Thursday, April 12, 2012

Motherhood is Not a Competition

A few weeks ago I saw a quote on Pinterest. It read "Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, dirty ovens, and happy kids." Looking around my house with floors that haven't seen a mop in weeks, stainless steel that hasn't seen love in months, and an overflowing laundry basket, I re-pinned it. It made me feel better.

This morning I popped onto Pinterest (dangerous when you're in a time crunch, by the way). And saw the same quote. The "pinner" had captioned it with "This quote really pisses me off! I have clean floors, folded laundry, toys put away, family fed, clean bathrooms (most days anyway...) Does that make me a bad mom, or just good at time management and organization????"

Before I go any further, I need to say that the pinner, and fellow commenters are good friends of mine. They will read this post. I have SO much respect for them, and this post is in no way aimed at them directly.

The hair on my back went up. My pinning friends are stay-at-home moms. My working mom defense went on full alert. I'm good at time management and organization. I also work two jobs, work 7 days a week, and on weekdays, work anywhere from 12-15 hours, with travel thrown in. We do this and still barely make ends meet. I work my ass off, and yes, I have dirty floors, and yes, I am a good mom.

I hopped in the shower, fuming quite a bit at what I'd just seen, and I realized, this whole thing, this whole quote, this whole competition between mothers, is just freaking ridiculous. Of COURSE the quote made my friends angry. I saw a bumper sticker a few weeks ago that said "People who work hard, vote Republican." Being a very hard working democrat, I wanted to drive the car off the road. It hurt my feelings. So for my SAHM friends, who also work very hard on raising their kids and keeping their homes, I can see how the quote would make them feel that their clean floors and folded laundry makes them poor mothers. For the record, it's not true.

Why are moms so competitive?? Is it because we are incredibly insecure? Or is it because we are crazy control freaks who feel like the entire world needs to agree with our every move as parents and wives? I've never ever met a mom who doesn't have a little snark in them about the way another mom parents. I think some of it is jealousy (most days I would give anything to be able to have the time to be with my kiddo all day and have a cleaner house), but I think a lot of it is that we need to believe that what we are doing is the best possible thing for our children.

Newsflash mommies - it is. You do what is best for YOUR children, and YOUR family. You do what you NEED to do for YOUR children and YOUR family.

So, moms of the world (myself included), get off your high horses. It doesn't matter if you stay at home, work, breastfeed, bottle feed, co-sleep, baby wear, cry it out, ferber, schedule naps, play outside, or wear freaking wool in the summer and hide in a cave with bears. Stop being so damn defensive. Be happy with your choices, and respect others' choices. You have nothing to prove to anyone but yourselves.

I've removed the dirty floors pin from my Pinterest page. I know my mom friends with clean floors, folded laundry and happy kiddos are just as good of a mom as those of us (SAHM and working moms) whose homes may not be so neat and tidy. In the end, it doesn't matter, and judging others for their parenting choices and housekeeping skills is just ridiculous. In the end, we all have one thing in common - we love our kids. Motherhood is such an incredible gift - embrace that you get to share this gift with other moms. It really would make this whole "mom world" much more enjoyable.


  1. This made my day!!! Thanks Kristina :)

  2. I totally agree with this whole compition and other moms always speaking about others choices and acting like they know whats best . and if you dont do something for ur child that they did they have something to say about it . For me personally Im not able to breastfeed for a certain private reason and I get people telling me all the time that I should , how good it is , and how they did and trying to seem like im a bad mom for not doing it . WELL MY MOM DIDNT breastfeed any of us kids and we are fine and just as smart as everyother child . I totally agree that its better to breastfeed and the bond is good for u n your child but not everyone can breatfeed and id like it if the moms who did wouldnt look down upon us who choose not to and or cant . Like the blog says we all have in common is that we all LOVE of kids and would do anything for them. I really get it from moms that have a few kids already and since im a 1st time mother , they try to talk to me as if im making the wrong choice , but like i said in my case I CANT breatfeed and I totally wanted to . I know its healthier for the babies , and I wish I could but cant . I wish alot of mothers would stop compareing how they raise there kids to everyone else and just focus on themselves

  3. Love this.
    We need to be bonding and empowering each other, as mamas...not dividing and competing.

  4. We have to remember that we are all in this together :)

  5. Great post! Thanks for sharing your heart!