Several books have been written in the past decade about mom-on-mom judgementalism. The books try to codify why women are so hard on each other, scoffing at every choice -- stay at home, work, take (or don't take) your kids to McDonald's occasionally. As far as I can tell, it all boils down to the same striving we all did when we were kids. We all want to be cool, and the easiest way to look good is to deride others. In high school it was about clothes and boyfriends and after-school activities. Now it's about houses and husbands and our children's after-school activities.
I am a good cook, but a mediocre housekeeper. I shiver in fear when my kids have playdates, because I worry about what the other mom will think of my home. I worry when my son wears the same shirt four days in a row. I say yes to activities I should decline, because I want to look "good", whatever that means. I keep quiet when I should yell, because I worry about rocking the boat.
I am embarrassed by my own cowardice, but it's so much easier to try and fit in . . .