Dear Moms: Let’s Stop Being Mean To Each Other

Earlier this week, I wrote a letter to my children explaining how summer is going to go down.

It’s been read over 1,000,000 times.

That doesn’t surprise me..

Because we are moms. We have kids. It’s summer. And there is boredom.

 

What did surprise me was the mommy war that battled in the comment section over education choices.

Huh? 

That’s what I was thinking, too. Because maybe I missed the point of my own post?

It started with one mom criticizing another and then retaliation ensued.

But if you dig deeper, it’s pretty clear this battle wasn’t about homeschool, private or public. This wasn’t about summer, boredom, entitlement or education.

It was about respect.

Good, better and best concept

Listen, motherhood is hard enough. We are bombarded with countless choices we make for our children and ourselves. And we often spend hours and days and years second-guessing those decisions.

Breast or bottle? Wean or not? Tummy or side? Schedule or not? Cry it out or rock them to sleep? Organic or processed? And that’s just a small part of the first year. We will make thousands of decisions-right and wrong, good and bad-in the the next 20 plus years. We live. We learn. We get it right; we get it wrong. But we don’t get to decide for others.

(We let our kids use slip and slides and we deal with the consequences. Ahem).

What we must stop doing is attacking other moms when their decisions are different than our own.

We don’t have to always agree; we won’t. We can stand firm in our personal conviction. But we can do so in kindness.

 

There is only a battle when there are two opponents.

 

Putting others down for their choices is really just a way to make us feel better about our own. And if we’re honest, do we ever really feel better after we’ve attacked someone else?

I think most of us want to raise God-fearing, productive kids who are respectful of others.

And that might just start by being kind to those who do things differently than we do.

That’s a decision we can all make.


Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Thank you so much for this! Living overseas I honestly miss a lot of the “mommy wars” stuff, but every so often I see something that, like you said, makes me go, “HUH”?! What in the world?! Thank you for posting!

  2. 2

    says

    I think a lot of it is misplaced keyboard courage. What you would never say to a mom across the MOPS table you might easily say behind the security of your computer screen. But no matter our location — physical or virtual — God calls us to love each other, because we’re all REAL women whom Christ died a REAL death for.

  3. 3

    says

    A couple of years ago I attended an incredibly real and moving Good Friday service. At that service, the reality of death and suffering endured by Jesus for us truly hit home. Now, I try my hardest to picture Him on the cross before I speak or act and really reflect on whether my actions are worthy of His death and suffering. If He were dying on the cross in front of me, would I still behave the way I am? It has shaped my behavior. Of course, I am all too human, so sometimes that reflection comes after the fact and I find myself humbled and ashamed. That is when I need to ask for forgiveness, both from God and the person(s) involved. I pray that God uses those humbled moments to work both in me and others.

  4. 6

    Beth in the City says

    Amen! I am so glad you said this. We hide behind our screens and say things we wouldn’t face to face. I want to tear down the negative and build up the positive.

  5. 9

    Julie says

    If this blog post had a ‘like’ button I would click it. Yes – us moms need to quit being mean to each other over the choices we make for our children – and really life in general.

  6. 10

    Annette McClendon says

    Amen sister. Thinking before we type or speak is becoming ancient history for some sadly. Or maybe kindness is becoming a thing of the past. I hope that there are more out there teaching their children kindness and respect than what it seems. Praying for as much anyway. WWJD is becoming more of a cliche that a way of life.

  7. 11

    says

    Thank you for writing this. I am part of the unconventional parenting group (meaning my child does NOT come first and she IS allowed to fail, or be bored) and I am often on the defending side of things. I often want to say, Why don’t I raise my kid and you raise yours, hmn?

  8. 12

    Ginger says

    I wholeheartedly agree. Mutual respect is the missing (and much needed) component in this situation and so many others. I have been a full-time working mom with a child in school, a part-time working mom while homeschooling, and now a full-time homeschooling mom. Being a mom is hard work, regardless of our present circumstances. And, as a Christ follower, I try to be ever mindful that only myself and my husband are responsible to God for the choices we make for our family. I am confident that we should homeschool our son. I cannot be confident that another family has the same calling. I can only say, from Scripture, that if the parents profess faith in Christ, they are responsible to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. I do not have the responsibility (thank God) to dictate to them how that should look.

    As a homeschooling mom, may I just say again that the respect should be mutual? In reading through the comments, I was struck by a theme that reoccurred in several posts. The idea that homeschooling is a “luxury.” Equating homeschooling with some sort of privilege or high economic standard. I have heard that same idea expressed countless times from people in real life and on the internet. It is hurtful. Just as hurtful as the homeschool mom who accuses the public/private school mom of not making the “best” choice for her family.

