May 16, 2012

Mommy wars

With the recent Time magazine cover, there has been a wildfire of mommy wars being started. For those of you not familiar with this term, it is when a hot issue is presented on social networking, message boards, blogs, etc that gets mothers pitted against each other, being critical of the choices of other moms and trying to make sure everyone knows that their way is the right way.

I am sure this little intro doesn't leave you wondering how I feel about these. So it might strike you as odd that I am going to try to start one, right here, right now. 

You ready? It's going to be good.

I am going to try to start a mommy war against...


That's right! I think that, as mothers, we all need to gang up on this awful thing called mommy wars. I don't know about you guys, but I am SICK of them. I often like to read books set a few hundred years ago, or books about cultures that are more secluded from the media world (in other countries, Amish communities) and when I read these books, I find myself jealous that the mothers work together, not against each other, to raise their children. I so wish that we lived in a world where we could respect each others differences as mothers rather than try to critique each other. As women and mothers, don't we owe it to each other to be their to support one another, not judge?

Now, I am not telling you to turn the other way when your friend who is a mother is doing something they may not know is dangerous. But, there is a big difference between politely cluing a friend in on new car seat guidelines, as opposed to bashing them for being so uninformed about their child's safety. It is one thing to fill your mommy pal in on how much you enjoyed breastfeeding and offering to be there for support through their struggles, it is another thing to beat them down on their choice to formula feed and make them feel guilty for doing what they feel is best (especially when they have reached a point where they can't go back on this decision).  

There are TON of different parenting styles. And, you know what, THAT IS GOOD! Although I feel that research, my maternal instincts, and my teachings from mothers in my life have lead me to my parenting style make my parenting style the "right" way, that doesn't make it the right way for every mom. Some moms need more space, and THAT IS OKAY. Some parents find that they parent best and their child fares best when they are more hands on. MORE POWER TO YOU! Some mothers find that they serve their families best as a stay at home mom, and others find that having a job outside the home allows them to give themselves more fully to their children when they are with them and contribute financially to the family. Why does one have to be a "right" answer????? 

It is time that we stop obsessing over the "right" way to parent and realize that the best way that we can help our children and the children of our friends grow the best is to stop attacking every little thing other moms do and start showing some support. You don't have to agree with every little decision that your friends make as parents- they probably don't agree with all of yours! As long as their children are healthy, are having their needs met, and feel loved, they do not need every little decision they make being critiqued! 

It is time that us mommies make a stand against these mommy wars going on and learn that running another mother down for her choices will do nothing but bum her out and take her focus away from doing what is best for her children. But offering gentle guidance when needed and giving encouragement and support when she needs it will go a long way!

Okay... stepping off the soapbox now... :)

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