The Mommy War Within Us

Wide eyed at 3:30 this morning, I can’t stop thinking. About me. About you. About our daughters. The sound of white noise from across the hallway echoes throughout the house. If I listen close enough, it sounds like its saying something. I take a sip of water and turn to the other side. “I’ll write it down in the morning”, I tell myself. That’s how it used to be, you know. Before children and businesses and hormones. When coffee was taken in as a luxury rather than a necessity. I could write an entire novel in my sleep and wake up to pen every word. Those days are gone. Replaced with a foggy memory and an absent mind and many, oh so many forgotten words.

There is this theme I’m afraid has haunted our mothering years. On every corner of the internet is one of us who feels less than. One who feels defeated. Who feels…

Judged.

There it is, that word.

Stop judging me. I feel so judged. I’m judged for everything. I judge, you judge, we all judge for judging judge. The slogan of our war. Good gracious.

Just yesterday my eye caught four (four!!) different blogs, posts, threads, all of which were written by women who feel less than because of something another woman is doing differently. All of which told those gals who birth naturally to just quit talking about it. All of which condemned the mom who manages to workout daily and posts pictures of it. The mom who breastfeeds should not be proud. The mom who is crafty should just keep that creativity to herself. Hey vegetarian, please tone it down a bit and for the love of carbs can somebody shut up the Paleo’s?

Because really, y’all are making me feel like crap.
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Can we ask ourselves a hard question? Can we say it out loud and let it rest on our broken ground for just a minute?

Who is responsible for my heart?

Because, people are beautiful. Good God, women are beautiful. Wired with a snowflake array of passions, convictions, goals and accomplishments. Every single one clothed in dignity and power. Knit within each of us is this power of choice.

I may choose to encourage, support, and cheer on my fellow (wo)man, or I may choose to make it about me.

Could it be that we are the ones responsible for our feelings of judgement and insecurity? I mean, could it be that we have the power to break free of that bondage without matter to what other people are doing, saying, typing?

Who controls me? (Hopefully you’re catching on to the answer, here.)

How someone else views you, mama, how they speak of you or look at you or write about you actually has no bearing on your life. It doesn’t change the DNA of your spirit any more than it changes the DNA in your blood.

Do you realize that? None. They don’t follow you home and sleep in your bed and shadow your every move. They don’t make your money, deliver your children, cook your meals. You do those things. You make those decisions. You say what you can handle and what you cannot. Where your convictions lie and where they do not. If someone thinks their’s is better…so what?

You manage your heart. They manage theirs. Life moves on.

I know the feeling. That feeling. The feeling of judgement. Insecurity. “But, you don’t even know me….”. My stomach turns and I can’t decide if I want to thrash to my own defense or crawl under the table and cry. You see, I’m the gal who births naturally. I’m the gal who breastfeeds for a freakishly long time and who brings healthy cupcakes to birthday parties. You may think I do not know the feeling of judgement, but daily there are words put into my mouth and intentions put in my heart. I “must” be judging you. Women who are afraid to tell me about their c-section, or feel ashamed to pull out the Cheerios, or dance around sharing their decision to (fill in the blank). You don’t think I get the same looks you do when I won’t let my kid drink that soda or watch that movie? Please. That feeling makes me want to throw a bag of pizza rolls at my kids just to make everybody else feel better. 

Here’s the thing. Until we realize we are the ones who manage our hearts, the ones who control our own offense…this feeling will linger. It will set up camp inside our souls like a colony of termites and eat, eat, eat away at our joy, until all that’s left is a frail pile of what once was a strong fortress.

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The truth is, nobody needs to adjust their life because I can’t manage my own heart.

You are a powerful person. You may choose to read that blog, swim through all those comments, stay in that friendship, or assign a motive to the look you just got at the grocery store.

You also have the power to read things that feed truth into your soul. You have the power to walk away from the relationship that constantly compares. You have the power to give someone the benefit of the doubt. To assume goodness. To be confident in what’s in your cart, your home, your spirit.
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YOU! You have that power. Unless, of course, you give it away. Unless you choose to be a victim of comparison. Unless you make yourself helpless to the judgements of others.

We are stronger than this. Better than this.

Can we start choosing to manage our hearts? Can we recognize that another’s choices is not what is to blame for our offenses? Can we take some…responsibility?

This war, mommies, it’s really within ourselves.

Let’s win it.

 

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14 thoughts on “The Mommy War Within Us

    1. I am not a mother. Never had kids. Never married. And what you said resonates with me. Thank you. I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MY OWN HEART!

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      1. I’m seem to be 56 years old I raised three boys now they’re all man. I’ve nursed each and everyone of them and there were times that you did feel like you were being judged. The first time you nurse outside your home you feel that all eyes are upon you, and I always took a little blanket and put it over my shoulder but then I couldn’t see my son’s eyes staring up at me. I did get some awful comments , but held onto the beautiful comments and then I learned do what you feel is right for yourself, but no matter what the situation is someone will always have something to say. Be true to yourself

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  1. I really enjoyed this post… As you wrote… this is something we all struggle with… it has kept me from friendships (comparing myself) that now I wish I had been in longer (praise God He settled my heart to be able to have a relationship with the person(s))

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  2. Words straight to my heart today. This battle, man…. it’s such a hard one. One that leaves me feeling defeated because I know I don’t have the strength to fight against myself… to fight for the woman I am because of Christ. Thank you for your words. More of the same that He has been whispering to me today.
    Blessings, dear daughter.

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  3. Ok, I never, never write comments on an article or blog or anything, I pretty much hate all these mom blogs to be honest, but I’ve stumbled across your blog today and I’m so blessed because of it! Thank you for putting into words the emotions and thoughts that I do not have the talent to express as you do! I so appreciate hearing from a real mom, woman and wife! I was starting to wonder if any were out there. Praying Gods blessing over you for blessing and encouraging me today. Love the how not to hate husband blog too! Thx!

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