Motherhood can feel lonely at times. Starting in pregnancy, we may be faced with many choices and some may be different than other mamas-to- be in our social circles. Once baby is born and we are thrust full force into the first year of motherhood and many mothers discover just how competitive and isolating motherhood can be.
Things like breastfeeding, sleep arrangements, diaper choices…they all have the potential to divide moms. Well, they DO divide moms… And how terrible is that? Let’s face it, motherhood is amazing, giving birth, holding a newborn, the first smiles and coos, the milestones, these are unparalleled events in life…but it’s also life changing, mind boggling and often, very often exhausting…so WHY can’t moms just support each other?
Sometimes we live far away from family, or parenting choices create a rift among previously BFF’s and then we sit there, ALL ALONE…well, with a cuddly sweet baby that happens to poop, feed, sleep, cry and poop some more. Finding some sort of support system during pregnancy and later in the first year of motherhood and beyond can be invaluable.
Nearly 7 years ago I wasn’t having too much luck breaking into the local click of mama’s, but then I was really lucky to have found a great circle of mamas-to-be in an online forum. That particular forum closed down but we have stayed in touch, moving on from expecting to embracing motherhood.
Our parenting challenges have been diverse from the tragic loss of one of the babies in our circle to the amazing bonding we had over first smiles, first steps, second & third pregnancies, adoptions, difficult surgeries, cancer scares, starting school and, and, and!
Then finally I found another great group of local moms and we too were all very different but we clicked too. The wonderful yet unusual thing about both groups of mama’s is that we are all very different in our parenting/motherhood… Some of us have had c-sections, inductions, hospital deliveries, VBACs or adopted. Some of us have breastfeed into toddlerhood, formula fed, tried breastfeeding and switched to formula or pumped or supplemented. Some of us did cloth diapers, some did disposables…Some of us had easy sleepers, others had difficult, long, never ending colicky nights. Some of us used carriers and wraps, others used strollers…some of us did some sort of attachment parenting…the differences go on and on…
And yet…none of that stuff divided us because we care about each other and try to support each other in the real sense of support – we listen to each other, take on the venting, share the frustrations and embrace the celebrations. Our groups are not about being better, perfect, knowing it all or having to do things a certain way. In the true sense of community, we have embraced our differences and above and beyond our parenting choices we simply support each other, share information with open minds and make our own choices… knowing that there is one thing that we all certainly do the same, we all love for our children!
So what do you think…is moving beyond the mommy wars possible?
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