The Motherhood Peace Treaty: because the war never existed and we need to support each other

The Motherhood Peace TreatyA few years ago the media was awash with stories about the “mummy wars”. It was cartoonish and one dimensional. The indulgent stay at home mothers pitted against the ball-breaking super women who worked full-time. I am not sure if such a war ever existed. I think pitting mothers against each other is nothing but click and comment bait.

This is what I see when I look around at the mothers I know:  Some work full-time, others part-time, some work from home, some are self-employed, some work within family businesses, some are studying, some give an extraordinary amount of time to school governance, some do not do any paid work, some volunteer.  All of them are fantastic mothers. All of them have good days and bad days. All of them are busy. All of them are trying to figure out how to do their best. All of them love their children dearly and would do anything for them. And we all need a bit of support from each other.

So, in the spirit of supporting each other in the school yard (which seemed to be the original battlefield), this is my Motherhood Peace Treaty. 

  • Let’s not judge each other – every family has to make their own decisions about what’s best for them. Every family is different and every kid is unique. If we all did everything the same, life would be boring and bland and vanilla and our children wouldn’t learn about tolerance and diversity.
  • Let’s not be jealous of each other – everyone else’s life can look pretty good when you aren’t actually living it.  There are high points, low points, stress and joy no matter what you have chosen.
  • When school social events are being arranged, make sure that a good number are scheduled at times that working parents can attend. And at those events, why not chat to the mum you don’t know that well?
  • Don’t just arrange play dates at pick-up time. Also arrange via email if you can, so that kids who aren’t picked up by their parents after school are included.
  • Have a support team – the group of mums that will look out for your kid if you are running late for whatever reason and vice versa. In younger grades, let the teacher know about that support team.
  • Recognise that time is a valuable commodity for all of us. Some may have more flexibility in how they use it, but we are all given the same amount of hours in a day. Time is important to everyone.
  • Say thank you to those parents that are always involved – in reading, tuck-shop, literacy groups, fund-raising, all of it. Those people makes a school’s heart beat and sometimes it goes unnoticed.
  • If you are at a school event that you know another parent couldn’t make (for whatever reason), look out for their child. Be a friend to the kid that doesn’t have their Nanny there on grandparents day. Offer kindness rather than judgement.
  • It can be really hard to keep on top of all the school stuff. It can be harder when you aren’t “on the ground” at drop off and pick up. Keep full-time working families in the loop with a quick email or text. Sometimes I think us mums need “buddies” much more than the prep kids!
  • Ask another mother how her kids are doing. Be interested in life outside your own children. It can mean a lot.

This list can easily be adjusted to apply to those that haven’t quite made it to school yet.

We are all in this together. We are all just figuring it out, day by day. And we could all use a little support. The days for fighting are over. Let’s just help each other instead.

Do you think the Mummy Wars are still raging? What do you think we should do to support each other?

25 thoughts on “The Motherhood Peace Treaty: because the war never existed and we need to support each other

  1. Shannon @ Dash of Tonic says:

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with this post. I’ve just never understood the Mummy Wars.

    We all want the same thing, don’t we? I think everyone is just doing the best they can for their kids and families.

    • Robyna says:

      Thanks Mum. I remember the mums pulling together and looking after the kids for each other – I think there is a lot of support amidst mothers.

  2. Dawn says:

    Love the treaty Robyna. I think we all need to be a little more conscious of one another and a little less judgmental. I accidentally started a Facebook war today on a page I belong to for American Ex-pats in Oz. I simply asked for suggestions for making the 24 hour trip home with a toddler…well, people started ripping one another to shreds all on account of whether or not to give your kid a sedative (over the counter and pending Dr’s approval.) OMG people went off tap attacking one another. It’s not about the judgement, parenting is about survival. Let’s just support one another. Just sayin.

    • Robyna says:

      I don’t know why women do that on social media – because I doubt they would do it off line. I agree that we need to be supportive both in real life and on line and leave the judgement at the door. What works for me might not work for you and that’s okay.

  3. Mumma McD says:

    Love this. I think the ‘mummy wars’ are primarily manufactured by the media… I’ve certainly never experienced it first hand. All the mums I know are supportive & understanding of each other’s choices & parenting styles.

  4. Laney@thelaneyfiles says:

    Thanks for this post, it so nicely said by you. Now that we have started school, it is easy to see how working mums can be squeezed out of the communication loop, and how the parents who give their time to the school can be taken fro granted. I’ll be looking out for ways to bridge the gap form now on.

  5. Christine says:

    Great post. I think if we were all just kinder to each other it would be a great start. Too many people who judge others, and want to put their values on other people. Let’s all just let each other do what we think is right for our own families, and we’ll all get along great!

  6. Raylene Barton says:

    We do need to be there for each other. Competition also can breed contempt and parenting and family is certainly not a competition. I love this list it is very balanced and fair. <3

  7. Eliza Ellis says:

    Great post Robyna – girls will be girls unfortunately – even when they’re grown women modelling that behavior to their own girls. Good on you for talking about it and bringing it to more people’s attention.

    Thanks for submitting your post to The Sunday Brunch Magazine.

    All the best,

    Eliza & Bel.

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