Mother appreciation

If there is one thing that is obviously apparent about the “mommy” blogging community, it’s the friendships that are forged and the support you can receive. It’s incredible, these friends you make; men and women who you may not ever meet, yet you know so much about them. They open themselves up to you, and in return, you do the same. You offer love and support for various struggles, fears, disappoints, and celebrations for their joys and successes. It’s amazing.

If there is a second thing that is obviously apparent about the “mommy” blogging community, it’s the harsh judgment and battles by one mother based off of each decision another mother makes.

We know it exists in the “real” world. We see the side eyes, hear the exasperated sighs, feel the judgmental eyes burning holes in the back of their head. No matter what you do, you’re getting judged by someone every where you go…

Oh, you plan to breastfeed till how long? She must be some freak who gets sexual pleasure from it, why else would she want to do it for that long??
Oh, you formula feed? She must not love her babies and want what’s best for him/her.

Oh, you’re a stay-at-home mom? She doesn’t contribute anything to society and just mooches off her husband’s hard work I bet.
Oh, you’re a working* mom? She must not want to spend time with her children, and just pawns them off on someone else.

Oh, you turned your child around at age 1? She must not care for her child’s safety and be uneducated!
Oh, you are keeping your child backwards facing? She must not care for her babies comfort!

Oh, you use cloth diapers? She must think she’s better than me.
Oh, you use disposable? She must not care about the environment.

Oh, you circumcised you son? She doesn’t care about his adult choices or the pain he feels during that surgery!!
Oh, you kept your son intact? She must not care about the health benefits** of circumcision.

The list goes on and on. We see the faces and hear the condescension dripping from their words. It’s hard to avoid, but rarely ever forms beyond snide side remarks. But in the blogging world, the place we can go to find like-minds and share our trials and tribulations? There is rarely just snide remarks and secret hurts. We all have seen the posts, the comments, the tweets. It’s there, in the open, for all to see and make no mistake about. You make any decision, you’re a bad mother.

I understand, there is absolutely no way to please everyone, all of the time. You can only do the best you can and take it each day at a time. But in a world where a mother has to deal with rude comments and disrespectful looks day in and day out, why do we turn around and do it to others ten times worse just because we don’t see the hurt looks on a person’s face?

What is it about being a mother that brings out our inner-mean girl? What is it about being a mother that makes any decisions differing from our own wrong?

On twitter, I follow a wonderful group of dads. I’m sure many of you follow them too, and any given day, you can see their hashtag floating around, #dadstalking. Every time I follow it, just for fun, these dads are not judging each other. They’re not telling other dads that they are making the wrong decisions about anything. They share stories about the funny thing their kid did and offer support to each other when they need it. They have joined the community of parent bloggers and are using it as an actual community, not just to stand on a soapbox for what other fathers or mothers are doing wrong. Why can’t we, as women, do that?

Regardless of how we feel about childbirth, or feeding, or career or WHATEVER, whether you adopted or used IVF, or conceived with no difficulty, one thing is the same: We are all mothers. We all love our children and want what we feel is best for our children. We are all doing the damn best we can, regardless of how anyone else feels. So, instead of offering judgment or (mostly) unwanted advice, how about we offer support and a shoulder to lean on, even if it’s not something we agree on?

How about we act as a community of women banned together in motherhood, instead of separated on so many issues? Just for once, let’s appreciate another mother with different beliefs than us, instead of stand up against her. In the end, we’re all mothers, and women.

Notes:

*I believe all mothers are working mothers, but the sentence “Oh, you’re a work-out-of-home mom…” didn’t flow as well. I hope that point came clear that that is what I meant, not just that mothers who WOOH are the only ones who “work.”

**Prior to Kinley’s birth I wrote a post about circumcising him. I did lots of research on the topic and understand that the health benefits for circumcision are outdated and possibly wrong. HOWEVER, that is the only argument FOR it that you can really find. As his due date came closer, I was still struggling with the decision, and Chris was adamant that he would be circumcised. I couldn’t convince him that he shouldn’t, and he couldn’t convince me that he should. In the end, I told Chris to make the choice and I would stand behind him, my one request was that he researched it. He didn’t, but he felt very passionately about this decision, so our son IS circumcised. Am I happy with that decision? I don’t know. In the end, I don’t have to be. Kinley does.

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4 Responses

  1. I think the judgment comes from insecurity. It leads me to not talk too much about my personal mothering choices because, well, I’ve made them. I’m not reconsidering and don’t need to hear others’ opinions.

    That said, I always enjoy reading your blog because you ARE so honest about what you decide. You have a beautiful prose and make the reader really understand where you’re coming from. Just my two cents.

  2. To sum it up: Women suck

    I don’t get it. I don’t understand why choices we as individuals make are subject to other opinions. Did you carry my kid for 9 months? Did you squeeze his oversized head out your hoo ha? Did you spend 3 months of colic hell with him? Oh you didn’t? Well then you don’t have any right to formulate an opinion on any desicions I the mother have made. It is so silly.

    What’s worse is that we are made to feel guilty about our desicions. I find that I am a much happier person when I focus on the desicions and opinions I make rather than everyone elses cause frankly who cares if Jane Doe chose to BF or Jane Smith didn’t circ her son? Really does it impact MY LIFE? Nope. So why judge?

    • And this is why I love the friends I have made here!! They stay out of the ridiculous momma drama of choices other women make. But it’s sad that there are so many people out there trolling women’s blogs just to jump down their throats about their choices. It impacts their lives, nor their children’s lives none, so why do they care?? They just need to learn to be nicer. and support each other when it’s needed, not say “well, if you would have done it THIS way, it wouldn’t have happened.”

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