    Are there homeschooling families who are financially well off? Absolutely. I know some families whose income allows them a great deal of freedom in their lifestyle choices. (And, might I add, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.) I would venture to say that the majority of families who choose to homeschool are just like our family though. We sacrifice to make this educational choice possible. We sacrifice income, time, career advancement, and the like. There is no “luxury” in our choice, just a knowledge that this is the right course for our family at this time. I don’t say that for “extra parenting points” but simply as a reminder that just because our choice doesn’t look like you choice, doesn’t mean we have some special privilege. It just means we’ve made different choices.

    • 12.1

      Lesley says

      I totally and wholeheartedly agree with this! We homeschooled our 4 children from K-12th grade and did not have a large income, by any stretch of the imagination. Thank you for your post.

  9. 13

    Colleen Goldberg says

    We just got done with a Revival Campaign in our church and one of the things that was made so clear to me is that we really don’t love like Jesus loved. We let our emotions, choices and world views get in the way and take over. Sometimes we just have to say, “She’s my sister in Christ, we are family, help me to love her like you love her”. It seems trite to the world but, as Christians, we know the DEPTH of love Christ showed to us and He told us to love as God loved. We live in a wicked world and we grieve the Holy Spirit when, knowing better, we tear down our brothers and sisters. If all I do as a Mom (stay-at-home or working) is teach my children to LOVE like Christ loved and TELL others… I will be ever grateful.

  10. 14

    says

    Yes! And this goes for Christians to each other too. I see it all the time and am deeply disturbed. That is why I was compelled to write my “Open Letter to Christians” ~ we’ve each got to make the choice to Love One Another through our words too.

  11. 15

    brooke says

    Thank you for sharing the follow-up! May God continue to shine His light through you and be glorified. :)

  12. 16

    Christine Chester says

    It has always made me sad to see moms criticizing each other for the choices they make. The world is tough enough as it is without this. Mothers need to be supportive of each other. We all attempt to make the best decisions we can for our families. Everyone wants what is best for their children. What is best and works well for one is not necessarily what is best and will work well for others.

  13. 17

    Deedee says

    Yes! This!

    I grew up in a homeschooling family, and am choosing to public school my kids for many various reasons. I know homeschooling can be done well, and I have no problem with people who choose that. But I was totally surprised by the number of people who have told me online or to my face that I am making a poor choice, that I haven’t done my research, that I’m really selfish, or that I don’t love my kids enough to stay home. My husband and I did a lot of research, and chose what was best for my family, for this point in our lives. Do other families make other choices? Sure! And some of them rock at homeschooling, or private schooling, or some other super innovative schooling options. Why can’t we just say “Yay for all of us who are making the best decisions we can for our family!” without judging those decisions because they don;’t match ours?

  14. 20

    says

    YES! When my friends w/o kids ask me the hardest part of being a mom, I tell them that you think the hard part will be the practical stuff, like not sleeping, not having as flexible of a schedule, changing a zillion diapers, etc. But here are the thins that are actually the hardest:

    1. The weight of the pressure of knowing that every decision you make will impact this little human forever.

    2. And that there are people who will second guess and cut down every decision you make. Mommy wars are one of the very hardest parts of being a mom.

    I’m in my mid-30s now and have a great group of friends and have kids in elementary school, so I feel less of that anxiety about the mommy wars than I did when I was 24 and had my one little guy, but it can still rear its ugly head from time to time. I so wish we could all just be kind.

  15. 21

    Tara says

    My favorite part of your entire post, “We can stand firm in our personal conviction. But we can do so in kindness”. Thank you for writing this.

  16. 22

    says

    Motherhood IS hard enough. I think this is a good reminder that raising your children is your personal choice. Parenting is not a competition.

  17. 25

    says

    I think we all agree that those comments from that summer letter post hurt. It hurt my heart just to read the exchange because I loved the post. There is power in words. Words can hurt, or they can comfort.

  18. 27

    Niki Blake says

    I loved that post so much I stopped all of my kids in their tracks and told them to listen for one quick second….. And is proceeded to read your post to them! Of the freedom I felt!! Loved it so much!! I then began to read the comments ( bc I just had to leave one myself since yours words CHANGED my summer on so many levels!) and was blown away by the “schooling” arguments. It just surprised me so! I am so glad you addressed it today in this post. We need each other. We are in this “mommy” thing together!! Let’s love well and build each other up. Thanks Kristin…. You so rock friend!

  19. 29

    says

    I meant to comment on the Summer post and never got to it. It was a post I shared with a mother that our family co-homeschools with. Shared, not because of the comments – since I found out about them on this post – but shared because it was something that had been a part of our conversations recently. While we may have busy times planned during our summer, I am excited to let summer boredom set in for our son. Yep, good ol’ go outside and play, find something to do, summer fun. Thank you for your thoughtful words.

  20. 31

    Alicia Roark says

    AMEN!!! Thank you! I”m a mom-to-be and you’ve hit the nail on the head!!! Have a blessed day!

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