Motherhood is a weird cult.
Let me rephrase that. Motherhood itself is amazing… The massive community of mothers out there ready to spit judgement on your every parenting decision, is a cult. And I want no effing part of it. (Think Mean Girls but so much worse and on every street corner and on every parenting forum… Oh and when you’re out grocery shopping or just trying to go about your busy day. Literally there’s mean girl mom police just everywhere).
Every single mom out in the world, right this very second thinks or hopes, that the way they parent is the right way. Myself included.
There’s always that little voice in our heads that says “should I read to her MORE? Maybe it’s not enough” or “maybe I shouldn’t have given her that munchkin*, it’s a lot of sugar. Too much sugar? …I’m a bad mom. That’s it. Tomorrow, quinoa.” or “years from now, will she resent me for not giving her a brother or sister? Oh my god, she’s gonna hate my guts”…
(And this is only a few of the 100 things I question/nag/bully myself about parenting on a daily basis.) Sound familiar?
My point is this: We all cast enough judgement on ourselves as parents, we sure as hell don’t need to hear from other moms how badly they think we’re doing. Being our own biggest critic is hard enough. Obviously, opinions are like buttholes and everyone’s got one… But, I don’t want yours anywhere near me.
I don’t need your holier-than-thou bull. I don’t.
There is NOTHING bad or wrong with being passionate about the things you believe in. If we don’t have passion, what do we have in this world? I mean, I’ll talk to you all day long about why I LOVE co sleeping, baby wearing, and BLW** so much, if you want to have a chat. I love talking all things baby & mamahood. But that’s it homie. The second that passion turns into bashing over a difference of opinion – or – placing yourself above someone else who does something differently than you do, then it’s become toxic. It’s no longer a discussion, it’s a d*ck show*** And a d*ck show just doesn’t belong amongst us mamas.
I know that behind all this fire though, is compassion, in a weird sort of way. The reason that we give a shit about what other moms are doing is because… We really care about ALL THE BABIES. It’s in our nature, we’re mamas. We’re the caretakers. We have the most important job in the world: We are the protectors of the future. So we care about these little sproutlings a lot. We want to make sure that they’re all well taken care of and nurtured… But what we’re forgetting in all of this, is compassion towards our present… Towards our fellow sisters.
Motherhood is a unity. An unspoken bond. It’s a look of understanding you get from another mom when your baby is tired and won’t stop screaming at a restaurant.
It’s that gut wrenching feeling you get deep deep in your soul when you hear stories about child loss, even if it’s about a mom you’ve never met before. It’s a painful empathy that you know you could never fully comprehend had you not had a little one of your own. It’s the grief and heartbreak that you feel for that mom because you know how deeply a mother’s love runs for their baby. And it makes you hug your own babies a little tighter feeling grateful for their safety. Do you know why you feel this?
Unity. Motherhood is sisterhood. Motherhood is a right of passage. It’s a badge of honor. And the respect it carries with it, is comparable to none. Or at least it SHOULD be. So I urge you mamas, take care of each other. Love each other. Always. Remember that we’re all trying our best.
Dammnit we’ve got enough people out there telling us how to look, how to act, how to be, how to live… We don’t need it from each other mamas. We don’t. Show each other some of that good mama love we’ve all got.
Live and let live mommies. Think twice before you press reply on that mommy board. Give it a second before you go up to a stranger in public and tell them how to parent. And know that sometimes all we need is an empathetic smile from you to remind us in our moments of mommy desperation that we’re not alone.
“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
– Kurt Vonnegut
*For anyone reading this NOT on the east coast, that’s a donut hole.
**Baby Led Weaning. The practice of guiding your baby into eating solid foods by giving them solid foods to feed themselves rather than starting off with purées. There’s a lot more to learn about BLW before trying it out, so PLEASE read more about this & consult with your baby’s pediatrician before considering doing so.
***A phrase I use a lot meaning: A comparison of who’s got the biggest d*ck (i.e. Who’s the best?! I AM.)