Monday, August 5, 2013

The Treaty of The Nursery

Today, I would like to invite you to sign The Treaty of The Nursery with me. There's a war being waged in our homes, on our computers, in our malls, and at our parks. It has infiltrated our schools, our churches, and our book clubs, and it is high time we put a stop to it.

Today, I invite you to put down the boxing gloves, raise the white flag, and end the Mommy Wars.

Image courtesy of Ambro/

Everyone seems to have said something about the Mommy Wars, but it seems like no one offers an explanation. Let me take a second to offer what I think the root of the problem really is: insecurity. Before you even pee on a stick, a new mom is bombarded with "experts" giving their advice on the best way to raise a child. Heaven forbid you disagree and you're slammed with all sorts of labels from "uneducated" all the way to "cruel" and "abusive". This is where it all starts. This is where the Mommy Wars seed is planted.

Here you are a new mom, filled with hormones and fears, and you have people telling you that you're a bad mom for the choices you've made, simply because you disagree with them. Now, you doubt yourself. Maybe I shouldn't breastfeed in public... Maybe formula really is toxic... Maybe we shouldn't have had him circumcised .. Maybe the vaccines really are a bad idea... I should babywear more... I need to buy all organic diapers and get rid of these ones... I shouldn't go back to work... I need to work more...

It's a crazy spiral of self-doubt and it starts with the first dirty look from a stranger or a friend telling you that they would "never do that to their children" and it's all downhill from there.

But wait! How does that lead to the Mommy Wars? It's simple. Poor, defeated, hormone-and-fear-filled, sleep-deprived momma has to find some way to justify her actions so that she can keep going. So she jumps on the internet or goes to the library and does all sorts of reading. Now she's armed with the 'facts' about how her way is right and everyone else is so very wrong. Now, she gets to go an educate the next mom about how she's doing things wrong.

Here is the crux of the Mommy Wars: One hormone-and-fear-filled momma who is broken down and beat up starts to beat up on the next sleep-deprived momma so that Momma #1 feels a little bit better about her choices. Momma #2 now goes through the same spiral and takes the place of Momma #1 the next time around.

We have created a mom-culture that is built upon tearing each other down so that we can feel a little bit more confident that we know what we're doing and it's time we stop this nonsense.

No woman on this planet really knows what she's doing when it comes to raising her children. We are all just making our best guess and trying to make it through the day. No one on Earth can tell you how to raise your children, because they just guessed their way through it themselves. Whether you're on your first baby or your fiftieth, there's always something new to learn, some new way to do things, and here's the real secret: It's okay.

It's okay to raise your children differently than Mrs. Jones raises hers. In fact, you should do things differently. You are the perfect mother for your children, just because you are their mother! You will make mistakes. You will screw up. You will have moments when you just want to cry and moments when you feel like you are the World's Best Mom. But in the end, you are just what your family needs.

So here is The Treaty of The Nursery: 

I promise that I will be the best mom I can to my children. I promise that I will be there for you and help you and support you so that you can be the best mom you can as well. I don't promise to agree with you, but I promise that I will still love and support you as a fellow mom even if you do things very differently than I do. I promise to cheer you on when it's been a rough day. I promise to let you cry and eat all of my ice cream when you get overwhelmed. I also promise to laugh with you at the silly things your toddler says. I will watch with bated breath as you show me video of their first steps and will sit in the parking lot with you and cry as they go off to Kindergarten.

We are Moms and we deserve the love and support of our sisters as we journey on this most excellent adventure together. Will you join me in pursuit of peace and leave the Mommy Wars behind you?

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