It took me a long time to understand the power that women have when we are together. It saddens me to say that when I was younger, it was usually girls who were the bullies and impacted how I felt about befriending other women.
As an adult, I was lucky enough to make some amazing connections with other women. What I found is that when I am around these women, I feel powerful, I feel smarter, and I feel like I can handle whatever life throws at me. These women are encouraging, supportive and they tell me the truth. These are the characteristics that I think we need to share with other Moms.
I say this a lot, but being a Mom is hard. It’s awesome, yes, but hard. No matter how much encouragement we get from our family, we still look to other Moms to see how we’re doing. Right or wrong, we make comparisons.
If we took a few minutes to encourage that Mom who is standing over the toddler throwing a tantrum on the floor of Target (me), that would mean so much. Receiving encouragement from a Mom who has been there and knows what you’re going through can be the difference between feeling defeated and feeling like we are sisters in battle (Katniss salute goes here) and part of the same tribe.
I mostly love social media. I love that I can stay connected with folks I don’t see all the time. Looking at photos of babies, food, and cats (not so much the politics). I’m lucky to have made some amazing friends through the inter-web (like those two babes on either side of me in the picture above).
My youngest is my first kid to be born in the world of social media. I don’t get super-personal, but I do acknowledge the not-so-good days that happen. I hope that it lets other Moms know that we don’t have to be perfect. Our kids don’t have to be perfect. I’ll take real over perfect any day.
Have you ever looked at the parenting section in a bookstore? There are a gazillion books out there that tell you the “right way” to be a parent. Are they all right or wrong? Who knows. There is more than one way to raise a child. We need to stop shaming other women for doing things differently.
So what if that Mom bottle feeds? So what if that Mom co-sleeps? Who cares? We are all trying to do the best we can, the best way we know how. Just because it worked for you doesn’t mean it’s going to work for me and we all need to accept that.
The goal is the same for all of us: to have a happy and healthy child. There are many ways to get there. It does take a village to raise a child – Moms, we are that village. If we can be supportive to other Moms out there, I bet you’ll see it returned to you one day when you need it the most.