Honestly, who has time for the ‘mommy wars’ anymore?

If there is a war, who is the enemy? A society that doesn’t value all that mothers do.

Honestly, who has time for the ‘mommy wars’ anymore?

Have you been enlisted? Take up arms! (Well, put down the groceries and your laptop bag first first.)

The term “mommy wars" refers to the supposed animosity between mothers who work and mothers who stay home. You might think: Really? Don't we all have enough drama? And yet some of us have encountered people on either side with strong opinions, people who have tried to convince us to take up verbal and emotional arms against the other group.

Until this point, I have remained a conscientious objector in the mommy wars. But now I'm a mommy war protestor, rallying with a poster that asserts: “We're all in this together."

Where does the bitterness come from? From what root does all the comparing stem?

As I see it, there is just one possible source: insecurity. I almost wrote that there were two possible causes: insecurity and pride. But if someone is really, genuinely proud of her life, she doesn't need to brag or play games of comparing. So then pride is off the table as an option. The fact is, motherhood is a minefield of possible insecurities that we must resist.


All I want to say is this: If you are a stay-at-home mother, thank you for your sacrifice. If you are a working mother, thank you for your sacrifice. If you are a mother staying home with your kids and also working, thank you for your sacrifice. Our society doesn't often thank us. That's part of why we feel so alone.

Just for a moment, let's talk about “alone."

Though the generations that came before us had no online community, they had actual community, with larger extended families and neighbors who could lend support, taking turns watching the kids. In those comparatively anxiety-free days, children were sent outside to play and told, “See you at supper!" Karate class followed by soccer practice followed by violin lessons? Our foremothers would have laughed. Making sure labels read “organic," “gluten-free" and “non-GMO"? It wasn't even an option. But these days, for a thousand good reasons and a thousand bad ones, we are juggling more and working harder and worrying more than ever. The good news: We approach motherhood intelligently, shaping a personal philosophy that would make the women who came before us proud. But they would be concerned about us, too, about our extra stress and the harsh ways we judge ourselves... and others.

Whoever said mothers can have it all was wrong. No one has it all, and if they claim to, they are lacking either honesty or humility (which means they don't have it all). After all, motherhood is not a delicate crepe or a crème brulêe eaten slowly with pinkies raised. It is more like a stew, or a paella, a delicious rustic blending of flavors that is both sloppy and savory. Sometimes rice falls on the floor.

It happens to everyone. So stop thinking anyone else has a rice-free floor, so to speak.

It may be that stay-at-home moms sometimes envy the working mom (there are awesome things about being a working mom!) and that the working mom at times envies the stay-at-home mom (there are awesome things about being a stay-at-home mom!). The problem comes when we try to deny those feelings and protect ourselves from vulnerability by hardening that envy into bravado, bragging that our camp has it better or worse, or that we're superior mothers.

If there is a war, who is the enemy?

It's the boss not granting enough maternity or paternity leave. It's the person who just slammed a door in your face, even though he or she saw you struggling with your double stroller. It's the well-meaning loved ones who criticize your choices without offering genuine help in the form of babysitting, a visit or even a supportive text message.

Other moms, no matter their differences, are on our team. Or at least they have the potential to be with some gentle guidance. They may not know it. They may be accustomed to a culture that is all too comfortable criticizing women.

But we can teach them.

Let's refuse to engage in one-upmanship or fighting over who has it harder or who is more dedicated as a mother. We are all crazy about our kids, and we are all on this adventure, doing the best we can one day at a time. We have all tried to make the best choices for our families. We have all had moments of genuine pride, and moments of profound worry. Let's stop the judgment.

Above is a picture of Harvey, my baby's beloved stuffed cat. Harvey was being rinsed in the sink after being compromised by an exploded diaper. I believe this is an image that working moms and stay-at-home moms can both relate to. We've all seen this scene before. On some level, we can even relate to Harvey, smiling bravely even as he's up to his ears in a deluge. We work to get him clean and dry before our child misses him. We spend time (that could be spent in a hundred other ways) washing and drying an inanimate pet, merely because our little one loves him.

Regardless of the labels that divide us, all loving moms do countless small acts of kindness every day. That makes us all lovable and worthy of praise. Period.

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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What you need to know about President Trump's Supreme Court pick

The President has reportedly selected his third SCOTUS nominee.

President Donald Trump has chosen his third pick for the Supreme Court—and he picked a mom.

The New York Times reports President Trump is choosing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee. An official statement is scheduled for Saturday.

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