I already had this topic on mind to perhaps blog about, but after reading this article I decided to definitely post this.
I am really blessed to have a group of mommy friends that are non-judgmental and overall they don't try to bully other moms in the group into "their" way of doing things. Many women, are not so blessed and I actually started thinking about it when I left a get together with some mommy pals and started thinking about how different we all are, but yet we don't judge each other about our decisions as mothers. We have women who have birthed naturally, at home, in a hospital, with interventions/medication, breastfeed, formula-feed, are vegetarian, cloth diaper and pretty much anything else you can think of. I love how diverse we all are and the dynamic our relationships have.
Then I started thinking about when I got pregnant with Leonard and joined a new mom message board online because I worked FT and just didn't have many mommy friends. WOW. I ended up leaving the board one week later because I was just outraged by how critical and just downright MEAN some of these women were to other women. It's one thing to offer advice, but to tear a woman apart for what she does regarding her own child just seemed so foreign to me. Like who really cares? It was like the movie "Mean Girls" but with moms.
I was only able to breastfeed my son for a few months before I went back to work and pumping just didn't work out. I admit there was some shame in having to formula feed him, but I honestly believed it was MY decision and no one else's, so why would anyone else care? With my daughter I was a new SAHM with a 15 month old and when she fussed at the breast I opted to go the route of sanity and just formula feed her. My children have not developed a 4th head or anything so I am assuming they are fine.
I have been pretty open with most of my friends about my Post Partum Depression after my daughter was born. I feel like the more open we can be with our mommy friends, the better support system we can be to one another.
I had my kids in a hospital, I had an epidural and I enjoyed every minute of it. Both my children's births were peaceful and joyful occasions and I wouldn't change a thing. So why do some women feel its their obligation to make others feel shame for what is ultimately YOUR OWN decision? I don't care what anyone says, no one can convince me that my birthing plan wasn't the right plan for me, regardless of your statistics or ideas. Because they are yours, not mine.
I guess from some people's perspective I haven't done everything right, but I have amazing kids that love me and I am healthy and sane. And opinions are like bums ya know, everyone has one :)
I guess I am saying all this to say that it is so sad that we as modern mothers feel the need to tear each other down instead of supporting each other in our decisions and creating strong bonds of friendship so we don't feel alone in this journey. Can you think of someone that you may have hurt or alienated because you went to far in sharing your opinions? I pray I haven't. I would hate to be the one to make another mother feel like she isn't good enough. If you look at it that way, you are less likely to spout off in an inappropriate way.
I think we all have something to offer. We all have different and sometime similar experiences and I love to learn from all my friend's experiences and hear what they have to say. Let's just all remember to keep conversations positive, uplifting and judgment free. Remembering to LISTEN when we need to and speak kind words when needed as well.
I hope I am a good mommy friend (please let me know if I am not!)