Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Mommy vs. Non-Mommy Divide (Conclusion: Aubrey's Lessons Learned)

 Struggling with own my feelings over the Mommy and Non-Mommy Divide, I asked over a dozen of my girlfriends to weigh in...  with some interesting revelations!  Here's the conclusion of this mini-series.

Conclusion: Aubrey's Lessons Learned

I'll be honest; I don't know how many people actually read this.  I do know that this mini-series went from being a planned single entry to a much larger entity, something I ended up spending hours on without intending to!  I want to thank my friends, who range all over the age spectrum, are single/married/engaged/divorced, working/students/stay-at-home, Mommies and Non-Mommies, never-want-to-be-moms to those struggling to become them...  I am fortunate to have them in my lives, and I celebrate that there is such diversity there!  They were open, candid, and honest with me... which made this mini-series what it was.

I'm not a journalist.  I'm just a blogger... but I learned SO much from reading all of the words they wrote.  I'm not a mother yet, but I gained so much perspective throughout.  And this is what I learned.

I do believe the Mommy vs. Non-Mommy Divide exists.  It may dissipate as we get older, but I feel it especially keenly as someone approaching my thirties.  This is the normal time for people to settle down and start families... and the gap between those who choose not to do this and those who do begins to grow.

But I do think Mommies and Non-Mommies can be friends.  I know that I have lost friendships as my friends chose fellow mothers over me, but I also know that after a while, I stopped reaching out to them because I was tired of them not being able to participate.  It's a two-way street, and it may require more effort on the Non-Mommy side to maintain a friendship, because a Mommy simply doesn't have the time or energy.  But I also know that I will have to let go of some friendships, because priorities have changed so much that there really isn't room for each other... and that is okay.

I fear that there is an issue with Mommy/Non-Mommy Identity, and part of this drives the divide.  I worry that some of my Mommy friends are losing what made them unique before they became mothers, instead becoming completely consumed by being Baby's Mommy.  That said, I think the same thing applies to some friends who get married or get so consumed by their careers that they lose themselves too.  We have all felt judged to some extent for making choices in our lives; we need to find balance and maintain our individuality, and not change based on what others think.  And motherhood, when you boil it down, is a choice.

Parenting in public is a touchy subject.  While I think to some extent there is a place for resorts and bars that have no-child policies, it is discrimination to ban children altogether from planes, restaurants, and other public places.  It's all about whether it is appropriate for a child to be there... which is one reason I like 21 and older bars!  When I am attending a G-rated movie, or eating at a family restaurant on kids-eat-free night, I need to be patient and realize the kids are patrons and may act up.  Still, I fully expect parents to remove disruptive children from movies, fancy restaurants, etc. in a timely manner, out of respect for others. There is a lack of parenting these days that has really widened the divide and given good Mommies a bad rap.  Children may be celebrated, but I don't think parents should be worshiped or that society should bend to accommodate them.

As for healing the divide, there are definitely things both sides can do.  Non-Mommies need to reach out more to their Mommy friends, and realize that being a Mommy is hard.  I know that a few hours of babysitting a toddler exhausts me; I can't imagine coming home from a full day at work and not being able to chill on the sofa with a glass of wine, watching reality TV.  I would hate not getting a full night's sleep without interruption, or forgoing night's out/shopping trips with friends.  But I also wish that Mommies would not assume Non-Mommies can't sympathize with they are going through.  It hurts to be turned down to hang out with a Mommy, then see Facebook pictures of that Mommy hanging out with other Mommy friends that same weekend.  I would love to go to lunch with you AND your baby!  I know that we have grown apart because of a change in priorities... but as I said before, it takes effort on both sides.

I learned a lot about my friends and motherhood.  I am more sensitive to everyone's feelings about this subject.  But I maintain my own opinions, and that may win or lose me friends/supporters.  Hopefully this series accomplished what I wanted: to let both sides see the other and hopefully bring women together who have been split apart by differences.

P.S.  Have you entered my free jewelry giveaway???


  1. Well said! I learned a lot from this blog too.

  2. Thanks Caroline!!! It definitely makes me admire you Mommies more as well as appreciate this time I have before Mommyhood.

  3. So often it seems like I'm alone in my struggle to navigate this new world of friendships with and without kids, after college, sometimes states away and this series really pointed out that I'm not an island in worrying about the changes. Thank you soooooo much for that!

    This series has made me even more thankful for the mommy friends I have and has made me think more in depth about how mommies see things as well. Thank you for showing both sides and asking the, sometimes tough, questions. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...