We’ve all heard about so-called “mommy wars,” in which mothers argue over the choices they’ve made, their parenting practices, and deeply held beliefs. Supposedly, moms cling so tightly to their choices and beliefs that they alienate and criticize other mothers’ choices and beliefs. It’s a back-and-forth, never-budging battle over who is right and therefore, who is the better mother.
The negativity goes beyond mommy wars, however. Women who do not claim the “mom” title feel judged and alienated from those who do. Younger generations of women feel misunderstood by their elders, while older generations feel judged and discarded. Single women feel like outcasts, while women in long term relationships feel irrelevant.
Mommy Wars may certainly exist, especially within the anonymity of the internet, and the discord between people of different lifestyles is a legitimate struggle. But I have experienced a much different reality. If you look around you, I hope you can see it, too.
The Women I Know
I know women who work at home, nurturing babies and teaching children, feeding their family and caring for their home. Their work is never-ending and often thankless, and yet they pour themselves into it for the good of their family. Their contributions to the world are immeasurable and irreplaceable.
I know women who are passionate about their career, working long hours to give their all to both the cause they believe in and the family they love. Their work is constant and difficult to juggle, and yet they continue to strive for balance and success day after day. They are powerhouses of prioritizing, selflessness, and service.
The women I know believe in the notion that, “It takes a village,” and they live out that belief every day in the way they offer friendship and support to others who need it. They swoop in during times of hardship, offering warm dinners, thoughtful cards, or a brief reprieve from childcare duties. Their gifts and acts of service speak the message of love loud and clear.
We women need our tribes, and we know that in order to have a tribe to call your own, you have to be a tribe for someone else.
The women I know care deeply about building a community, welcoming in outsiders, and creating a culture of acceptance for everyone. We need our tribes, and we know that in order to have a tribe to call your own, you have to be a tribe for someone else.
I know women who are entrepreneurs, selling products they believe in or staying up late working on their side hustle. They are creators and bosses, turning mere ideas into productive opportunities. Their motivation and passions don’t just benefit their families, but inspire all who take notice.
The women I know fight proudly for truth and equality, and challenge complacency with injustice. I see women who speak up for matters of urgency, while graciously withholding judgment in subjective matters.
The best part? These women I know with different lifestyles, passions, and beliefs don’t spend their time telling others what they’re doing wrong or comparing each other for their differences. They look for the good in others, and celebrate it. Instead of arguing over parenting choices, they start sentences with phrases like, “This is what worked for me,” and “Everyone is different, but…”.
A New Narrative About Women
There will always be comparison, judgment, belittling, and arguing. It’s the nature of humans to feel our own inadequacy and try to overcome it by pointing it out in others. But the idea that women are constantly judging and competing with each other is not a narrative that I accept. While that kind of behavior certainly happens amongst strangers on the internet, when I look around me, I see something different. I see some of the most inspiring, powerful, courageous, thoughtful people, who every day find ways to share their gifts with the world.
A Message to the Women I Know
To the women who build me up, I say thank you for appreciating my strengths. We are all flawed, but you celebrate the good in me instead of condemning me for my weaknesses. It is my honor to do the same for you.
To the women who have chosen vastly different paths in life than I have, please know how amazing you are. You have skills and passions that seem foreign to me, and you might think my life sounds like a punishment. But you know what? I celebrate how the two of us bring so much uniqueness to the table. Our differences don’t have to divide us or threaten our friendship. In fact, those differences allow us each to be fully ourselves, conquering our separate corners of the world. Conquer on, warrior!
To the women who have gone before me, with more wisdom in their years than I can even imagine, I say thank you for sharing your perspectives with those younger than you. We need your input. We respect your experiences. Your wisdom is essential to all of us.
To the young women who will do things differently than I did, I can’t wait to see how you change things for the better. Thank you for your open mind, your dedication, and your passion. The world needs you to keep us moving onward and upward.
To all women, we need your exact brand of awesome. Keep being you, and keep giving others chances to know and love you for who you are. If you haven’t found a tribe of women to surround you and build you up, don’t give up. A supportive community of friends is one of the greatest gifts in life.
Ladies, together we are unstoppable. Your incredible diversity challenges me, strengthens all of us, and makes the world a better place.