I have been subject to or seen a few different instances of women threatening other women and accusing them of atrocious things the last weeks all in the name of mothering and child rearing. I knew in my heart and through my studies of childbirth and parenting that the accusations had no merit, but it still hurt my heart all the same. In one instance I became reactive and posted an article from the American Academy of Pediatrics to try to show that the women being accused weren’t in the wrong and that every woman’s choices in mothering are different and based on the information she learns firsthand, from relatives and friends, and from reading and research. Two women might come to two different conclusions depending on the information they have and cultural influences on parenting. But, there are certain choices that are strongly backed by research and supported by reliable organizations. Despite this, I’m learning that some people for whatever reason don’t care for why a choice is made or how a choice is made, but only their belief that that choice is wrong.
The fact of the matter is that most of us want the very best for our children and we work hard to do the best we can to provide that for them. Sometimes we will make mistakes, or learn that something we did wasn’t the best. Some of us will feel guilty for awhile and try to make up for it. Others of us will pick up where we left off and take our knew knowing and apply it to our day to day. Really, in nurturing our children, providing them with the best nutrition we are capable of, proper shelter and clothes, doing what we know to provide them with preventative healthcare, and allowing them room to explore and supervision to keep them safe, and with guidance when needed, we are doing our job. We do the best we can.
What saddens me is that when mothers/women disagree they do so in such a way that can often lead to unnecessary hurt, heartache, and harsh words. Why when we encounter choices different from ours can we not share what we know and listen intently to what the other woman/mother knows and conduct ourselves in non-threatening ways. It is too sad that we can’t seem to support one another in life. We could help each other become better mothers, better people, but what we can do is clouded by judgment and arguments. If there was anything to be learned, it is often absorbed into the malicious words we speak to one another and those works do no good. It then makes womanhood/motherhood an almost isolating experience because of mommy wars.
I saw this quote yesterday and it really spoke to me in many ways.
Labor is like mothering: you prepare and do the best you can, but finally, most of it is out of your hands. Birth is a great mystery. Yet, we live in a rational, scientific world that doesn’t allow for mystery.
-Jennifer Louden via Talk Birth
This definitely applies to childbirth, but it applies so much to mothering. We can’t know the adults our children will become until we meet them in the future. We don’t always recognize the impact of our actions and words. But, what we can do and most of us do do is to prepare and do the best we can, and wait to see the mystery unfold. And to think that women who have researched choices in many different aspects could be accused in such ways and it happen under many different circumstances is a harsh reality of motherhood.