As a mother, I have come to realize the importance of supporting other mothers. So often I see criticism and negativity be it on the internet or in real life and there really isn’t any reason for it. Us mothers have the hardest job in the whole world, and we need to stick together.
So often we think we know it all. The way we raise our children is best. Our method of potty training is the best. The way we put our children to sleep at night is superior. We do it right and everyone else does it wrong. If you co sleep, that’s the right way and anyone who doesn’t is wrong. If you home school, you’re better, and those who don’t are failing. This seems to be the case a lot of times and it shouldn’t be.
The truth is, there is no RIGHT way to parent. Every mother has different circumstances therefore parents differently. Just because someone doesn’t parent the exact same way as you doesn’t mean they are doing a bad job. We all do what we can with what we have. Before you were a mother you may have had an idea in your head of how certain aspects of parenting were going to go down. For example, I always assumed I would breast feed until my child was around one year old and I definitely thought my child would be sleeping in their own bed by a few months old. That’s just not how it happened. My son will be two this month and he is still breastfeeding AND sleeping in our bed. It just didn’t go as planned, and I’m okay with that. I know that at the end of the day, I do all I can with what I have to give my son the best life possible and make the best decisions I can for him. I believe most all mothers do.
It’s easy to be negative and criticize when things look different than what you’re used to. It’s easy to assume that a mother who is doing something that seems strange and unfamiliar to you must be doing something wrong. I want to encourage everyone reading this to try to let it be easy to support, and to bind together.
Can you imagine the amazing world we would live in if the only things that came out of our mouths (or finger tips) were positive and uplifting things? I don’t know about you but that is definitely one world I would love to live in. A world where we offer support whenever we can? A world where we offer kind and positive advice instead of dishing out our negative opinions and put downs?
Just the other day I was pulling into a parking spot at Whole Foods. I had to wait a good five minutes to pull in because the car next to me was a mother trying her best to unload her SUV full of kids and all the doors were open. Once I got into my spot and got out of my car, the mother could not stop thanking me for being patient. She said so many times people yell at her to hurry up, shake their head, and give her a hard time. Just for taking her kids out of the car! Little things like taking five extra minutes out of your day to be patient and wait for a mother who clearly has her hands full can make all the difference in someone else’s day.
There are plenty of times that I have my hands full with my son. There are the times he has missed a nap and we’re at the grocery store with him throwing a fit because he’s tired and he wants to go home. I’ve gotten the shakes and the bad looks from people telling me, without saying anything, that I must be a horrible mother who can’t handle her misbehaving son. I have also gotten the friendly and kind people who ask if they can take something down off the shelf for me or give me a hand with my cart. Two small differences in peoples reactions that make a world of difference to me.
I encourage every mother out there to be supportive. Lend a helping hand when you can. Offer up words of encouragement and talents you have to other mothers who need them. Be accepting, be kind. We are all in this together and we all want the same thing- to do the best that we can for our children. We don’t have to do it alone.