March 20, 2014

Mothers Stand United

Today as I was scrolling through Facebook, I saw a post from a friend of mine from high school, who is also a mother now herself. Her post was about how new mothers should really stop and think before they do the “cry it out” method, which I didn’t really have a problem with because she has a right to express her opinion – and she did so in a very friendly manner. However, as I read through some of the comments that were posted in regards to that post, it became clear that there were several mothers who were very verbal in their opinions about whether one should use the “cry it out” sleep method or another technique.

While I do have an opinion on this particular topic, it really isn’t of any importance because the issue that I have with all of this is the manner in which many mothers choose to verbalize their opinions on topics like this.

We all have our opinions and preferences when it comes to mothering our children, but does that necessarily mean that our way is better than another mother’s way of mothering? I don’t believe that it does (unless, there is abuse involved). As we all know, children differ in their personalities, learning abilities, emotions, etc., teaching parents how to adapt to each of their children’s individual needs. Basically, what works for one child may not work for another child in areas such as school, discipline, learning, etc. So, doesn’t it also make sense that mothering isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing?

So what if one mother chooses to sleep train her child with the “cry it out” technique and you don’t agree with it? Does that really make her a bad mother? Does that mean she doesn’t love her children just as much as you do? Absolutely not – all it means is that she has a different way of doing things.

The same holds true for mothers who breast feed versus those who bottle feed; mothers who prefer the attachment parenting style; mothers who believe cloth diapers are the only way to go; mothers who co-sleep with their children until they’re in kindergarten, and the list could go on and on.

The point I’m trying to make here is that, as mothers, shouldn’t we be supportive of each other regardless of whether we agree with the parenting choices our fellow mothers are making? I mean, we all have a big thing in common: we’re mothers. As mothers, we all have to deal with the same things at one point or another: sleepless nights, sick kiddos, whining/nagging, loss of privacy (what’s it really take to use the restroom in private?), getting the kids fed, bathed and in bed on time, etc. All of these things are stressors that every mom faces, so shouldn’t we be there for one another instead of looking for ways to “one-up” our fellow mommies?

Does this mean you should change your views in regards to parenting? No, it doesn’t. All I’m asking is that, as mothers, we make an effort to accept one another for who each individual is and that includes each individual parenting style. It’s okay to disagree, but (unless there is abuse involved) do so in a way that is non-condescending and doesn’t make the other mom feel inadequate. Mothering is hard enough, the last thing we need to do is make it harder by bickering amongst ourselves about the “petty” things that really won’t matter when our kids are older anyways.