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The Mommy Wars

Formula or Breastmilk? Rear-facing until five? No TV? The options these days are endless, not to mention the questions. When I became pregnant with my daughter, right after being congratulated the first question most people asked was ‘epidural or all natural?’ I remember being completely flabbergasted at that question, and surprised how many people that were only acquaintances would actually ask me that. What business is it of the mailman’s or taxi driver if I was getting an epidural or not? One man actually told me that after his wife chose to go natural ‘she was out mowing the lawn the very next day’. He was so proud. I smiled and told him how delightful, meanwhile thinking if my husband tried to get me to mow the lawn the day after giving birth he’d better wear a cup. And if I’m crazy enough to attempt that on my own, well then just go ahead and commit me, I’ve lost the battle.

After giving birth, it didn’t take long to realize that a lot of mommies start turning on each other, mostly with pointed question/statement combos. “Oh, are you working?” I prefer raising my own child. I don’t know if it comes from the lack of sleep, baby blues, or all those hormones just getting the best of us but it seems so many already have an idea in mind of how it should be—how it must be. Lucinda thinks breast feeding is the only way to go. Clarissa thinks any TV at all before age five should be considered child abuse. Then the whispers start—Miranda gives her toddler juice—without watering it down. Jennifer lets her kiddo have candy every now and then. Oh the horror!

When are we going to have enough? I hate to get all puppies and rainbows on you, but doesn’t it get tiring? All the needling and martyring and ‘anything you can do I have already done better’. Why not choose to support each other instead? I mean, we never hear of Daddy Wars, do we? Why are we so hard on each other? And moreover, have we set a standard so high for ourselves that the only way to make us feel better about not reaching it is to point out how everyone else doesn’t measure up?

Erma Bombeck once said, “It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.” It might be a slow process, but here’s to hoping we all grow a little closer this year.

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