Last May, I wrote about the “Are You Mom Enough?” TIME cover and how I felt that we moms need to give each other a break. Well, this weekend yet another tempest was created in the proverbial teapot. A celebrity mentioned that they put their marriage before their child and so many felt compelled to air their unsolicited opinions on the subject. And while it is easy to blame the media for this swirl of judgment, it seems the biggest culprits were bloggers — Mommy bloggers.
So I am not here writing about whether I put my hubby or my children first (to tell the truth, some days they are indistinguishable!). I am writing about how quick we are to validate ourselves by either cheering on others who choose to be like us or harshly criticizing those who make different choices.
I come from a mixed political family and I have learned a valuable lesson. Whether it is politics, religion, or any other closely held opinion, it usually comes from experience and a sincere processing of one’s life. So much defines who and what we are — Who were our parents? Where did we grow up? How did we grow up? These create the glass through which we see the world. And they define how we mother.
Being a mother requires a myriad of decisions. (Yes, I know that fathers face many of these decisions but there is rarely the level of judgment for them as there is for mothers.) We like to break them down to simplistic yes and no answers. We’ve heard them all. Do I breastfeed or bottle feed? Do I stay-at-home or return to work? Organic vs. Processed? Home-school vs. Public School? Etc., So On and So Forth…
But being a mother is not easy and cannot be melted down to simple “yes”es and “no”s. Motherhood is a maze of constant decision-making wherein we are all trying to do the best we can for our individual families in that individual moment. And in my mind, it is none of my business! Aside from abuse, I do not believe that I have the right to comment on those choices.
So as a blogger, sometime Mommy blogger, I am making a pledge. I am going to live and write with the following things in mind.
- If I have not walked a mile in your shoes, I cannot say that I know what is best for you or your children.
- I will worry about the log in my own eye before I look for the specks in yours.
- Simply put — I will live by “Judge not lest you be judged” as I do not wish to be judged.
I can’t be the only one who feels this way. If you share my thoughts, join me. Let’s collectively say that we are not going to join in the Mommy Wars. We are not going to dishonor each other by speaking hurtful and judgmental words about other mothers whether we know them or not.
I feel so strongly, I created a button. I hope you will grab it and share. Let’s make a movement. Let’s commit ourselves to support each other; to support any parent who is loving and rearing their child in a safe home, however they choose to do that.
That’s my pledge. Will you join me?