Being a mom is hard some days! Luckily for me, this summer I met some moms through a Facebook group for moms whose babies were born in 2012, and I was invited to participate in a judgement-free campaign on child raising "No More Mommy Wars" (http://momsunitingmoms.com). There are a lot of decisions and choices to be made when it comes to raising children. These decisions can be scary when you are holding a brand new baby in your arms for the first time, so you make a decision and hope and pray that it's the right one. When another parent makes a different decision, you start to second guess yours, and this can bring out a lot of angst and reactions may be a little less then kind. Maybe it's because we are all tired, scared and haven't a clue what we are doing that causes us to lash out or make judgments on others' parenting styles. Whatever our reasons, these behaviours need to stop. We are all in this together and the sooner we realize this, the better off we will all be. Chances are the decisions on where our child sleeps, what car seat they are in, what type of diaper they wearing doesn't matter in the long term nearly as much as we may think it does now.
I had so many ideals going into motherhood, and in the last year many of those ideals have disintegrated and fell by the wayside, often to my dismay and heartache. It has caused me to take pause when looking on another parents choices, we just never know what has gone on behind the scenes. The first year has been humbling and I was so thankful for a project that allowed me to forgive myself for not meeting my own expectations and forgiving myself for being so hard on other parents in the past when I had no experience or understanding what it meant to be a mom.
We just got home from spending 6 days with my sister and her young family. There really couldn't be someone who is a more different mother then I am than my sister, yet I loved it! She is so laid back and easy going whereas I analyze and stress about every detail. On the important things we are the same, that is: we love our kid(s) and want them to feel loved and be happy (basically what every mother wants for her children). My sister and her husband have three children, aged 4, 3 and just under 2, they live on a farm on the prairies and are in the midst of remodeling a 100 year old farm house; talk about a busy household! The kids are amazing each with their own unique personality and so love-able! We left their place wanting to be better parents, we were inspired. I've learnt a lot from her this year, as she is my 1st phone call when I need advice or support when it comes to R. I have friends whose child rearing styles are more similar to my own, yet I go to her because she never judges and always supports me, and to have had her in my corner this last year has been priceless. Even tonight as I called to ask if it was okay to reference her, we got talking about R's sleep situation and her words to me were, "you'll do what works best for you and R." In a world where there are 100's of sleep experts all with something different to say, her words and confidence in me are always refreshing and encouraging.
I hope that we can all have someone in our corner as we go through child rearing years and can put our prejudices aside remembering we are all doing the best we can with what we have.