Friday, May 11, 2012

Mommy Wars or Mommy Support Systems?

I'm sure by now most of you have seen the TIME magazine cover of a mother beastfeeding her 3 year old son (who, in the picture looks like he's about 6 years old).
And if you have, have you taken the time to read some of the colorful comments regarding this mother who strongly believes in "attachment parenting"?
I am definitely not going to sit here and say that I agree with attachment parenting or that I think older children should be breastfed but that isn't really the point I'm here to make.
My least favorite part of the magazine cover was the phrase, or shall I say challenge, that said "Are you mom enough?".
Am I mom enough to what? Breastfeed my toddler? Well, obviously not since I didnt even breastfeed my children when they were babies.
So am I not mom enough? Or am I just a mother who had struggles and decided against breastfeeding two times in a row and may or may not choose to breastfeed in the future?

What gets me is the word "enough" in this challenge to all mothers. Enough? Don't we, as mothers, struggle with that word daily.
Are we cleaning up the house enough?
Are we giving our children enough attention?
Are we skinny enough?
Are we disciplining enough?
Are we loving enough?
I could literally go on and on with rhetorical questions much like the ones above because as mothers, we often struggle to know whether we are enough.
And we are. We just don't always believe it because we are constantly being attacked by the media and by each other.

Whether one mother chooses to breastfeed til her child is 8 and another mom never tries to breastfeed a day in her life, both mothers are enough. We are enough because we are trying to do our best for our children.

While I don't agree with attachment parenting, I don't think a mother is a bad mother because she uses that method of teaching. I can accept that she is trying to do what is best for her child without believing in her method and using it on my own kids.

These things that people call "Mommy Wars" don't need to exist. I am friends with people that don't immunize their children and yet, I strongly believe in immunizing mine. I wont belittle a mom for her choice that she believes to be correct. But please don't belittle my choices either.
I'm not crazy, unloving, or psychotic because I choose to immunize, circumcize, formula-feed, or give medications to my children. It's as simple as having a different viewpoint and leaving it at that.
I'm not bad and neither are you.    
So please join me in building up the mothers around you. Join me in supporting each other because motherhood is hard (refer to my last post) and we really do need to support each other all that we can.

And that's how Suze sees it.

PS: Happy mother's day weekend!!! (I'm voting that we get the whole weekend this year...) :)

PSS: Please dont comment if all you have to say is that medications are toxins or that formula is like poison to a newborn or that immunizations will give my children autism. That really would defeat the purpose of my entire post.


Amy Jarman said...

Amen! I think we as women need to remember that we are all trying to do our best and that is what matters. No two people are the same and no two children are either and that is why we all parent differently.

Carroll Family said...

AMEN!!!!AMEN!!!!!!AMEN!!!!!!!!!! THanks.

hopejeffcoat said...

I love this post! You said it perfectly. Love you cuz :)

amy said...

well said! we would all be a lot better off building eachother up instead of tearing eachother down. thanks for such a great reminder!

Janey said...

Such a great post, suzanne! It's so true, we all need to remember that!

The last sentence is killing me though--isn't that negating the rest of your post?!? If you think that those things are absurd, then you're implying that mommies who do think that are also absurd!

natalli said...

exactly! As I've entered the "mommy world", I've noticed how critical people are of EVERY parenting style. How dare someone try to tell a mother what's right for her and her child? It's just not right. Parenting is hard enough as it is.