Mean Girls and Mean Moms, The Mommy Wars.

When I was at work I was semi-aware that there were some hot button, mommy war, issues out there.

SAHMs vs. Working Moms 

Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feedings

Spanking vs. Not Spanking

That's it.  That's all I thought there was.


Now that I am home I have found there are more.  MANY more - here are a few:

Attachment Parenting vs. um not? (I don't know what the opposite is called - some AP sites and groups would call it abuse...)

Vaccines vs. Not Vaccination vs. Reduced Vaccination vs. Different Schedule for Vaccination

Circumcision vs. Intact

Organic vs. Conventional

Cloth vs. Disposable (not just diapers people - dish towels, napkins, mama personal care, toilet paper)

Medication vs. Homeopathy 

Pacifiers vs. Only boobs 

Free Range vs. Helicopter Parenting

Time out vs. Time in vs. Gentle Dicipline

Conventional Schooling vs. Montessori Schooling vs. Unschooling vs. Homeschooling 

Co-sleeping vs. Separate Sleeping Spaces

Baby Food Purees vs. Baby Led Weaning

Breastfeeding Exclusively for 6 Months vs. 12 Months vs. 2 Years vs. Full Term Breastfeeding

And so many more.

It is not enough to just pick a side in one of these things.  Nope - this is mean girls turned mom.  It's like the cool table in high school talking about you behind your back except you don't know they're doing it!  In high school - you knew who was talking about you (and probably what they were saying).  Navigating the mommy world now is almost impossible.  

There are yahoo groups, facebook groups, mommy meetups, playground groups, homeschooling groups, jogging groups, yoga groups, new mom groups, old mom groups, working mom groups, library book groups... those are the ones you know about.


The underground.

There is a whole network of secret groups talking about what is going on in the rest of the groups.

Who is more AP than who else (especially those who *think* they are AP but not) - don't worry I can't follow it either.

Who someone saw using a time out (or worse spanking).

Who saw someone drinking coffee (or worse Diet Coke) while they were ______ (fill in the blank (pregnant, breast feeding, should have been watching their kid on the playground).

Who saw someone talking about something they thought they saw someone else doing in another online group.

I wish I were kidding.

I have thought a lot about this lately.  

This idea of mean moms.

Grown up mean girls.

Many years ago women worked together.  


They washed their laundry, cooked their meals, milked their cows, nursed their kids (and yikes... probably each others'!!), they taught their kids - and each others' kids right from wrong, they went to church, harvested  (organically grown) food.

They worked together as a village.

It took a village to raise a child.

I have thought a lot about this ancient proverb lately.  It's hard to find where it came from.  I am a history teacher by trade - so research is kind of what I do.  I can't find the primary source this came from... but I guess it doesn't matter.

A village worked together.

Not against each other.

I have thought a lot about it lately with the work I have taken on in this year "off."  MY village has (mostly) come together around one of our own.  I hope that working with this wonderful, meaningful organization we can get back to the core of working together to raise our children because honestly - I don't think we were meant to do it alone, behind a computer, with emoticons.  To show them what is important, how to help those in need, what values are crucial to a happy life, and how to treat one another.

In the end I think the reason moms (and mean girls) tear each other down is because it's really scary being a girl and a mom.  There is a lot of pressure to be the best and not make any mistakes and now moms groups and the internet bring that pressure into our homes, our living rooms, our kitchens.

They are there telling us there is a better way to do something and that the way we're doing it is wrong or worse is harming our children.  

They are there telling us we could do better.

They are there telling us they are doing better.

I think what all this debate misses is that we are all doing our best.  We research and read more than any other generation of mothers (think of just the amount of work you go through finding a pediatrician - in a few of the groups I am in there are FILES of pediatricians, their pros and cons, their areas of expertise, etc.).  In the past there has been one doctor.  Everyone went to him (yup no lady doctors).  And no one even thought about it!

So I repeat.  

We are all doing our best.

If we thought that before we commented online or at the playground about the actions of another mother in our village I think we would be a lot better off.

She is doing her best.

She is part of our village.

Other than thinking it was a giant waste of time, I wonder what pioneer women would have done with the internet.  Or immigrant women working in factories and living in tenements.  What would they do with this technology, this virtual village?  I hope they would use it to help not hurt.  To lift up not tear down.

I hope we will too.

Check out my updates - Know it Alls & the Mommy Wars 

and That Time I *MAY* Have Imagined the Mommy Wars



Unknown said...

