I want to be a cheerleader. No, not the pom pom wielding kind (been there, done that) but the grown-up kind. The kind who encourages, says kind things, and cheers others on. A couple of months ago a conversation left me feeling judged, looked down upon, and deflated. All because I made a different decision for my kids than she did.
I know that the media has made much of the so-called mommy wars- breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding, working moms vs. stay-at-home moms, those who vaccinate vs. those who don’t, and on and on. In some communities it’s more of an issue than others. And online, well, it’s usually a bloodbath where people say things they would never say in real life to someone’s face. I try to surround myself with other moms who are cheerleaders.
Now, these cheerleaders are not “yes (wo)men” who agree with me on whatever I say. We all make a lot of different choices, but what these women do have in common is that they are cheerleaders through and through. They are sensible women who may make a different choice than me or go about things in a different way BUT they can also see that I’m a mom who loves my kids and I’m trying to do what is best for them… which may mean doing something different from what they are doing. And it’s OK.
There’s no need to tear someone else apart just to validate your own choices or make them seem supreme. My choice for my family does not negate your choice for your family. If I choose to do something differently for my family I am not saying that your choice is wrong. I’m simply choosing something that is right for my family’s individual needs.
Every family is different. We are all going to make different choices. Can we discuss things and disagree sometimes? Absolutely. But there’s no need to judge, criticize, or demean. Even when we disagree let’s try to support each other as mothers. Let’s try to encourage each other. Let’s be cheerleaders.