Different people, different mothers, different babies, different paths
We all seem happy enough to accept that we are all unique. We all seem to be willing to accept that this uniqueness means that what is right for one family may not be right for another. We all seem happy to accept that we all mother the best way we know how with the resources, knowledge and support available to us.
Despite this, mothers often feel as though they are being pitted against other mothers in some warped game of ‘I’m the best mother because…’ Or even more insidious, ‘you are a bad mother because …’
Social media can be a cesspool of hate, arguing, defensiveness and misinformation.
But, I don’t believe it has to be this way.
For starters, we need to check ourselves. Check both what comes out of heads and into our comments and also check our reactions to what we have read.
I’m the first to admit, I love discussing topics passionately and I don’t back away from my views even when they don’t fit nicely for every person I am sharing them with. But, this means I need to check myself when people share an opposing view.
Just as I know me putting my views out there is done with good intentions and no malice, I need to assume the same from the other side.
Not everyone plays fair.
Some people really do take pleasure in causing others’ pain.
Their shit however, isn’t worth anyone’s time, energy or emotions.
In general, we should be able to be open and honest. We should feel we can be true to ourselves, our heart and our families.
I have the pleasure of spending time with many mothers in my world.
We all do this incredibly challenging job differently.
Just this morning, two of my lovely friends and I were discussing breastfeeding and the constraints it places on how and when you can be away from your baby.
It honestly doesn’t bother me that much and I believe it is too important to my babies for that to be something that would lead to weaning whereas both my girlfriends felt by 8-9 months, the restrictions were too much.
We shared our thoughts freely. I still came away happy to continue being restricted and they were relieved not to be and we kept talking without a hint of defensiveness, disdain, pressure or heaven forbid JUDGEMENT! We were just three mothers talking about mothering, sharing what works for us, our babies and our families.
In this, lies the secret to mothers being genuinely there for other mothers- honesty, openness, empathy, maturity and respect.
As long as the walls are up or lines are drawn between us, there will be division, defensiveness, viciousness and closed minds and hearts.
If you are a mother currently feeling disconnected, maybe take a moment to consider a more open approach to talking with other mothers. Open up a real conversation instead of just a safe one. Talk with feeling and honesty and then listen with an open heart and mind.
It’s perfectly okay to disagree. It’s perfectly okay to do it differently.
You don’t need to change a thing about what you are doing if it feels right for you.
Let’s make ourselves vulnerable and reachable. Let’s allow ourselves to be real.
Mothers talking with mothers.
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