I’m not a regular viewer of Oprah. Obviously it’s on while I’m at work and there are only so many hours available to record on the DVR. Though I adore Oprah and all she does, she really can’t compete with the likes of Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, episodes of Law and Order (et al), and those crazy gals from The Real Housewives of _______ (insert whichever dysfunctional city they”ll venture to next). But when Stephanie posted that she’d be on today (Monday), there was no doubt I’d tune in for a peek.
Monday’s episode was all about Moms. The joys and the struggles. Actually far more of the struggles than the joys. Don’t get me wrong, I celebrate the humor of motherhood daily – there are days when you laugh til you cry and days when you have to laugh or you will cry. I get it. And these moms are some of the funniest in the business. Hello, Stephanie? Nuff said.
But at some point in the discussion, talk turned to the “Mommy Wars”. Good goodness, haven’t we retired that term already? I’m certain some man must have coined it – the male machismo constantly driving a wedge and threatening conflict.
I thought the Mommy Wars had ended long ago. I thought we were all championing each other’s choices as we navigate our own. I guess not so much so.
See, I’ve got no dog in this fight. My role as a working mom is one of necessity, not choice. It’s impossible to say if given that choice what I would elect to do, if money were no object or that darn kid of mine wasn’t so accustomed to food and shelter.
I personally cheer on all moms and I don’t ask the whys and wheres of what brings them to their decisions to be fulltime domestic goddesses; or corporate conquerers; or a combination of both. Not because I lack interest, but mainly because it’s a sensitive subject to many and I don’t ever want them to think I judge their journey. I may be Switzerland, but I sure don’t want to alienate potential allies in my ongoing struggle with potty-training!
And I pretty much figured most moms these days felt the same. I assumed we had nothing to gain from criticizing one another or the choices we make. To paraphrase the wisdom of Solomon, er, Oprah:
‘No answer is right or wrong when you are working in the best interests of your child.’
One of the mom/guests, Vicki Glembocki summed it up well for me. She said that the mommy war is far more internal than it is external. That really struck a chord.
I’m my own worst enemy when in comes to criticism and doubt in my mothering. The most important job of my life, and for all my self-confidence and accomplishment in other areas, I never quite feel “good enough” in this role.
But you know what? I”ve got a great kid. No, a phenomenal, one-in-a-million kid who is happy and healthy and reasonably well-adjusted. Smart and funny and irresitably cute. And I deserve a little credit for some of that, right? Right? Right!
So to all those other moms out there, bruised and scarred from their own friendly fire, take a minute, look at your kids and then pat yourself long and hard on the back.
YOU did that. YOU are awesome. And I think you’re doing a pretty terrific job!