Okay, it’s time for me to say something that has been on my mind for a while. And it hit me so hard last night while I was taking a shower, I had to leave my husband snoring in the bed and my two kids snuggled in their beds to come downstairs and type it at
Enough with the mommy wars.
Enough with the mom guilt.
Enough with the passive-aggressive crap that is spouted all over twitter and facebook and blogs.
Enough with the holier-than-thou attitudes and the one-right-way parenting diatribes.
We are all mothers, for goodness’ sake. We all love our children. Our soul desire is to take care of our children.
So, guess what?
WE ARE ON THE SAME SIDE!
I know the world isn’t in black and white, but there are really no “shades of gray” when it comes to being a good parent. There are parents who love their kids and take care of their kids and there are parents who don’t. I’m hesitant to even call those people “parents,” but that’s beside the point.
Yes, there are varying ways to love your child and take care of your child, but if your goal is to have a child who is healthy, educated, clothed, fed and loved, then you are doing it right. If you want what is best for your child, then you are a good parent.
For the sake of argument, I realize there are abusers out there who are abusing their children because they think that is the way to love their child. I’m clearly not talking about them here.
There are children out there who don’t have homes. There are children out there being abused as you are reading this. There are children out there who are bouncing from one shelter to another, scared for their lives. There are children out there who don’t have clean drinking water. I could go on for days.
And you want to spout off at a mom who is supplementing with formula after her baby hasn’t gained weight for MONTHS? [That mom is feeding her baby. There are plenty of “moms” out there who don’t.]
You’re worried about whether or not someone is feeding their kid store bought baby food or letting their kid eat organic spinach grown on a special worm-free farm in Boise? [Again, baby is being fed. Period.]
You’re going to get all huffy because someone turned their baby forward-facing before they turned 7 years old? [That mom is putting her baby in a car seat. There are plenty of “moms” out there who don’t. Or who intentionally leave their babies in hot cars so they can go drink in a bar. Or who leave their babies at home alone so that they can go to the gas station and get a pack of cigarettes. Or who smoke in the car with their baby. There are also moms who need their babies to be forward-facing so that they can watch to make sure their babies aren’t having seizures. I know one of those moms, and she is awesome.]
You’re going to roll your eyes because that baby is in a disposable diaper? [There are babies out there who are sitting in their own filth for days because their parents don’t care enough about them to change their diapers.]
Don’t get me wrong.
I have been that mom. The one who has rolled her eyes and tsk-tsk’d. I have judged. I have made passive-aggressive statements. I have felt like I was a “better mom” than so-and-so, because I did such-and-such.
But in almost every situation, that mom wasn’t doing anything wrong. She was just doing things differently than I do things. And you know what? I know moms have rolled their eyes at me. Yes! Really!! Because I am not perfect. I have done things that are not included in the Holy Grail of Motherhood.
But I’m still a GREAT mother.
I practiced baby-led eating with Emma, but Lucy needed food in her tummy at 6.5 months to help with her reflux, so she gets baby food from a spoon. I’m still a GREAT mother.
I turned Emma forward facing in her car seat at 20 months because she hated riding backwards. I’m still a GREAT mother.
I quit using cloth diapers with Lucy because she started to fuss whenever she wore them. I don’t understand why she hates them so much, but I’m still a GREAT mother.
I babywear my child not out of close’ness or attachment, but out of necessity to be able to get things done. I’m not afraid to admit that. I’m still a GREAT mother.
I formula fed Emma because she refused to breastfeed and pumping made me into a mom that I didn’t want to be. I’m still a GREAT mother.
We don’t co-sleep, because I need to have my own space at night in order to be a GREAT mother.
We are on a delayed vaccination schedule, but my kids get all vaccinations recommended by their pediatrician. I’m still a GREAT mother.
We don’t always eat at the table. Emma eats candy. I give her a little soda here and there. I let her watch too much tv. I buy her way too many toys.
But I am a GREAT mother.
Because I love my children. And throughout our day, I do what is best for them. I make decisions based on their needs and well-being, not my selfish desires.
And so do most of you.
So instead of having your bio read something like this …
babywearing, cloth diapering, extended rear-facing, delayed/selective/non-vaccinating, breastfeeding, non-chemical using, only healthy food feeding, co-sleeping, ec’ing, breastfeeding, non-yelling, perfect mother
… how about we all have something more like this?
loving, caring, taxi driving, homework helping, boo-boo kissing, tear wiping, bottom cleaning, swing pushing, shoe tying, pants buttoning, lunch making, hair brushing, soccer shorts washing, hand holding, back patting, lap snuggling, teeth flossing, burden bearing, worrying, life dropping, crazy awesome mother
We are all women (or men) who have given up a part of ourselves to be mothers (or fathers). We do our best to take care of our children and meet all of their needs. And at the end of the day, we tuck our kids into their beds … or our bed [heh] … and we tell them that we love them. And we mean it.
And that is really all that matters.