Mommy Wars. Spend enough time online, and you’re certain to stumble into a greater helping of them than any woman could care for. Countless blog posts have been written about them. Reading the comments on most any parenting-aimed topic will remind you of just how heated they can become. Take your little one to the park for a couple of hours, and you’ll likely watch them play out, subtly, right there in front of you. For the most part, I tend to just roll my eyes at these so-called wars. Lately, though, I’ve had more than my fill. And, frankly, I’m feeling fed up.
In general, I’m a person who cares very little about what people think about me. I care even less about what they think of the way I choose to parent my son. I’m a pretty no-nonsense kind of woman, and I don’t have the time to waste worrying about the opinions of others when it comes to how I’m choosing to live my life. That’s what I like to tell myself, anyway. And the more time I get tucked under my belt into this experiment called mommyhood, the closer I am to actually believing it.
About every fourth day, though, Facebook reminds me of just how much further I have left to go. Countless times, I’ve been left trying to lower my blood pressure when a friend “innocently” spouted off about moms who sit on the opposite side of whatever parenting issue she’s taken on as her cause and ended up inadvertently calling me a moron.
What if we all just set our insecurities aside and embraced ourselves for the moms that we are?
I’m a mom who nursed my son for 19 months. Too long for some. Not nearly long enough for others. The perfect amount of time for my sweet boy and me.
I’m a mom who first sent formula to daycare when my boy was 7 months old. I used to feel like I needed to explain myself for that.
I’m a mom who shed far too many tears over breast milk, lack of breast milk, and formula when, really, I should have just been enjoying feeding my baby.
I’m a mom who refuses to discuss circumcision with anyone who didn’t play a role in creating my son.
I’m a mom who feels passionately about the decision Hubster and I have made regarding vaccinations. Yet, you’ll rarely hear me mention it.
I’m a mom who obsessively researched car seat safety before making the choice that felt right for our family. I hope you did the same.
I’m a mom who sometimes yells. Probably even too often. I breathe a tiny sigh of relief when I realize at our neighborhood playground that I’m not the only one.
I’m a mom who swears. Way too much. Sometimes in front of the kiddo.
I’m a mom who fights often with my three-year-old…over which of us loves the other more.
I’m a mom who embraces the silly side of life and encourages lots of playful laughter in our home.
I’m a mom who has soared and floundered, sometimes seemingly at the same time, in this crazy adventure of parenting.
I’m a mom who has loved my son fiercely from the very moment I first knew he existed.
And that? That makes me a great mom. It makes you an amazing one, too.
The truth is, I sincerely don’t care how you choose to parent your child. As long as you’re making decisions that leave your family content with the life you’re sharing, I say you’re doing an outstanding job. And I don’t think I’ll ever understand why that viewpoint isn’t a universal one. I already place a tremendous amount of that dreaded mommy-guilt square on my shoulders all on my own. For every five parenting decisions I make, I almost certainly am second-guessing at least four of them. Please don’t fuel the flames by casting your insecurities my way, clothed in judgments of all the ways that I’m doing things wrong, if I choose to do them differently than you.
What if we vowed to stop putting so much energy into proving ourselves to other moms and instead threw ourselves into supporting one another?
Maybe, just maybe, we’d find parenting to be slightly less exhausting.