Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mommy Wars

Open up any newspaper, blog, or computer and you're sure to hear the phrase "Mommy Wars" in regard to parenting at least once.  Breast vs bottle, working mom vs SAHM, baby-led weaning vs purees, co sleeping vs crib, cloth diapers vs disposable...  there's hundreds of so-called arguments out there.

But I don't believe a bit of it.

I don't think "mommy wars" really exist.  Not at all.  I think it's something completely made up and exaggerated by the media in order to make news out of something that's not all that newsworthy.

In my immediate and extremely diverse group of friends, we all have our differences.  Some of us have many children, some only one or two.  Some breast fed, some bottle fed, and some pumped.  Some use cloth diapers, some disposable, some both. Some work, some stay at home.  We all have made different and varied choices on how to best raise our families, with regards to WHAT WORKS FOR US.

And frankly, none of us really care about anyone's choice to formula feed or co sleep.  It just doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.  And, more importantly, because it doesn't help anyone to spout off unwanted opinions or advice.  But what DOES help is support and love. 

A couple of summers ago, a friend of mine was expressing her frustration at having to pump all the time.  Due to a bunch of unforeseen circumstances, her baby no longer would breast feed and only wanted the bottle.  My friend hated the pump and how time consuming it was, but felt horribly guilty at feeding her baby formula.  Another girlfriend jumped in quickly, though, saying, "But YOU have to feel happy and fulfilled too.  Your baby isn't the only one that's important here.  How YOU feel is an important consideration.  Feeding your baby formula isn't going to make you a bad mom - it's just one more way you are doing your very best."

I think, honestly, that's what motherhood really IS about, once we get past all the media headlines of so-called "mommy wars".  Supporting each other and lifting each other up, without judgment or shaming, because we know we're all doing the best we can. 

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