I was formula fed pretty much from day one, I probably watched way too much television growing up, AND my mom worked…and guess what, I’m doing pretty well. My mom would be burned at the stake today in the world of opinionated mommy bullies who stand on their high horse and tell other mothers why they are doing it all wrong.
Breastfeeding versus formula, co-sleeping, cry-it-out, feeding cereal versus baby led weaning, circumcision versus no-circumcision, stay at home mom versus working mom…and the list goes on, and on, and on. Why is it that almost every mom-related topic turns into a heated debate that sometimes ends up into a nasty exchange of name calling?
I researched a lot when I was pregnant, but nothing prepared me for the mommy wars that take place every so often in mom groups, in online forums, on social media, and even among family and friends. Every woman has their way of doing things, and unfortunately, a lot of them think their way is the only way.
I learned this the hard way in a Facebook group, “Mom2Mom,” where I was thrown into the gladiator pit where mommy bullies wanted to fight me to my death over a simple question. After my experience I saw it time and time again and I want to address this issue.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have strong beliefs on how I want to raise my children…let me repeat, my children, and I don’t mind sharing those beliefs with you if you ask me. However, I don’t feel it’s necessary to push my parenting methods on others, or feel the need to tell them that they are just doing it all wrong, and I really don’t want to hear that from anyone else. Now, if someone tried to slip my daughter formula when I feel strongly that I want her to be exclusively breastfed for her first year, then we will have a big problem. And just because I want my children to be breastfed, I don’t think that makes them better than my girlfriend’s children who chooses to formula feed. That is what her and her husband agreed to do and that is only their decision to make.
Moms need to stop judging other moms and understand that every family is different, and trust that most moms love their children just as you love yours, and they are making the right decision for their family and their specific situation. Let mothers raise their children how they want…WHO CARES? Seriously, unless they are harming their child, who cares? We should be concentrating on our own children, not if Betsy decides that her son is going to be circumsized. Does it matter if he has his foreskin removed or not? The answer is no, the answer should always be no.
Women also seem to forget that there can be an extenuating circumstance that they don’t know about before they jump down someone’s throat. For example, if a mother has a chronic health condition and needs to be on medication and can’t breastfeed, it can make someone very upset when another mom starts judging her on her formula feeding decision. Ladies, we need to think before we speak.
Why can’t we build each other up instead of tearing each other down? Motherhood is not easy and moms need to support other moms. Just as we want to teach our children, we need to remember to treat others like we want to be treated, and to always try to give someone the benefit of the doubt without jumping to conclusions. Ok, now that I got my kindergarten lesson about caring and kindness out of the way, we can move on.
I wish the mommy wars went away and women supported each other more, but some women will never get it. My method of defense is to stay out of it as much as I can (if it’s not directed at me). If it does directly involve me I just kill the mommy bullies with kindness…even though my first instinct is to go for the jugular and fight back…but I like to concentrate on the positive :).