Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Let's All Cut Ourselves Some Slack

The last few days I've spent some time reading parenting blogs and forums. Each time I do this I am amazed at the tone of the discussions. One mom will be discussing how she decided to homeschool her preschooler or switch her baby to formula. Immediately another mom will agree with her, then the next will lambaste her choice.

I think we can all agree that we each have to make our own choices as moms. I know moms who would have loved to breastfeed, but their job or other factors made that impossible. I can attest to this, as The Girl was on formula from 4 months but The Boy is still nursing. I also know moms who chose not to breastfeed at all or to do it only while on maternity leave. The important thing is that we all made choices and fed our children. Our children survive and thrive on whatever food source we provide.

On one forum a mom wrote about her decision to switch to formula. One response she got was "You're a nurse and you fed your baby formula???"  Seriously! Does the choice to use formula somehow make her a bad parent? Is it even the slightest bit appropriate to imply that she made a terrible choice for her child?  I think not.

On another forum a mom wrote about her choice to pull her son from preschool and homeschool him. He had anxiety and stress about school and the illnesses he brought home were a challenge to their preemie daughter. She made the choice that was best for her family. Some of the responses were supportive, others attacked her for being selfish in her reasoning.

Is this really where we want to be as mothers? Isn't our job as parents hard enough without tearing each other down? Thankfully, there are places (even on the Internet) that we find support. Friends, groups, churches and schools can all provide mothers with a place to come together.  I can attest to the fact that the Internet can be a supportive place.

Let's all make a choice as moms to support each other, to remember how hard this job we have really is, to allow for the free sharing of ideas and stories without fear of attack.  I think we owe it to ourselves and our children.

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