Image by Anna Cervova

To work or not to work. When does a stay at home mum look like a bum? Oprah all day, trackies and numerous cups of tea, when oh when is she going to get a REAL job? And then you have the mums that are criticised for going back to work, daycare yadda yadda yadda.

It’s not the men who are critical, it is other mothers. We look, we judge, we tisk our way through our coffees as we watch bottle fed bubbas and breastfeeding toddlers with equal distain. We look at those yummy mummies in their designer clothes, their babies dressed in identical ‘label’ gear and our tisk comes out again! The subtext being, “lucky ducks, why can’t I wear classy clothes, why doesn’t my child look funky?”

The older mothers forget what it is like to have babies who spew on your nice, ironed clothes while you are running out the door. They forget about what it is like to step on toys and feel like you’re going insane when you have to ask your children to do the same darn thing everyday over and over again. They forget that kid houses are messy houses and that is just that! And that it is hard to keep on top of everything including manners, behaviour and the washing!

Then there are the single ladies who can’t understand why life simply can’t go on for the new mums. Sure, you don’t get much sleep but you don’t have to keep yourself locked away inside, do you? Can’t you just come out for a wee little drinky? It can’t be that hard hanging around in jarmies, no where to go, no one to answer to except a screaming child. That’s not real living… is it?

It seems that mothers and former mothers can be so harsh on each other. There’s the snack comparisons and the endless list of activities (my kid’s going to be smarter than yours) there’s the tv viewing (if they’re sick and grumpy it is ok to have the tv on all day you know) the clothing, the toys, the playdates, the parties, the reading, the intelligence, the skills, the naughtiness, the goodness the comparisons go on and on and on. From birth to death, the competition is hot!

Look at how grown parents talk about their grown kids, “So and so is at blah blah university, married with a hundred kids a full time career and a house in the vines, yes they’re doing so well, we’re so proud of them”! Which is fine if you’re not trying to out-do your parent buddies.

It’s quite shocking really to  see the depth of competition between women. This stemmed from an angry article in The Sydney Morning Herald from one mum to another. Especially in the public arena you are open for criticism by those who self-suppose they know better! Why can’t we all just get along and be encouraging. Afterall, people make their own decisions and have to deal with the consequences themselves. It’s got nothing to do with us!