I’ve debated about continuing to write since quitting my job; however, I’ve had numerous friends encouraging me to continue; thus, here I am again. The few entries I’ve written have really made me feel connected with those of you who actually take the time to read my thoughts so I guess it seems fitting to continue even though my momflict(s) are completely different from those that prompted me to start writing in the first place.
Here I am almost two months into my stay at home momhood and each day I am more grateful for the opportunity to stay home with my dear sweet baby boy. The longer I’m home and the more time I spend researching and talking to other mothers I continue to come back to the same interesting realization. Motherhood and child rearing are touchy subjects. There’s always the PC standard answer (that of course follows every extremely opinionated piece of advice) “You have to do what’s best for your family”; but more often than not that phrase seems to come filled with judgement.
Every parent believes their child is the smartest and their parenting style is the best; and they should. But somehow it seems doubt and insecurity creep in when the mother next to you starts talking about how what she’s doing is completely different from what you’re doing.
My dear friend and I were joking while strawberry picking with our little guys recently about how our kids will end up in therapy for the different things we’ve chosen to do as parents. Raising kids is a hard and serious job. The weight of being responsible for the most minute details of a human being’s existence is beyond comprehension for someone without children. The love that pours out of us from places we never knew we had or the joy in the smallest successes is indescribable to those not in our shoes.
So why is it that instead of lifting up our fellow mothers in genuine support we judge or allow our self-doubt to creep in when someone makes different choices with raising their children then we do? Do we really feel so inadequate as parents? Do we have an innate need to second guess our every move? Does pointing blame and raising eyebrows at the next mom make us feel better about our own choices? Maybe the judging doesn’t happen all the time but I’ve certainly felt it in my short time as a mother.
Many times I feel it in the choices I choose to make for our family; what I feel is right for us, may not be what the next mother feels is right for her family. And I can ALWAYS tell when it’s not.
I hate that feeling. I am confident and comfortable with where our family is at and how my husband and I are choosing to do things. I just wish my head and my heart would remember that when a seasoned mother makes a passively cutting remark about the latest book she’s read in the trends of parenting or about how advanced her little one is in comparison to ours. I need to be able to genuinely stop and see that moment for what it really is…different!
I am working to embrace the differences and the ideas that I am surrounded by; what an opportunity to learn and grow as a mother! Experiencing my self-doubts and ever evolving ideas about parenting has made me so aware of my own eyebrow raising and thoughts of “…my child will never…” My hope is that you may embrace this challenge too and look at the next mother you come into contact with as your colleague rather than someone who makes your parenting choices leave you questioning whether or not you’re making choices you stand behind. It’s a hard job this motherhood…embrace it and those who share it with you!