There is always some kind of Mommy War brewing- usually drummed up by some media outlet who is anxious to pot-stir and get a larger readership/viewership. They pit mom against mom.
Really, aren't we all trying our very best?
It's annoying to me. There are a million flavors of Mommy War (working moms vs. stay at home moms; vaxing vs. non-vaxing; breastfeeding vs. formula feeding; co-sleeping vs. crib sleeping; homeschooling vs. traditional schooling...the list goes on and on and on).
Yesterday, my Facebook feed was filled with posts about the new Time magazine issue about extending breastfeeding and attachment parenting. Yawn. The whole "issue" just seems like a pathetic grab for controversy. The more time I spend actually parenting my own kids, the less I worry about how others parent their children.
One of the greatest gifts I've received as a mom has been that of confidence. Back when Paprika was a baby, I felt unsure of my abilities. I was floundering, trying to find my footing. I was new to nursing, new to taking care of my tiny baby. I did things the way that felt right to me (which most would call attachment parenting)- and at the time, I felt like I had to defend myself against others' advice, against the world.
Now here I am raising these little girls, and getting to see the fruits of my efforts. Am I perfect? No, of course not. But I no longer feel the need to defend my choices to others, and I understand that the way I parent my child is right for my child...and that what is right for my child may not be right for someone else's.
I guess the media would call me an extreme attachment parent...but to me, I am just a parent. My three (living) girls have all been so different from one another in personality. The way I parent them is, of course, tailored to their specific needs. There is no formula. There is just love, and me trying my best day in and day out. That is what I would say most parents are doing. I don't think it's useful to make anyone feel bad about that.
Last year, there was this big online mommy war about putting little girls in bikinis. Some people were saying it's practically pornographic to put a little girl in a two piece (I am not kidding). I just don't understand tearing people down like that for something so silly. At the time, I remember thinking that it's the adults, not the children - our society, not the kids - with the problem. Maybe some people go to extremes, but the truth is often much less dramatic.
For example, right now, Paprika has private swim lessons two days/week afterschool and once on the weekend. On those school days, I have 30 minutes to pick her up at her classroom, get everyone back in the van, feed her a snack, drive her to swimming, and get her in the pool. 30 minutes.
So, what's a mom to do? On those days, Paprika wears a swimsuit under her school clothes so I don't have to change her. It's a two piece! (Gasp!) If it were a one-piece, she'd never be able to go to the bathroom at school. If I waited to put her swimsuit on at swim lesson, she'd miss her snack and probably end up getting dressed in the parking lot...which would incite its own judgement! Some people might say that if I'm going to be so rushed, then maybe she shouldn't be swimming at all. Well, you know what, she loves swimming and we make it work. So much of parenting is just making it work!
My point is, all parents are figuring it out. What works for me won't work for you. Or maybe it will. If it doesn't, then that's okay. We are all just doing our best to learn this parenting thing as we go. There are no supermoms. Or maybe we all are supermoms! :-)