Lately, there has been a lot of gab on the blogsphere, on social media and on just about every “mommy-friendly” site I visit talking either about attachment parenting or how attachment parenting is harmful and antifeminist in nature. Everyone has an opinion, two cents and is outspoken about on her feelings when it comes to this particular topic. However, if you ask me, all this gab has done little more than contribute to another installment of the mommy wars. Still, while reading and absorbing all of the opinions, weigh ins and fodder about being ‘Mom’, I got to thinking: are we maybe just a little too wrapped up in the safe swaddling cloth of ‘mommyhood’?
From Cradle to Commencement
Just a few days ago, my two eldest sprogs walked across the stage adorned in caps and gowns and received their high school diplomas. And while I know this sounds cliche, it feels as though they were just three-years-old yesterday. But I digress. You see, I remember, seventeen years ago, being myself comfortably wrapped up in the swaddling clothes of ‘momdom’; determined to make “better” decisions than my parents, worrying about breast versus bottle feeding, staying home versus working and cloth diapers versus plastic … the litany of lists that existed in my mind goes on and on. But, at the end of the day, did any of that make a difference?
Worrying, Purifying and Fretting…
As I ponder back across the years, it wasn’t the store bought decked out birthday cakes that meant the most to them, it was the cakes I baked (and subsequently screwed up). The most pivotal moments I forged in my own ‘momdom’ weren’t the hours I agonized over removing stains using earth friendly, dye free cleaners. It didn’t matter how much (or how little) I breastfed, how often I cleaned up little bottoms or how much time I spent making sure that my kids were listening to the “right” music, getting the “perfect” experience at home or making sure that I “wasn’t screwing them up.” At the end of the day, none of that mattered at all. It’s all about the post-toddler little things. Trust me on this one.
Take it from Someone Who Knows
In having successfully raised two well-adjusted, college bound bright and shining kids, I have to say that bad and good that have added up over the years and that not all mistakes were avoidable. Still, for all of my triumphs and failures in parenting, I can pointedly say that not a single one is traced back to breast versus bottle, and none of it has one iota to do with “mommy wars”. From someone who has been there and done that, trust me, you’re all wrong, and you’ll all figure it out as your kids get older.
Woman First, Mom Second
As my two oldest kids go off to college to establish their own lives, make their own mistakes and find their limits, I admit, I am incredibly grateful that I didn’t buy into the mommy madness. I quit listening to the guilt brigade and forged myself as a woman first, mommy second.
I didn’t stay at home throughout my children’s school career. I worked, I forged ahead, I made my own identity first, and I’m glad I have something to fall back on, because I had no idea the curve balls that life would throw me. Because, had I remained swaddled in the mommy blanket, I would have found that once it’s all over, after the caps are thrown, the gowns come off, and the clock strikes midnight, all that I would have left is me and an empty house.
I’m thankful that I didn’t get too caught up in being a mom. I’m thankful that I nurtured myself being a woman first, and a mom second, because now that it’s all in my rearview, being a woman first and then a mom, made me into one of the best moms my kids have ever met. I know this, because they told me so.
What’s your take on the mommy wars?
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