We’ve talked before about how we want to be there for it all, like many moms do. We want to be there for our babies when they take their first steps, say their first words – but we also want to be there for our partners, for our friends, for our employers. It’s tough.
But now let’s talk about being there for each other; for our other moms. Particularly, for the moms who don’t mother the same way you do:
- The mom who breastfed until her baby was three, but you stopped nursing each of your babies at 12 months.
- The mom who works a 45+ hour work-week, when you stay home with your little ones
- The mom who didn’t vaccinate, but you are fiercely pro-vaccine on the CDC-recommended schedule
- The mom who co-sleeps, while your children all slept in their cribs from the first night home from the hospital
Being moms ties us all together. Our love for our children is the same as theirs even if our approaches are different. We all will inherently question our decisions about how we parent, and we probably will be judged for those choices – but we shouldn’t be judged by other mothers who are trying to achieve the same outcome: raising decent, healthy, respectful children.
It’s easy for us to slowly judge moms who don’t do things the way we do. I’m sure we’ve all heard, “When Emma was born, I did XYZ and it was awesome.” Unsolicited advice from an unwelcome pair of judgey eyes can make you feel like a bad mom.
Let’s set good examples for our children and show them how decent and respectful we can be with each other.
- Don’t criticize the mom who goes back to work after four weeks’ maternity leave. We don’t know her situation at work or at home – maybe this is exactly what she’s wanted to do and it works for her. She’s a mom and she deserves our support. Tell her she’s a good mom.
- Don’t pity the mom who quits her job to stay home with her growing family. We don’t know her dreams and her plans – maybe this is her dream and she’s making it work. She’s a mom and she deserves our support. Tell her she’s a good mom.
- Don’t criticize the mom who feeds her kids all organic food and refuses to let them hit the drive-through. We don’t know her ideas about nutrition – maybe this is a huge priority for her and she wants the same for her babies. She’s a mom and she deserves our support. Tell her she’s a good mom.
- Don’t be harsh to the mom who is not breastfeeding. We all know that nursing is a lot harder to do than it first appears – but this is not our business. She’s a mom and she deserves our support. Tell her she’s a good mom.
A simple way to support all moms is to start with kind and gentle words. Offer encouragement and reassurance and keep your words positive. Imagine other moms speaking to you with words of encouragement and praise – Telling you, “You’re a good mom.” Wouldn’t that feel wonderful?
PS You're a good mom!