Ever since the first woman put down the diaper bag to pick up a brief case, the “Mommy Wars” have waged in cities, towns and suburbs across the country.
Moms with careers outside of the home were accused of abandoning their children for personal glory and a corner office. Moms who stayed home to raise the children were seen as traitors to feminist causes and told they were wasting their lives and educations. The labels of “career woman” and “homemaker” were both uttered through gritted teeth as each side judged the other…and found women who made different choices wanting.
But one group of moms is trying to end the mommy wars once and for all, using something as simple as handwritten signs and a set of photographs.
A group called Connecticut Working Moms has posted a photo essay of moms holding up signs describing their different choices, covering all kinds of hot-button issues like bottle versus breast, television viewing limits, sleeping arrangements and education choices. And course, the heart-and-soul of the Mommy Wars, stay-at-home versus outside career. What makes this photo essay so different is that each shot shows two women who have made different choices…but they are both still moms, both smiling, and nary a raised eyebrow in sight.
And lest you think these shots are just symbolic, you should know that the women in the shots have made these choices — and yet they are accepting the fact that their friend standing beside them has made a very different choice around the same key issues of child-rearing. But they remain part of the same sisterhood of moms, trying to raise happy, healthy children.
Here in Austin, we see moms helping each other’s businesses thrive. We chime in on Facebook walls and Google+ Circles when a sister in our community asks for help or input. At MomCom events, we share tables and conversations and laughs with moms who probably made some very different parenting choices from the ones we did. Recognizing and accepting those choices as right for them (even while validating our own decisions) is the key to leaving the whole concept of Mommy Wars in the past.
So here’s a big round of applause for those moms in Connecticut! Whether we each agree or disagree on the specifics, it’s a beautiful reminder that when it comes to being moms, we’re ALL on the same side of the battle.