Friday, July 20, 2012

Ending the Mommy Wars

I've blogged before about how painful the Mommy Wars are - no matter what the topic under discussion may be. I don't think that they necessarily arise out of evil motives. Rather, we are all so desperate to do the right thing for our children, and we have so much invested in them, that we feel the need to defend our choices with all we've got. Because obviously, if this is the "right" choice for me in my mothering journey, then it must be the "right" choice, period.

What this leaves out of the equation, however, are all the variables. No two families are alike, no two women the same, no two children the same (even in the same family!). Life changes and circumstances change. Even in the course of parenting one's own children, one may make different choices for each child depending on need.

Erika Higgins has written an article on this topic for CatholicMom: Are You Mom Enough? She recaps some of the more common battles the Mommy Wars are waged over. What I liked best, though, was her conclusion:

Thankfully, my children threw reality back in my arrogant face and forced my attention back where it belonged: on them – not on what other mothers were doing or what other children did/didn’t do. Once I started refocusing, I realized many of the ideas I thought sounded or looked cool in theory or worked well for others, weren’t necessarily meant for me. It wasn’t just a matter of if I could walk in those “clothes”, like Simcha Fischer frankly points out, it’s about whether they fit me, my children, and our family.

Now, pregnant with our fourth, I’ve sorted through my collection of parenting techniques and philosophies; some things are worth keeping for now or later and some need to get tossed out for good or given away for someone else to try. I’m still learning, still trying to stand high on my pedestal and still falling flat on my face over and over again. Each time, I am reminded again that it’s not about whether I am “Mom Enough”, it’s about whether I can love and accept my kids and our family as we are and let that be enough.

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