More than a sisterhood. More than a support system or shared connection. We share joys, sorrows, and frustrations with few words needed.
Almost two years ago, I remember finding myself completely stunned by the sisterhood we share as mothers. During our cross-country move from Colorado to DC, we stopped at a rest stop and on my way in, a woman took one look at 6 month old Little Man and went out of her way to hold the door for me. We chatted briefly about our babies and I realized this shared connection caused something awesome to happen.
I was brand new to motherhood at the time. I wouldn’t call myself a veteran now or anything, but here I sit two years and another baby later, just as amazed by motherhood and the relationships it’s bread. The strength, love, and empathy along with the anger and judgement. It’s all amazing.
Obviously, I prefer when I see women uniting as mothers to fighting over different opinions, but I do find both amazing. It’s the passion mothers have for their children and how that affects the rest of their lives that touches me.
I mean, think about how easily mothers find themselves offended by the choices of others. Take the extended breastfeeding and working mom vs stay-at-home mom battles (the prior fueled by the recent Time cover) for instance.
When it happens to us, we think, “Why do you care? My choice had nothing to do with you.”. But, if you’re honest with yourself, I think you’ll realize that you do it, too. At least I do. Completely inadvertently, but I do it.
I may not voice my disapproval or anger over another’s choice, but the thoughts are there. I do it because caring for my children ranks higher on my priority list than ANYTHING. The idea of someone doing it differently threatens me because that means ::gasp:: I might have screwed up!
Wait, no. I don’t ever make bad decisions… ha!
Two things I think we, as mothers, often fail to realize are: 1) we’re all parents to very different children with unique needs, 2) a little bit of passion is a good thing, and 3) we’re all human! Our different perspectives force us to keep growing and learning as parents and people.
Amber from A Day Without Sushi, a blog friend and someone I really admire, recently wrote this post about expanding beyond what’s comfortable. She was making the point mostly about writing, but also life: if we never expose ourselves to people with different perspectives, we’re missing out. It’s so easy to stick to the people who build us up and make us feel like superstars, but living with blinders on won’t get us very far.
So the next time I find another parent’s opinions or decisions getting under my skin, I’ll do my best to take a step back and really consider his/her perspective. Maybe I’ll learn something. Even if I don’t, I won’t lose anything and the best thing we can do as mothers is build each other up.
We won’t always agree or get along and that’s ok, but let’s put our beautiful connection first. After all, making the best decision we can, out of love, with the information we have matters more than perfection. Plus, IMHO, we all can use as much help as we can get.