For all you Switzerlands out there, the Mommy Wars are a tad more complicated than the Iran-Contra Affair, but I am gonna break it down for you. Basically, the Mommy Wars comes from the title of Leslie Morgan Steiner's 2006 book, Mommy Wars: Stay at Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families. As the title suggests, or rather just states, the Mommy Wars are between Stay at Home and Career Moms, but, like any "good" war, it soon branched out into border skirmishes between breast-feeding and formula feeding moms, co-sleepers and cry-it-outs, home-schoolers and school-users, natural child-birthers and epiduralers, no-you-can't-go-up-the-sliders and I'll-race-you-up-the-sliders. Just looking at the previous sentence has the potential to make any mom's blood pressure rise in anticipation of the fire-fight to come. Make no mistake, a Mommy Battle can break out at any time and without any warning. They are like the American Civil War, in that they pit sister against sister. They are like the World Wars in scope. They are like the Vietnam War in confusion. The Mommy Wars are fierce, long, and deeply embedded in our collective consciousness about what it means to communicate with other moms.
They are also a giant waste of time.
"But Awkward Mom," you are thinking, "you engage in the Mommy Wars with your antics with Perfect Mom! I mean, even the not very subtle and quite passive-aggressive name you have given her shows your bias and that you have chosen a side in the Mommy Wars."
"Thank you, Imaginary Reader, for bringing that up and so eloquently setting up my next point. It is almost as if you were reading my mind!"
As to my ongoing battles with Perfect Mom, here is the truth about that: I love Perfect Mom. At the end of the day, she is my sister. The Marcia Brady to my Jan. She's the Magneto to my Professor X. I see things in her that make me jealous. I also see things in her that annoy me and that I never want to emulate. I will bet you a dozen donuts that she is looking at me and thinking that exact same thing. OK, maybe not the jealousy, but everything else. When the aliens invade and we have to come together as a people to defeat them, putting aside our differences and fighting for the common good of the planet, I want Perfect Mom right by my side. She is sure to have some good stuff in her arsenal and I guarantee that she is a dead shot. Woman totally has the skills. Why do you think I have her for a nemesis? Because she is my equal and a true challenge. If she was someone I didn't respect at all, then I would hardly bother to engage with her, wouldn't I?
And maybe that is the best lesson of all; we must all deeply respect each other and our various mom-decisions if we are so willing to get into arguments about them with such regularity. We are willing to go to war over them. But perhaps the Mommy Wars are simply loud conversations that we need to bring our inside voices to. And introduce a little chocolate and tea to. Get a few pillows, a little humor, a couple smiles. Some laughter and a pinch of patience. All of a sudden, we are just hanging out with our sisters; joking around, discussing some stuff, changing the world.
For, know this: "The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet." Thanks, Adrienne Rich. Wanna be on my team when the aliens invade?
Oh, they're going to invade. It is just a matter of what form. I am leaning toward Michael-Bay-level transforming robots. But there is also the tried and true Area-51 grays. What do you think, Readers? Who's coming in the alien invasion? And do you wanna be on my alien-fighting team? Because I totally want you on my team!