Friday, May 11, 2012

Mommy Wars!


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! :-)

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Lauren Borquez said...

So sweet :) Found you on Kelly's Korner..feel free to follow me as well!

Jerilyn said...

I have followed ur blog for years...for what i can see about paprikas swim suit, its a tankini, which i feel is fine & apprpriate..i have 2 daughters, ages 10 & 28...they both did wear bikinis till they were like 2 cause iits just so darn cute, but after that, no Idid not allow we do have our own pool, so Iam flexable at home as long as no boys are around. I believe itis my job to teach my daughters as well as my 2 grown be modest, respectdul to themselves as well as others & there is absolutly no need to show as much sons & husband wear tank tops with their long im not the duggers..buti believe in modesty. For the breast feeding thing..i think it is every womens choice whether rhey nurse or not & should never be judges regardless of which way they choose. But my experience is, nursing mothers judge bottle feeding daughter could not nurse her first child because she suffered with lactate migrains. My very close friend is a doctor, she says there is absolutly no need for nursing after rhe age of 2..if parents believe its about bonding, then they r not doing their job right to start with..she believes if a mother nurses after the age of 2 , its solely for the mothers sartisfacrion & the way she keeps from being a mother..i feel the same way..its like the child is wanting to go out & play, or is crying or is interrupting her while she is on the she gives them the boob instead of being a mother..then proclaims to be a fabulous mother...i feel the sme way about a child sleeping with their parent everymight..that way they dont have to get out of their bed when the child cries or needs for my reasoning, being a mother of 4, grandmother to 4...these parents that state all this nonscents stuff, do it because they r lazy & proclaim to be the greatest parents...just saying!

Jen + Jeff said...

I was one of those moms that thought I'd never put my toddler in a two piece suit. What was I thinking?!? Now I only buy two piece bathing suits for Leila because it makes more sense when dealing with diapers.

Katrina said...

I've found that the more children I have, the more I mellow- in more ways than one. Of course I have mellowed as a mom (like I don't sweat the small stuff anymore...cereal for dinner is great sometimes!) but I've also mellowed as a fellow-mother, in that what works for one might not work for someone else, and we each do what we think is best for our own child. Judge much? I can honestly say that no, I sure don't. Not anymore.

Allison said...

I think the problem is that some people just have too much time on their hands so they end up meddling in other people's business. It's sad that people need to tear you down to make themselves feel better. Whatever works for you & your family is the only thing that matters. Funny that you say parenthood has made you a more confident person since I was just thinking that very thing about myself earlier this week. We're all just doing the best we can!