I love this!!!! I have felt the pressure of the moms from the moment I saw two lines on the pregnacy test. It is astounding all the ways we can judge each other as moms, well, and as people. I am learning to ave a thicker skin, especially since my daughter was diagnosed with autism. She is high functioning, but between her sensory processing issues, social and behavioral deficits, I feel I am always being judged as a poor parent. It is hard, people just don't understand, and at the end of the day, even my inner voice can be as critical and judgemental as the world, so thank goodness for a villiage like this. :) we all have our own story, our own struggles, some are see able, some aren't, but we need each other to be a support. No matter how different are parenting style or experience may be, we

KT said...

I'm glad you like it - it is something that I have been thinking about for a while - apparently I wasn't alone! Glad we have a strong Village!

lizy b said...

All so true! Never liked the mean girls or their cliques and they have definitely gotten worse as Mommies.

KT said...

It's sad. It think we are much worse to one another when we can't see each other. Hopefully the internet brings us together in more good ways than bad!

Anita Ferreri said...

I read your post on my phone today and WOULD have responded but due to the fear that I would not be a highly effective teacher if I stopped during lunch break to blog, I waited. Your post sure made me think and I could not wait to get home and blog about it....and you....and yes, I do remember the pinafores...even that makes me one graying teacher momma!

KT said...

Thanks Mrs. Ferreri for the inspired blog post :) I am happy we reconnected!

Unknown said...

I read this post this morning, and made the above comment. Then thE afternoon I had a lengthy conversation with another mom in my town who is the PTA with me. I got off the phone feeling sick. Our PTA seems like it is imploding, I was a teacher for many Years too, in fact I taught kindergarten, he very same grade my oldest child is now attending. It reminded me Once more of your post. I want to be part of the PTA to support the teachers and the school the way my PTA supported me when I Was teaching, but it feels like there is just so much cliqueiness and back stabbing, and I don't even know if I am part of the problem or solution, I am just paralyzed by the resurgence of feelings from my youth as an unpopular, brutally picked on kid. I want to be liked, and more importantly I want my children to be liked. I wanT to help make their school the best possible place for them to learn and grow socially, but i Am overwhelmed by not knowing who to trust, and feeling like it's all the mean momma stuff Swallowing me up. I am just still processing it all, but I am glad that I am a part of this village. There is so much more to life and parenting than this seemingly stupid crap. I can't let it get to me. Guess I am just disappointed. ,Maybe we need to start our own school. Kai's village school. :) thanks for listening, and sharing your honest sharing. :)

Rose Fine said...

Love this! Great read, so so true. But I would like to point out the mean mommies aren't always the girls who were mean in school or in the "cool" clique. anyone can be a "mean mommy" and like you responded, the internet. makes it easier to be mean

KT said...

While starting a school might solve some of the problems, I would imagine cliques would find there way there too. I guess my hope is that we can use technology to do more good than bad, and that we as people, no matter the craziness that surrounds us can just focus our energy on being good - on lifting people up who need it, on helping moms who need help, on being with our kids and showing them through our actions what is good and what is important. I am thinking of you and your struggle <3 hugs.

KT said...

Oh no - the mean mommies are far more plentiful than the mean girls :)

StephMcCaf said...

As you know, I'm not a mom myself, so this was a very enlightening - though disheartening - read. If only we could focus on encouraging, rather than criticizing and judging, one another. In all things, of course, but especially in the most important 'job' of mommy-hood.

KT said...

I didn't know either... I am eliminating the judging from my Village one FB group from my list at a time :) Miss you!

Sara F said...


KT said...

You're welcome! I am hoping it is making a small difference in the lives of the mama's who read it <3

Bobbie said...

Ouch! I know I need to focus more on encouraging others instead of anything else Im not a mom, but it happens everywhere This message is really for women period.

KT said...

Wasn't meant to hurt... Just encourage us to lift each other up rather than tear each other down!

Catherine said...

Just saw your link at Too Much Time on my Hands and I thought I would come on over. You're absolutely right, from even before the birth of your child there are choices and some people will want to judge you for making those choices. I found this most hurtful and difficult during the early weeks and months after the birth of my first child, but as my confidence grew I realised I needed to make choices based on what was right for me and my child rather than thinking about what others would say. My first experience with a mothers group was terrible - realising I wasn't part of the popular crowd, regularly left out and spoken about. Eventually those of us who were left out realised that we didn't need to keep up with that arrangement and formed our own group and we still meet four years on. We each have an amazing support group and our children have the same. It took us realising what was happening and standing up and saying 'no thanks'. We all needed support not judgement, and now we all have great friendship.

Thanks for sharing this post. It's an important rememinder. We're all doing our best.

KT said...

