Let’s be done. For good. Forever. Are you with me? Are you so over the competition? I’m not saying we all have to hold hands and be besties, but can we at least stop the judgment and put away the my-way-beats-yours t-shirts? How about you’re okay, and I’m okay — even though our motherhood looks nothing alike. Can you imagine it?
It looks something like this:
You had a baby in a pool on the living room floor. It hurt. You braved it. You rock.
You had a c-section. You had five c-sections. They hurt. You braved it. You rock.
You nursed. You fed your baby. Hooray!
You used formula. You fed your baby. Hooray!
You had an epidural. Thank God you found a way to help with the pain.
You breathed, bounced on a ball, sniffed essential oils. Thank God you found a way to help with the pain.
You slept with your babies until they were 7, 9 and 11. I can tell how much you love them.
Your babies slept in their own rooms, in cribs with appropriately-spaced slats, swaddled on their backs, with a monitor nearby. I can tell how much you love them.
You work. What an amazing example of a woman pursuing her dream.
You stay at home. What an amazing example of a woman pursuing her dream.
You homeschool. Thanks for being so invested in your child’s education.
You public school. It’s no small feat to wade through all that homework every night. Thanks for being so invested in your child’s education.
You sometimes yell. Me, too. It sucks. You’re still an awesome mom.
You never yell. Can you give lessons? You’re an awesome mom.
You have five kids. Whew! You must be worn out by the end of the day. How do you do it?
You have one kid. Whew! You must be worn out by the end of the day. How do you do it?
What do you think? Can we do this?
Here’s the deal: You’re a mom, and I’m a mom. Not because of whose baby-rearing bible we did or did not follow. Not because of vaccinations, not because of slings or carseats, not because of breasts or bottles. Not because of where or how our children are educated and not because of how many drive-thrus we do or do not frequent. It’s not about where or how they sleep, eat, play or grow. It’s not about where or how we gave birth or whether we even gave birth at all.
Because let’s be real — the moment you first cradle that new life — as amazing as it is — is only the beginning of this journey called motherhood.
We are moms because we give ourselves day after day to this little, or not-so-little, human being. And we do it through laundry and teething and fevers and sleepless nights. And miraculously, when they become teenagers, we keep giving through the moodiness and heartbreaks and the bittersweet letting go. And into their adulthood, we continue still, and honestly the giving never really stops because … well, we are moms.
We are moms because we have opened our hearts to a child. And surely that is worth dropping our weapons.
-by Jai Wallace Tracy