21 photos of moms who are all done with the dumb 'Mommy Wars.'

Shauna Stewart Douglas runs a website called Moms Uniting Moms, dedicated to moms supporting each other.

Basically, she's all in favor of the exact opposite of the Mommy Wars. The website states what they're about in no uncertain terms:

“Sometimes we share tough information and views we might not [all] agree with, but our discussions are free of shaming - no mud slinging here!"

To further their goal of ending judgment about different styles of parenting, some of the women who are part of Moms Uniting Moms got together for a photo shoot.

They showcased some of the many things moms are scrutinized for ... and for which we sometimes scrutinize each other.


The point isn't that we all need to agree on how to raise our kids. That's just silly. The point is that we can have constructive (and helpful!) conversations without tearing each other down.

These photos represent our ability to live our lives differently but without judgment.

The problem is that for moms, it seems that nothing is off-limits:

1. Where and how we work.

All photos taken by Vivian Kereki Photography. They belong to Moms Uniting Moms and are shared here with permission.

2. The struggles we have (or don't have) that are beyond our control.

3. Whether we became moms unintentionally — or with much effort.

4. What kind of moms we are.

6. When we became moms.

7. How we became moms.


8. How we name our kids.

9. How we feed our kids.

10. Where we feed our kids.

11. The ways we get our kids to sleep.

12. Where our kids sleep.

13. Who takes care of us while we're pregnant.

14. And how our kids come into the world.

15. Little things — like what we use (or don't use) to comfort our babies.

16. Even the choices we make for diapers.

17. And the way we transport our babies.

18. But here's the bottom line: If we're doing our best to care for our kids, we're good moms.

19. We're great moms!

20. Because when we're trying, growing, and learning when it comes to parenting, we're doing what we need to do.

21. So we should support each other while we're doing it.

Remember that supporting doesn't mean agreeing! We can do things differently without tearing each other down.

Douglas told me in a phone interview that the point isn't just to positively affect the way moms regard each other; it's to help us raise a generation of amazing humans:

"When women and moms are educated, they teach their children. When we get access to any kind of info, we transfer it to our kids. Moms are such a pinnacle, such a force. I really feel like as we create more discussion, understanding, learning around how to have a constructive conversation … it's going to have a huge ripple effect."

Heck. Yeah.

Douglas also noted that we're never going to agree on everything, nor should we strive for that:

"I don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of yes people. There's absolutely no way I'm going to be right all of the time. The only way we're going to get to a better knowledge or understanding is if I bring what I know to the conversation and you bring what you know to the conversation, because you know all kinds of things that I don't. The only way I'm going to be able to hear all the things you know and be able to learn from you is if you say, 'I'm not going to tear you down when presenting this information.' And I'm going to listen. I'm going to hear you. I'm going to receive. I may not agree, but that's how I learn."
Can I get an amen?

And if you're thinking: "What Mommy Wars?" Know this: They are real.

Sometimes, I hear from people who say the Mommy Wars don't actually exist. It's true that they may be fueled to keep our attention off of issues that truly matter — like affordable childcare and wage equality, for example.

But the pervasive judgment moms face? That's all too real.

Sure, it's easy to say, "Just ignore it!" But as Douglas says, parenting issues are always going to be close to our hearts because they relate to our kids. And because raising our kids is one of the most important things for many of us, that judgment has an impact.

We're not talking about turning a blind eye to dangerous parenting here, like leaving a kid outside with an ungated pool. We're talking about the many different ways of raising kids safely. We're talking about sharing information so we can all learn and grow as moms — and ultimately decide what we feel is best for our kids when we have that information. There are many great ways of doing things. And what works for one family might not work for another.

What if we could do away with the Mommy Wars?

"We would be further down the path," Douglas said, if we adopted a "be curious, don't be judgmental" attitude. "If we approached any situation with curiosity as opposed to defensiveness — wow, can you imagine?!" she exclaimed. I can. And I'd like that very much.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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Those of us who have been parenting for a while have some wisdom to share from experience. Not that older moms know everything, of course, but hindsight can offer some perspective that's hard to find when you're in the thick of early motherhood.

Upworthy asked our readers who are moms what they wish they could tell their younger selves about motherhood, and the responses were both honest and wholesome. Here's what they said:

Lighten up. Don't sweat the small stuff.

One of the most common responses was to stop worrying about the little things so much, try to be present with your kids, and enjoy the time you have with them:

"Relax and enjoy them. If your house is a mess, so be it. Stay in the moment as they are temporary..more so than you think, sometimes. We lost our beautiful boy to cancer 15+yrs ago. I loved him more than life itself..💔 "- Janet

"Don't worry about the dishes, laundry and other chores. Read the kids another book. Go outside and make a mud pie. Throw the baseball around a little longer. Color another picture. Take more pictures and make sure you are in the pictures too! My babies are 19 and 17 and I would give anything to relive an ordinary Saturday from 15 years ago." - Emma H.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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