Amen! No mom is making a choice because they think it is the wrong choice for their kids - they are doing the best they can :)

Mariel said...

Great post! I would love for you to share this or any of your great ideas at the link party going on now (and every Saturday through Tuesday) at 'Or so she says ...' Hope to see you there! www.oneshetwoshe.com

KT said...

Already done (#33 and 34 are mine!) thanks for stopping by!

Chubskulit Rose said...

Contagious smiles!

Here's my BLUE
Have a great week ahead!

SmilingSally said...

Hi KT,

I never can understand why women continue to hurt other women. [sigh]

Happy Blue Monday!

KT said...

Thanks :)

KT said...

I know it! Let's work together!!

momstheword said...

I received a lot of pressure (by women)to nurse after my first was born. I was trying and trying, but I had surgery when he was a week old and my doctor told me that the trauma to my body took away my milk. I tried and tried to get it back but nothing worked and I finally gave up. But I felt so guilty and these women didn't help.

A friend of mine believed in "the family bed." I just didn't think it was a good idea for down the road when they got older.

Twelve years later she had four children and her husband in bed with her and it was driving her crazy. She couldn't get them out of her room. Her twelve year old son (and the others) was afraid to sleep in a room by himself. She had a newborn baby and her three year old was wetting the bed (and her in it).

She eventually got them in their own rooms by having them sleep on mattresses on the floor and each night she would move the mattress a little closer to the door, and then eventually out the door and into the hall.

I also knew a gal who didn't believe that the mother should ever leave her children, ever. So she NEVER left them, not even in church. She had never been away from them. However, she herself was struggling greatly with this. She was emotionally drained and struggling with her decision.

She just wanted a little space and quiet time to go to some of the women's events at church, but her children's behavior made it difficult for her to consider leaving, so she didn't. She didn't feel like children should ever have to cry for their parent, so if they cried she wouldn't leave them. So that's why she never left them at the church nursery or at a neighbor's or their grandparent's house. The minute she headed to the door and they started crying she came back and didn't leave them.

Jaime said...

Oh my gosh, can I link to this (not include the text, etc) on my blog?? This is SO my life! I had a mom-friend STOP TALKING to me for six months because she saw me drink a Diet Coke while pregnant. I just couldn't believe she was acting so middle school about it! I wanted to badly to tell her that it's not like I agree with all her parenting decisions (I think she's way too harsh and controlling - she gave her two year old a 30 minute time-out AFTER a spanking. Overkill much?) , but I know that she loves her kids and thinks she's doing what's best for them - even if I think it's way, way, WAY out of line - but she couldn't even forgive me for my one and only vice? Ridiculous!

KT said...

Link away - it seems many can relate! Hope you and you friend reunited!! Being a mom is hard work!

KT said...

Being a mom is a hard job.

We are all just trying to get by - doing our best! If something works for another mama that doesn't work for me - good for them! My point was just that we are ALL doing the best we can and that NO ONE makes decisions with the intention of harming their kiddos - we are just trying to do what is best for them - no matter what it is (or how crazy it is)! Let's support one another knowing that we are doing everything we can do to make our kids into great adults!

As a side note - I so cherish the very quiet 40 minutes that my kids are in nursery at church. Most peaceful time of the week for me!

Kathy Shea Mormino said...

Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

Kathy Shea Mormino

The Chicken Chick


Christine Powell said...

I think you hit the nail on the head that any nastiness always comes from a place of fear. I think the solution is to minimise the number of groups you participate in ;)

Thanks for linking up with the Tuesday Baby Link-Up!

KT said...

Agreed! I have eliminated MOST of my mommy groups :)

Sarah said...

Oh how i agree with all of this!! Thankfully i have a really great and close knit group of mums that i know in real life. The only time i have experienced mean mums is over the internet. You are SO right, that everyone is just trying to do their best to raise their kids. We sometimes agonise over the smallest of decisions about things, because we only want what's best and there is sooo much conflicting information out there. We should definitely be supporting each other more, instead of ripping on the parenting choices of our sister! :)

KT said...

<3 glad you have a supportive Village! :)

Life With The Crust Cut Off said...

Amen sister! I just wrote a post about "mom bullies" too http://www.lifewiththecrustcutoff.com/dont-judge-my-mommy/ I love love your post soo much, being a mom is way to hard to have other moms put us down. We gotta stick together!! Thanks for linking up!!!

KT said...

Awesome off to read and share your's :)

Life With The Crust Cut Off said...

Yay!! Hope you like it!! Can you say this post was featured at my linky party because I want to choose your link as my favorite link of the week!

Lisa Lynn said...

