Nursing vs. bottle feeding.
Pampers vs. cloth diapers.
Natural vs. c-section vs. give-me-all-the-pain-meds birth.
Circumcising vs. not.
TV time vs. TV free.
Vaccinating vs. not.
Organic vs. the cheap stuff.
Stay-at-home-mom vs. working mama.
Public vs. private vs. charter school.
Co-sleeping vs. in-room bassinet vs. crib.
Cry-it-out vs. not.
I humbly suggest that it just might be time to revolutionize the conversation, Mamas. We’re in desperate need of a complete overhaul.
And I’d recommend we start by adjusting the way we think about one another, so that suddenly what’s listed above looks a lot more like this, instead:
Nursing & bottle feeding.
Pampers & cloth diapers.
Circumcising & not.
Natural & c-section & give-me-all-the-pain-meds birth.
TV time & TV free.
Vaccinating & not.
Organic & the cheap stuff.
Stay-at-home-mom & working mama.
Public & private & charter school.
Co-sleeping & in-room bassinet & crib.
Cry-it-out & not.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have opinions. Opinions are normal, natural, and the way we make decisions in a world brimming with options. And I’ll be honest when I say that there are some items on these lists that I have formed strong opinions about in the short time that I’ve been a mom.
But when did our opinions become absolutes? When did we confuse what is best for our family with what is best for every family? And when did we decide that our opinions could – and should – be used as weapons against our fellow moms?
I don’t know about you, but as I entered into the thrilling but equally terrifying world of motherhood, there was never another time in my life that I had been more in need of community. A group of women who would lift me up, guide me, and come alongside me. Without judgment, only a desire to support, shepherd, and love.
And thank God I found just that.
Yet these friends and I, though all moms, are different moms. We parent our children in our own, unique ways, we would find ourselves completely across the board when it comes to parenting methods and strategies, and still, we’re more devoted to our friendships than ever.
Because, when it comes to our diverse opinions, I’ve realized that:
- My husband and I make the decisions for our family. Not our neighbors’. Not our best friends’. Not our siblings’. And not for those parents we saw at the grocery store. Ours, and ours alone. And,
- None of these opinions point to a person’s core identity. I am more deeply concerned with how my friends interact with their children, the love they shower upon them, and the values they raise them to possess than whether or not they eat organic fruit.
So, here’s the deal, Ladies. We’re giving motherhood a bad name. We’re embarrassing ourselves. And we’re hurting our fellow mamas in the process.
Let’s change the game. Let’s stop debating and start encouraging. Let’s never forget that we’re all in this together (High School Musical style, y’all!).
There’s no competition to be won, only beautiful, impressionable children to be raised by moms who have the poise to display graciousness in the face of an opposing opinion.
And let’s let our “vs.” become “&.” Less against, more together.
We’re all on the same team: the team that holds the highest honor and utmost privilege of being called, “Mom.” So let’s start acting like it.