I had an interesting conversation with someone yesterday that I really respect and it got me thinking. All the hoop-la around that recent Time magazine cover, debates about breastfeeding moms vs. non breastfeeding moms and debate about whether “crying it out (CIO)” is good or bad makes me want us to all say a collective “WHO CARES?”
Before we had all these labels (attachment parenting, simplicity parenting etc) people just parented how they saw best for their families. If their motherly instincts told them to have their child sleep in their bed, they did that. If their gut told them it was OK to start solids at 4 months, they did that. They didn’t agonize over every parenting decision. They weren’t full of anxiety about whether they were making the right choice or not. They just parented. They trusted their instincts.
I admit, I have a lot of anxiety about parenting. I have even found lately that I’ve gone against my gut on some things that now I’m changing my tune on. The media, and our society, make moms feel so much pressure to parent the “right” way. Maybe the only “right” way is how we truly want to be mothers – what our souls tell us is right for our families. Personally, I’m adopting this mentality right now. It’s going to take work to remind myself to trust my instincts, to not compare my parenting to others but I have to believe that letting go of societies expectations and pressures will help me be an even better parent (and it certainly will help reduce my mothering-related anxiety).
As moms, we should be united. We should support each other without judgement. Just because something works for my family, doesn’t mean it’s right for someone elses, and vice versa. If we can all work on letting go of these parenting labels, maybe we’d all be a little happier and less nervous about whether we’re making the right choices. Because in the end our personal choices ARE the right choices. Right?