars: Who Decides What Makes a Good Mother and blogs at www.playgroundrevolution.com and www.everydaymomblog.com . She is the cofounder of MotherTalk (www.mother-talk.com ), a traveling literary salon for moms, and is an energetic public speaker. You can contact her at [email protected].