Parents…you know the battle I’m speaking of. I’m saddened for how the parenting community, collectively, has acted lately. I guess it’s not new, I just see it more and more. This “fight” is so popular that is actually has a name. It’s often referred to as the Mommy Wars but I believe it extends far beyond mommas. To believe that the moms are the only ones taking part in this battle is rather naive, if you ask me.
As a new mom I’ll be the first to tell you the “momma bear” instinct is scary. It’s overwhelming. My child relies on myself and her dad TO SURVIVE. That’s a whole lot of responsibility, folks. You know having a kid is going to be hard work, to actually sustain a little healthy life. But to actually live it is…well…hard. And amazing. To look at that precious face and know that not only did you bring it into the world but that you are taking care of it the best you can is breathtaking. I can just sit and watch my daughter in amazement. I often think about how lucky I am that she’s ours, forever, and what a blessing we’ve been given. I didn’t always think that (thanks, PPD…) but that’s a whole other story. Having a child is a gift to be treasured.
Why, then, are so many parents tearing down each others gifts?! Newsflash: we aren’t all the same person. Crazy, right?! How boring would that be? The effect of that is we won’t all parent the same way. Just because we choose to do something different than another mom (or dad, or grandparent) doesn’t make their gift of parenthood any less special. What I’m seeing is a public bashing, ridiculous name calling, Holier than Thou attitude and it’s frustrating.
In light of the measles outbreaks popping up in different states, this battle has reared a whole new, ugly head. After reflecting on it for quite some time, one thought seems to keep coming to mind. Are the parents who are finger pointing at the anti-vaxers, bashing and name calling setting a good example for their children? Maybe that’s the teacher in me talking, always wanting to be a good role model. (For what it’s worth: do I agree with those who choose not to vaccinate? No, not at all. This is *not* pro anti-vax.) I truly believe that vaccinating my child is the best thing I can do to protect her, my gift. Here’e the thing, though…parents who aren’t vaccinating their children aren’t trying to harm them. They love them. They’re trying to protect their children, their gift, as well. They’re just going about it a different way. I don’t agree with it, but I’m not going to go out name calling and acting like a child myself about the whole ordeal. Is it scary? Absolutely. My daughter can’t get her MMR shot until she’s a year old. Is it unfair? Yes. There are kids who can’t receive their shots, for a multitude of reasons.
Deep down, I just want my daughter to have a positive role model. I want all children to have a role model in their parents. These “mommy wars,” these battles that are being fought are blind to the idea that children are watching. And children pick up on things without you ever realizing they do. Clever little humans, they are! It’s not ok as a parent to model selfish, aggressive behavior. I taught for 4 years before staying home with Caitlin and I’ve unfortunately seen many products of that type of parenting. With this being such a hot topic, I understand there will be plenty who don’t agree with me, but I’m just trying to look a little deeper than “Well that dumbass mom doesn’t care about her kid.” Well, actually, I bet “that” mom really loves her kid. So…be the parent who uplifts. Who teaches (some people truly are just ignorant and don’t know any better!). Who can agree to disagree and keep your aggressive, verbal commentary for behind closed doors with a spouse or a friend instead of directed at someone who’s on their own journey. I know those conversations happen and that’s ok. Be mindful of how you treat others. Be a positive role model to your children to teach them love and acceptance. In the end, we all love our children dearly and we’re all just trying to figure this thing out.