As moms, the decisions we have to make on how we choose to raise our children are endless. To co-sleep or not to co-sleep? Breast or bottle? Private, public or home-school? Working mom or stay at home mom? Do we feed our children organic, non-GMO, never antibiotic fed, free range, live like a hippie chicken or raise them vegetarian? Vaccinate or no? (Just kidding that last one isn’t an option. Seriously, vaccinate your freaking kids.)
With that being said, why do we give each other so much crap about the decisions we make regarding our children. Again I say, OUR children. As long as we are raising respectful (haha), caring, decent little humans, who cares? The world cares! And they are watching your every move with a magnifying glass. But that needs to stop.
Recently, I posted a Facebook rant, as I often do, just whining about how difficult life is, particularly as a working mom. Once upon a time, I loved being a nurse. You add on staff shortages. Hurricanes causing medication shortages. Ever increasing nurse-patient ratios. Increasing amounts of documentation. It’s tough! Add on the home stuff. A 3 year old who doesn’t believe in sleep. A 6 month old going through teething, a growth spurt and a bit of sleep regression. Marital stress because of all of the previously mentioned items. What do you get? A cranky mom who posts a Facebook rant when her alarm goes off at 4 am to get ready for another 12 hour shift. I said something to the fact of “What would happen if I just decided not to go back to this job? Why is nursing so hard now?” It really sparked a great discussion on Facebook about the changes within nursing.
Fast forward the rest of that day. I ended up having a GREAT shift. I was in a great mood at the end of the day. However, the night shift nurse walks in and says “Jamie, I’m really going to need you to stop posting about how much you hate your job on Facebook.” No, “hello everyone, how was your day.” And I was so caught off guard. How rude?! The only thing I could say is “how about just asking if everything is okay? Do I need someone to talk to?” I honestly unfriended her that night. Because guess what? I will continue to rant all I want and I love that my circle (most) understands and can offer some encouragement.
I say all of this to say, how often do we do the same thing to other people, though? We jump to conclusions and extend judgement without truly knowing their situations. We roll our eyes at their complaints. We think if they did things our way, they wouldn’t have these problems. Why do we look at a mother innocently breastfeeding her baby in public and say “ugh, can’t you just cover up?” Did I tell you to cover up all that cleavage you’re flaunting? 🤔 What’s the difference? Why do you care how I feed my baby? “Oh, you don’t breastfeed?” No, I don’t. Because I was exhausting from a ridiculous elimination diet and tired of spending $100s of dollars on stuff to increase my milk supply. Why do you care about what I do with my boobs so much? Maybe I should report you. Perv.
And then the co-sleeping argument. Why do you care who is in my bed? “Oh, you sleep with your child? What does your husband say?” Nothing, because he is a smart man and allows me to raise our children how I see fit. Worry about who is in your own bed. 👀
All jokes aside, motherhood is hard enough without other moms and women sitting by critiquing your every move. Just because something doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t be awesome for you. I cannot fathom the thought of attempting to breastfeed ever again in life, but I am so glad that you are thriving at it! You’re a stay at home mom? I’m jealous that you get to enjoy every small moment with your little one, but I do have to work. So please don’t rub it in and say “are you okay with daycare raising your children?”
We have to stop all the shading of other moms. Let another mom know how much she is rocking at motherhood. I bet your kids loved that Hamburger Helper. And guess what?! They did because they saw their loving mom cooking it for them. It’s no better than the crunchy mom’s organic sauteed tofu surprise. We may all do things differently, but that doesn’t make one way better than the other.
Let’s commit to changing this culture. Reach out and tell another mom how awesome she is doing in this motherhood thing. It’s not weird to say “Good job!” You may be the confidence boost she was just aching for. Let her know how cute she looks rocking her mom bun and manicure done by her 3 year old. When she rants on Facebook about how hard motherhood is, chime in! She needs to know that she isn’t the only one that feels that way. None of that, “they’re only little for a while, enjoy it” crap. We know how long it lasts. And as brief as this time is, it feels like forever!!!! And it is hard!!! So show support. Offer a gentle word. Call and pray with your friend. Mom life is hard, but the amazing thing is that we have so many other moms here struggling right along with us. And having a community makes all of the difference in how we struggle.