Sunday, January 26, 2014

A whole new year

I've been seeing so much about the "Mommy Wars" recently and it's really been weighing on me.

It makes me sad that the way we parent is creating divisions that seem insurmountable.  That it is testing long-established relationships and causing strife in our society.

Then I started thinking.  If your long time friend suddenly went from being an atheist to a Catholic, wouldn't that change them?  If you were both raised in a conservative household and during college one started having democratic tendencies, couldn't that strain your friendship?

Parenting is, in my opinion, an even bigger life change and life challenge than whether you are a democrat or a republican.  And yet, we are surprised when women stand firmly on one side of the division and stop respecting those on other.  Haven't we set a precedent for that type of behavior in this country?  

I'm sure at some point I will share my beliefs, but this isn't the time.  And I don't expect that by sharing what I believe I will convert anyone to my type of parenting. But then again, that's not really my point for sharing.

Whether you co-sleep, breastfeed until your child is five, wear your baby, work out side of the home or home-school doesn't make you a good parent.  Doing the opposite doesn't make you a bad parent.  As a great line from one of the only TV shows I watch on a regular basis puts it "There's more than on type of good mother." (That's from Downton Abbey, by the way)

So what makes a good mother?  In my opinion? Loving your child.  Wanting what is best for them.  And doing what you think is right to give them what you think is best.

So what is the point of this post?  How about a New Year's challenge?

The next time you go out, don't pay attention to whether the Mama you see is pushing a pimped-out, all-terrain stroller or has their squirmy baby strapped to them in some sort of wild contraption of yards of fabric and buckles.  Ignore the fact that she is breastfeeding openly, or under a cover, or mixing up a bottle of formula. 

Watch how she interacts with her child.  See how she loves her child.  And see how she is just like you.

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