When was the last time you rolled your eyes at a mom in the mall because she was doing something you didn’t approve of? I know I have been guilty of doing it myself.
Four years ago, I got a call from a friend of mine. “I noticed at the party that you were still breastfeeding Ella, isn’t she about to turn one.”
Both of my girls were breastfed. Phia for about six months then we switched to formula and Ella was breastfed exclusively for two years. It wasn’t something we planned, it just happened. Of course in the beginning families and friends were proud of me but as Ella turned one people started becoming uneasy around me.
A few called to share their “concerns”. Why are you still breastfeeding? When are you planning on stopping? She’s about to turn 1, don’t you think it’s about time you take a break?” It went on and on, but I didn’t let their words sway me, I was determined to do this on my term. The older my daughter got, the meaner the comments got, especially from family members. They snicker at the idea that I was still breastfeeding, they couldn’t fathom it.
I’m not ashamed of the fact that I breastfed Ella for two years, and I don’t feel sorry that I couldn’t do the same for Phia. If you ask me, why I did it – my answer is simple. I honestly enjoyed our time together – nothing made me happier than those 20 minutes or so we spent together at the end of a long and stressful day. She was my calming factor. I remembered when I finally decided to stop. I told my husband how much I was going to miss it. It kept me sane; it was my Zen so to speak. Truly in breastfeeding I found my bliss, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Mommy wars come in different forms. Breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, hospital birth vs. home birth, home school vs. public school or private school, disposable diapers vs. cloth diapers, co-sleeping vs. sleeping in their bed, the list is endless.
I am not perfect, I am a work in progress, I make mistakes, I am also guilty of passing judgment, but I am constantly working on being a better person. So the next time you feel yourself being judgment, think about the why. You don’t know their circumstances, what you see is merely a glimpse of their life so being presumptuous isn’t the most effective approach.
Here is what you can do today to end the mommy wars –
Strategies to End Mommy Wars
- Respect other people’s choices. Not everyone will do things the way you do it, and it’s completely fine; that doesn’t make your way right or wrong. Her way is what works for her. Every family is different, so are their needs. Resist the urge to criticize. You don’t have to agree with it, but you can respect their decision.
- Empathy not judgement. Working mom, stay-at-home mom, or work-at-home mom. We all have a preconceive notion about one another. Instead of pointing fingers at what mom is doing or isn’t doing. There is no right or wrong way to parent. We are all working hard to create a loving environment for our family. So rather than judge other moms for their decision, try praising them for being a great mom. That’s one thing we can all agree on; it isn’t always easy, but we make it work. Let’s work together to create a positive and nurturing environment for each other. A safe-haven, where we can go to share our fears and triumphs.
I’ve had great success with these two strategies, and I hope you find it useful as well. If you have any other strategies to try, please feel free to share. Let’s end the mommy wars once and for all.
Please share your mommy war story on the Similac Facebook page using the hashtag #EndMommyWars
Also join me in spreading the love by attending The Today Show periscope breakfast panel to #endmommywars with Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Hilary Duff and Haylie Duff on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET.
This is a sponsored post as part of my year-long Sisterhood of Motherhood ambassadorship with Similac. The Sisterhood of Motherhood initiative is about celebrating being a parent in a positive way with no judgement.