Sunday, June 28, 2015

Why We Mommy War



Catch up on previous Mommy Wars posts HERE!

Most of us know this mommy war business needs to stop.  I'm guessing we'd all be in favor of turning OFF judgments, hurtful comments, controversy, polarization, and unsolicited advice.  I'm also guessing we'd all be in favor of turning ON love, mutual respect, and support...

But really - where is that ON/OFF switch?  

If you find it, let me know.  I've been searching for it for the last two years.  I'd love to just flip a switch and feel more warm fuzzies towards mamas I disagree with, but try as I may, I can't get over my passionate viewpoints and emotions long enough to want to hug moms who just don't get it.

I don't even want to high five them.

And I will certainly not be holding their hands, singing Kumbaya around a campfire any time soon.

...

So there you have it.  Mommy Wars will never end because Liza Jane DeYounge is an opinionated, judgmental, brat-of-a-mama who can't seem to "play nice."

I know.  I am the problem.

Maybe others of you struggle, like me?  Anyone?  ...  Bueller?

We can continue to grit our teeth, fake a smile and pretend we respect and support those we disagree with (even as we think, "They are SO wrong!")...  We can modify our behaviors towards other moms and be nice to each other on the outside...  But, we (and by "we," I mean "I") really need to dig a little deeper to get to the heart of this issue.

First, let me get the Sunday School answer out of the way.  Why do we war against other moms?  Because we are sinners.  We are prone to wander, we are liable to judge, we are apt to disrespect our fellow sisters in Christ.

WE NEED JESUS.

Please hear that loud and clear.  Without Him and His grace, we will continue to fail.  More and more sisters will fall - casualties in a tragic war.  We need to pray that, ultimately, our hearts would be transformed from the inside out, and that our attitudes and actions would be more like Jesus'.

Though I think this first truth - we war because we are sinners - is the most important truth, I am going to spend more time unpacking two other ideas, mostly because I think they are less obvious and are less talked about in our mommy circles.  This next statement might surprise you...

I don't think Mommy Wars are ALL BAD.

In fact, I think a lot of facets of our wars are GOOD.

Why?

We war because we care!

We should care!  Caring is good and necessary and completely foundational in being a mom.  Our children are our most prized possessions - among our very greatest blessings.  Our kids are our most precious treasures. 

No wonder our hearts grieve over parenting decisions.  No wonder we lie wide awake in the middle of the night worrying about our kids' health.  No wonder we over-research and over-analyze every approach in raising our little ones.  No wonder we are meticulous.  No wonder we are guarded.  No wonder we are passionate about our beliefs.  Our love and our care and our zeal for our little ones becomes so strong that when someone, or something, comes against (or even disagrees with) those beliefs and approaches, it cuts to our core - deep into our hearts, and the urge to draw our weapons is a natural response.

We should not be surprised by this.

We should not be ashamed of this.

Feeling strongly about our children and taking our parenting seriously are not things we need to apologize for.  We should take a stand, fight, bleed and war for the things that matter most.

Taking this a step further, we war because we were made to war.

Why else would we be commanded by GOD to put on armor, of all things?  Why else would we be called to "fight the good fight" as a "good soldier of Christ Jesus?"  Language of battles, soldiers, weapons, war and fights are all over the Bible.  Heck, even if you don't care about the Bible, why else would the "Mama Bear" instinct to defend, protect and fight come so naturally?

There is something instinctual, woven into the fabric of our DNA, that will continue to spur us on in battling - even dying - for our most precious treasures.

...

This is where things get a little tricky. Though we should care, and though we were made to war, I believe our passionate beliefs and our mommy wars are, largely, misguided.

The gigantic problem in all of this is that we are warring against each other instead of uniting with each other to fight against our real enemy.  

More on this later.
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