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So the mommy wars  are an actual thing? So the mommy wars  are an actual thing?
I’ve read about them.  I’ve experienced them ‘from a distance’… from the comfort of my desk chair and safely behind my computer screen.  I’ve... So the mommy wars  are an actual thing?

I’ve read about them.  I’ve experienced them ‘from a distance’… from the comfort of my desk chair and safely behind my computer screen.  I’ve heard about the upset that they have caused in the articles I have read since becoming a mommy myself.  I’ve sympathized with complete strangers and, every single time I have wondered, “why would someone bother saying/doing that to another mother?”.  How hurtful! What’s the point?

I have to say though, that I was pretty sure I would never actually experience a bashing of my parenting choices firsthand.

Not because I feel that I am doing everything ‘as I should’.  Not because I believe all my decisions and actions to be ‘the right ones’.  None of that at all.  I guess I just assumed that no one would express their opinion so … forcefully?… when it comes to how I am living my life and how I am raising my children, mostly because I believe so strongly that we are all doing what is best for our unique situations and our respective families.  Aren’t we all doing what we feel is truly best for our children and our family?

mommy wars

I’m guessing (hoping?) some people just don’t think about how they might affect another before they speak.  Or maybe sometimes, we say things by mistake, and wish we hadn’t.  Sometimes though… it’s on purpose. It’s intentional and it sure is upsetting!

And it happened to me yesterday.

A little bit of background…

I work on-call as a teacher (currently on a personal leave from my full-time position to have more flexibility for the sake of my other work and our family). I also run this site, North Shore Mama, which is both a passion of mine and a way earning an income (a decision I made, again, so that I would have more flexibility for the sake of our family).  I am also planning on launching another business, which I can’t wait to share someday soon.  As a result of the many ‘work’ hats that I wear (happily!), we have our girls in full-time daycare.

My choice to work is not the only reason our children attend daycare though!  My husband and I recognized early on in our eldest daughter’s life that she thrives off interaction and being surrounded by other children her age.  It just so happens that our youngest daughter is equally as social.  I think it’s great.  It’s positive.  There is so much I love about that.  But, when I was home with the girls all day, everyday… I couldn’t keep up with the demand for attention and interaction.  It was sucking the life out of me, literally.  Both the girls and I are SO MUCH better off with the daycare route.  This is a decision that we made because of how well we know our children and how well I know myself as a person.

So here is what happened…

I got called for teaching yesterday and was chatting away with the other teachers at lunch time.  And that’s where it all went down.  Where I was suddenly questioned and accused and shamed for my decisions.

A teacher, at the school I was at for the day, asked me casually if my mother was caring for my girls while I was at work.  I answered with, “no, our girls go to daycare”, with a smile on my face, because at this point, it was still just friendly conversation.  (Though, I now know that her question was rhetorical).

What happened next surprised me and confused me and made me feel… nothing less than awful.

From one mother to another, this woman offloaded on me.

“OH. You put your children in daycare?”
“Why would you do that?”
“I could never imagine STRANGERS caring for my children when I know it should be me.”
“Can’t you just stay home with them?”
“So, you’re pretty much not raising your children?”

All these comments AND MORE said with extreme disgust on her face.  Disgust directed at me, for the choice I have made for my children.

It.  Was.  Terrible.

We are all entitled to our opinions.  We all have a right to think the way we want to think and believe what we believe.  But, what I BELIEVE… is that, as parents, we are all doing everything in our power to be the best parents we can be.  I believe that looks different from one family to another to another to… every single family situation!

We are all different.  It is something to be embraced, not criticized.  We should be supporting each other, because parenthood is a challenge and challenges are made easier with the support of others.

 

 

Jessica Blumel

Nice to meet you! I'm Jessica a.k.a North Shore Mama. This site was born out of my love for my daughters and the desire to share my motherhood journey with fellow moms. I believe we're all in this craziness called 'parenthood' together and North Shore Mama is my way of reaching out to anyone who needs a laugh, a cry or dinner inspiration. Thank you so much for reading!

  • Parrish

    November 6, 2014 #1 Author

    Seriously?? So awful. No one has the right to say that shit. How did you respond?

    Reply

    • Maia Mardon

      November 6, 2014 #2 Author

      Was she older? As in not our generation? Things did look differently for women years and years ago with regards to roles ect in the family and maybe that’s just how she’s stuck with seeing things? but still no excuse to attack. I cannot believe a teacher out of all people would say that. Most teachers with young kids I know have their kids in daycare, so she must be making all her other coworkers with young kids feel the same way. Ugh how frustrating and hurtful. You’re right, each family is different and you’re lucky enough to have lots of options on how to address your family’s needs. You’re doing what is right for YOUR family, not hers. Don’t give her another thought

      Reply

  • Erin

    November 6, 2014 #3 Author

    Wow Jess, I’m sorry that happened. Some people blow my mind…

    Reply

  • Lani

    November 6, 2014 #4 Author

    Holy crap, she actually said that? Tell me she doesn’t have kids of her own because clearly she has no idea how raising a family can be done in so many different ways!

    Reply

  • Kasia

    November 7, 2014 #5 Author

    Hi Jessica, I have just discovered your blog, by accident, and this post made me want to stay and read all the content, because you described the exact feelings I experienced. My family moved to Vancouver from Poland in August 2014. I asked other moms if there is any day care available for my toddler , or at least some short times activities without parent supervision and in many times I was given THIS look. It was very unpleasant and made me feeling unsecured in my role of being a mother.
    Every mom knows what’s the best for the family and her decision should not be judged…..
    anyway, great blog :)

    Reply

  • Michelle Robindell

    November 8, 2014 #6 Author

    How awful for you! What a terrible thing to hear and experience. You have clearly thought really carefully about this choice for your family, and it sounds like it is definitely the best choice for you and your daughters!

    In my experience, when someone goes on the attack like that, there is usually something they themselves are feeling ashamed or defensive about. Perhaps her own choices don’t align with her values somehow, or she wishes she could put her children in daycare, but her husband, or her mom, or her MIL have accused her of being a bad mom for not caring for her children herself. It’s hard to know. But I sure feel sorry for her. She’s obviously got some unresolved anger to attack another person’s choices like that.

    Reply

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