The Mommy Wars
Winston Salem, North Carolina
April 5, 2017 8:27pm CST
Twenty three years ago I thought myself quite clever when I jokingly quipped to a co-worker that I was sick and tired of being tired and sick. At the time I was pregnant with our first child. Morning sickness was an all-day thing for me and most days I felt like I was swimming in molasses. If only being tired and sick was the most challenging part of the parenting journey! During those months before our oldest son was born, I was bombarded with questions. Complete strangers asked me whether I was considering natural childbirth or planning on getting an epidural,; whether I was going to breast-feed or bottle feed my anticipated infant; whether I thought cloth diapers were a viable choice to avoid sending hundreds of disposable diapers to the community landfill; whether I would use a pacifier to sooth my child. Everyone had an opinion, and everyone seemed determined that their opinion was the only correct view. In the 23 years since then I’ve discovered that many parents are passionate about the choices that they’ve made for their little one and I was no different. I was passionate about the choices we made for our own children, and even now I have no qualms about explaining why we made the choices that we did. However, that doesn’t mean that I think that our choices were the only right choices. When I explain the reasons behind our parenting choices it isn’t because I think my way is the only way, it’s because I want the other individual to understand that we didn’t make our choices lightly. We considered our situation and tried to choose the best possible options for our particular set of circumstances. I love the Similac commercial that came out a few years ago. It does a wonderful job of summing up the Mommy Wars, but at the same time quite clearly makes the point that in the end, as parents, we are all striving to do the best we can for our children. Individuals are different and have different needs. Different children respond to different approaches to discipline. Different families have different needs Different families have different priorities. Think what a boring place the world would be if we were all the same!
24 people like this
6 Apr 17
I knew in my heart how we wanted to parent our newborn, and I did not like it when we were peppered with questions and given opinions (without asking for them) from everyone. I learned form that time in my life and reserve any such questions, because in the end it is not any of my business.
6 Apr 17
Being a mom is hard. As long as everyone is safe, being fed, and taken care of, everyone has the right to choose. I used to think I needed to compete. I still have days where I compare myself to others, though I try to keep telling myself that I don't know everything that goes on in their lives.
• United States
7 Apr 17
I like that commercial. Another one that I am fond of is the Luvs commercial. With the first baby, mom is packing everything under the sun to go to the park. With the second baby, she grabs a Luvs diaper and a handful of Cheerios and heads out the door. Everything changes from the first baby to the next. A first-time parent learns a lot with that first baby. The second time around is not nearly as scary.
• South Africa
6 Apr 17
You have done a great job with the way you chose, and I feel I have done so too, I think its important that each individual find that passion place in raising their children. The best time in any mothers life, is to provide the ink that they may mould their own stamp, to stamp on our lives
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
6 Apr 17
A beautiful analogy, Lany! Sadly too many parents seem to be somewhat insecure in their decisions--at least that's the only reason I can come up with for the defensive responses that invariably result from discussing different parenting choices. I bet I've done some things that differ drastically from the way you have raised you children, yet we both seemed to have reasonably successful, emotionally well balanced offspring!
• Gainesville, Florida
11 Apr 17
I remember feeling that very same sentiment when my oldest daughter was born. Everybody was trying to tell us how to parent, and I remember thinking then that no one way was the best way, it was up to each family to decide on their own what worked best. Even in our own family we parented my daughter differently than we did my son. Like you said, what works best for one may not work best for another. But in the end, my wife and I were just doing the best we could to raise beautiful, healthy children, and to that end I think we succeeded!
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
10 Apr 17
A few of the neighbourhood kids are afraid of me, since I'm not afraid to give them a verbal lashing when I think they're out of line, unfortunately I'm not quite as good as Morley, who can quell them with a glance. She's got a much more impressive glare than I do.
12 Apr 17
I remember all those questions from friends and family while pregnant and I don't remember my answer but once my mind was set, I did what I thought was best. None of my children suffered so I had a way of changing the subject often to keep conversations friendly. Each child was different and did react in different ways, I can't imagine someone having children and doing the same for all - they are all so different. One was nursed and one was a bottle baby, one was born natural one was not. It might have been because the two I birthed were 6 years apart....