After a few years of writing on the internet, I’m starting to believe The Mommy Wars still exist because there are some women who just plain enjoy them. They might say otherwise, but that’s only because it’s socially unacceptable to say, “I really enjoy finding obscure reasons to pit myself against other women and remind myself that I come out on top.” Case in point: blogger Whitney Fleming, whose recent post on Blogher – Why Do People Hate Good Moms? – laments her inner turmoil over all the many parents who hate her because she is “actually trying.”
The post opens with an anecdote about a playdate where she made cookies and homemade Gak, and then the playdate child’s mom came to pick her up and said, “Wow, you go all out for playdates. I just usually throw some goldfish at them.” To me, that seems like a pretty innocuous comment, and something I would say because I’m sarcastic and I like to inject humor into things and I sometimes make self-deprecating remarks in an attempt to insta-bond with other moms. But, fuck me because that woman wasn’t just making an innocent comment. That woman was on the attack! Says Whitney:
…apparently being a good mom is something I did to offend her. I felt shamed for doing something fun for my kids—and hers. Shame for even trying to be a good mom.
Whitney goes on to explain that she’s met with contempt for all of the awesome things she does:
This happened to me a lot over the years. I have heard comments about volunteering too much at my kids’ school, or hosting too nice of parties or making a Pinterest-inspired handmade soccer cookie (one time).
Despite my obvious disdain for this post, I have to admit I was sort of giving this blogger the benefit of the doubt up to this point. I mean, we do live in a pro-snark culture and often jokes are made at the expense of moms who are viewed as going over the top. I thought she was possibly being a bit sensitive, but I could sort of see how one might tire of being the butt of the joke. Then she hit me with this:
God forbid you are the mom who sends in the elaborate Valentine’s Day box or a well put-together Bento lunch. It’s like you’re just giving other moms the finger. Because don’t we have enough problems as parents then
to hate on the moms that are actually trying? Because there isn’t enough neglect, enough abuse, enough bullying of our children that we have to feel mad at women who actually want to be better parents, better people, better than who they were yesterday?
Oh, Lawd. Let me roll up my sleeves.