Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mommy wars

So I have been thinking a lot lately about motherhood and the challenges that it brings and how that can effect the mommy. It had been taking over my brain so I had to write. It seems as though many mothers feel insecure and inadequate --around other mothers especially. It seems as though they maybe don't quite feel like they "measure up" to that ideal "perfect" yet unrealistic mommy status we all seem to shoot for. I'm just going to jump all in here and cut to the chase and say, if you are reading this and you happen to be a mommy if no one else, let me be the one to tell you, YOU ARE AMAZING! YOU have incredible strength and are trying your best to raise your children the best way you know how. You deserve the world and more for all of your hard work and effort that you try pouring into your kid(s) each day and if I had a medal I would hand it to you! Bravo bravo! And I give a special round of applause to all of the single mothers out there striving to keep your family afloat all on your own. What amazing and outstanding courage you have! I could not do what you do and keep a smile! By this point you might be thinking, okay why is this strange lady I don't really know giving me akalades on my parenting? And I say, well, why not!?Mothers all across the board are getting slammed every day on Facebook and everywhere for not doing this with their kids or for doing this or that  and the other and saying all kinds of things like, "Oh my! I cannot believe you co-sleep, don't you know that'll kill your kids? I never will do that to my babies!" Or, "Your a failure as a mom, sending your children to public school! Can't you see homeschooling is the best route for your kids?" Or, "Breast or bottle? Breast of course! It is the ONLY thing you should be giving your baby at this stage in their development. I know because I have 6 and it worked for me!" Advice is great --when asked for. When advice is given to us moms without an interest in receiving, that advice really just might make us want to punch the person and pull all our hair out. Well, before you turn into a Kung fu baldy let me just say, it's not worth it to fight back. I know it is hard when you feel like what you are doing is so right and that you see it is working just fine for you, whatever that might be. It is hard when other mothers try to persuade you to try raising your kids their way. I say, respectfully, take it all with a grain of salt let them know that you just might think about it or look into it, whatever "it" may be, fill in the blanks here. You can disagree with them and still keep your hair intact. Save your karate moves for another day and at least try and consider what they may be trying to help with. Why though? Why is it so hard for us moms to sit there at just take it? It seems most of us have a tendency to want to retaliate by saying something like, "yeah, I know, but what worked for you isn't going to work for me." And we deflect and reject and push other moms out of our mommy bubble. Well, I think there could be many reasons as to, "why" we do this. Pride could be one. Maybe we feel like we know better then they do because we are really just insecure in our own parenting and mask that by being prideful to hide it. Jealously could be one. Maybe we feel inadequate and want everything to run smoothly and be just so and want to appear to be that mom that has it all together. I've got news for ladies, NO mother has it all together. So those feelings of, pride, jealously, insecurity, inadequency, anger, bitterness, fear, pressure, frustration, tension or whatever it might be --as mothers we ALL feel it, it's all there and if you really wanted to be honest with yourself you would agree that you feel that way too. News flash! THAT'S OK! Moms out there let's band together and stop the madness! The arguments and mommy wars on Facebook, and at school, and at home wherever! Let us learn to appreciate each other, swallow our pride, set aside our differences in parenting styles and simply choose to ACCEPT one another. And ACCEPT the fact that not every mommy raises their babies the same way and not every mommy gets it right every time. And that is OK. As mothers we learn by trial and error. Children don't come with a nifty little instruction sheet. We moms stop and go. A lot of times it's a two steps forward two steps back kind of thing. The point is YOU are doing YOUR best. And that is good enough. Just because your not raising your kids the way other people want your kids to be raised doesn't mean your a terrible person or a failure. It means that as mothers we need to be confident in how we choose to raise our children and to not be afraid to appreciate the advice of other mothers and to even go a step further and possibly consider applying maybe some things we hear our mother in law, our friend, our mom, our grandma, aunt, cousin --telling us and suggesting to us things we should try or should maybe start considering. Advice is a painful word I know. But it might not be so intimadating of a word if we choose to love our fellow mommy's around us. And accept them for who they are and commend them for the good they are doing in their raising of their kids. We're all trying. We just try differently. Some things work some things don't work. Trial and error. Stop and go. It's OK to mess up and make mistakes as parents that's how we learn! That's how we grow and mature as mothers! I say all this to say, the next time your little one throws a full blown hootin and hollerin fist throwin spit flying tantrum in the middle of the Wal-mart check out line --don't sweat it! It's just another opportunity to grow as a mother, to learn and mature. Will you make mistakes? Probably. Will you get dirty looks from other moms? Possibly. Will you lose your temper a bit? Probably.  But that is OK. We live and we learn ladies. Hang tough! And know that all of you mommies out there in the throws of parenthood have got my applause! And more than that, my support. Know that you are loved and appreciated by me. Let's not discourage each other ladies instead, let us support each other and build each other up, uplift, inspire and motivate each other to raise our children the best way we know how. No more put downs, false assumptions or pointed rants. Let's spend more time building up then tearing down. It is possible to love and accept each other despite differences. Let mommy wars be a thing of the past for you starting right now. Put down your weapons and walk away from the battle field. Embrace other mothers with compassion and care because we're all frazzled and in need of support. Being a mom is a hard job. It would be a lot easier of a job if we learn to get along and lean on the one who knows far more about parenting than any of us --Jesus Christ. Let him be your ultimate source of strength and may he guide us in our many endevours as we brave the everyday challenges we face as moms and the many controversies and petty conversations that sometimes arise between us and other frazzled mommy's trying to find their way. Encourage each other, inspire one another and most importantly if your a Christian, pray for each other. Let's support each other in finding our way and may the love of God abide in us to be shared with other mothers everyday. Putting an end to the mommy wars starts with you. Lift up a mommy today, and let her know just how great of a job she's doing. Spread the love! Us moms need that more than "advice." ;)

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