Lol! I've seen some of these groups and controversies, but ya know...I just don't get involved in all that. Life is way too short to worry about whether someone is talking about me behind my back :) Actually, sometimes I do silly things just to give them a bit of fodder! ;-)

Great post! Thanks for sharing on The Creative HomeAcre!

Elizabeth Flora Ross said...

This is such an awesome, awesome post! You can't see me, but I am standing up and applauding. I love it. And I'm so glad you have joined The Mom Pledge Community. Proud to have you! Thank you for sharing this post with me.

KT said...

Just figuring out how to add your pledge button to my sidebar :) So my friend suggested your blog! Such similar ideas <3 Keep fighting the good fight!

KT said...


LkGrgGrrl said...

Very well said! Awesome post. I think your pioneer women would have been too busy taking care of each other to have time to browse the internet :). The honest truth is that whatever makes your child happy and healthy is what is best for them. What works for one does not work for another. Parents with multiple children should see within their own house that you have some things that work with one of your kids that maybe don't work as well with the other(s). That is because each person is unique and special. I'm not a mom yet, but I most certainly will not be putting down other moms for doing what they feel is best for their children and I hope that someday I am afforded the same respect.

KT said...

Love it! So glad it spoke to you :)

Shannon Brown said...

This is such a wonderful reminder! I've been so blessed with an amazing community both IRL and online that is nothing but encouraging and understanding. I always feel a little confused when people talk about the mommy wars although I'm sure it does go on, I'm sheltered from it in my happy little village. Even though I have very strong beliefs about birth and parenting, I really really hope I create the same non-judgmental environment on my blog. It all comes down to what works for your particular family, and no one else can tell you what that is.

KT said...

Thanks,Shannon! I am so glad you have a supportive village - treasure it - and invite new moms into it! We are all just looking to do the best for our kids and new moms need the help of those who have experience <3

Anonymous said...

I could not disagree more with your sentiment of mean mothers. I have been a mom for nearly 15 years and never once in that time have I come across another woman who judged my decisions to my face and who cares if they do it behind my back? I certainly don't. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. And, while I may have a giggle over the mother who obsesses about not giving her child juice only to have the kid be sugar obsessed as an 8 yr old I could care less what anyone does as a parent -unless it affects me or my kids. If you are feeling meanness from other mom's I really feel bad for you because it must mean that it happens often. I think when I first became a mom, things were easier because the choices were fewer. It is so overwhelming now with all the options and "do's and don'ts." In the end it does not matter if you used the right stroller, bottle fed, fed them organic food, or had a cocktail or two while pregnant. What matters is doing what's best to survive and not preaching to others about it.

Terrye Toombs said...

What a great message! I agree, if we stopped the infighting, we just might find a little peace and beauty. Found you at Share Something Saturday blog hop. :)

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Thanks <3 so true!

Jessie said...

I love this post! Being a mom is crazy hard but being a mom around other moms is ridiculous! The judgement is exhausting. I have six kids, 1 with special needs and I feel judged frequently. I'm thankful for the handful of true friends that provide me with a nice village to rely on.

Lucy said...

Kudos to you for calling it out. We need to renew the village mentality. I think blogging helps, despite all of the toxicity out there.

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Thanks for the kind words - we ALL need a village <3

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

<3 thanks!

katrinakaipp said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
magnus andersson said...

You can be my stepmom

Anonymous said...

There is no "mommy wars", there is persistent stereotype that women can't disagree or have different opinions because it means they hate eachother or are against eachother.
It's ok to have opinions on some parental practices. It's ok to not agree with choices of other people and still support them.
Is it judgmental if I say vaginal birth is better then C- section? Does it mean I judge moms who didn't have vaginal birth. Hell no. I had a C-section but I still think is not as good fot baby as vaginal birth, although in some cases it's not just a better option then vaginal birth but also a life saver.
Is it judgmental to say breast milk is better then formula? It isn't judgmental and it isn't personal. It's a scientific fact that breast milk is better then formula.It has nothing to do with judging individual choices of women who chose formula because even tho it's not better then breast milk it is what's best in their circumstances and for their family.
So instead stopping women from having opinions or sharing knowledge and research on what's best for babies maybe we should just feel confident in our choices and stop taking everything so personally??

Kristin Turner said...

Thanks for your feedback!! I'm so glad you haven't experienced the mommy wars :)

I wrote another post about imagining the mommy wars (there is a link at the end of this blog post) -- where I address the fact that I was taking too much personally :) as a now mom of three - I don't really feel the mommy wars anymore - but as a new mom I was much more insecure.

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

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