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(Jessica of Four Plus An Angel made me this graphic, isn’t she lovely?)
Motherhood isn’t choosing a natural birth over a Caesarean section.
Motherhood isn’t opting for pain management options over braving the pain.
Motherhood isn’t choosing to give birth at home or at the hospital.
Motherhood isn’t trying to breastfeed or going straight for formula.
Motherhood isn’t deciding to breastfeeding for one week or one year.
Motherhood isn’t about choosing attachment parenting over Baby Wise parenting.
Motherhood isn’t defined by co-sleeping or straight into the crib.
Motherhood isn’t about choosing to let your baby cry it out or to soothe them each time they whimper.
Motherhood isn’t about opting to start them on solids at 5 months or be a stickler and starting them at 6 months.
Motherhood isn’t about choosing to potty train them at 2 or 3.
Motherhood isn’t about whether it’s right or wrong to keep them home for another year when they’re 2, instead of enrolling them in preschool.
Motherhood isn’t about choosing to stay at home or work full time.
Motherhood isn’t a competition.
Motherhood isn’t a war between women.
What motherhood is this…..
… bringing your baby into this world, safe and sound, no matter how they come, C-section or natural, with or without pain management, in your own home or at the hospital.
… nourishing them with what they need to survive and thrive, whether it be from your breast or a bottle.
… doing what feels right for you and your baby, be it sleeping together on the same bed, in the same room in a crib (them, not you), or in their own room; whether you let them learn to self-soothe or do the soothing.
… continue to nourish them, whether they start solids earlier or as recommended, because you know your child and their needs best.
… learning to take cues from your children on when they’re ready to do something new, be it potty training, trying new foods, or going to preschool.
… loving them, providing for them, being there for them, being an anchor and a safe place for them.
… being their teacher and their guide.
So let us all stop the wars on who’s right and who’s wrong.
Let us stop judging each other, all of us mothers, on how we each raise our children, just because we do things differently (with the extreme exceptions of abuse and so on).
Let us be there for one another.
Let us support each other in our daily mothering decisions.
Let us offer suggestions when asked.
Let us accept those suggestions with an open mind and heart.
Let us cheer each other on, and be happy for one another.
Let us commiserate together when things get hard.
Let us mothers unite.
I wrote this 5 days ago before I heard/ knew about the “Mommy Wars” that Anderson Cooper and his producers seem intent on perpetuating. I’m thinking it’s serendipity – this post needed to be written, and published this week.
What does motherhood mean to you?