This week I have read a couple of articles celebrating different aspects of parenting.
One was about World Breastfeeding Week. Unsurprisingly but rather unnecessarily the comments section was littered with arguments about why 'Jane' is a better a parent because she breastfed (BF) her baby and 'Sue' declaring that she is in fact the more superior parent because she formula fed (FF) and has spent her years of motherhood fending off accusations about her choice to do so. Women who FF throwing their metaphorical faeces at the BF mums as they chant "breast is best". Whilst the other side are pissing all over the FF mums to mark their territory as top dogs of the infant feeding world.
Another article was praising all mothers for the long hours they put into raising their children. Again I read the comments (I really should have learnt my lesson by now) - I instantly felt quite nostalgic for my playground days. A flurry of childish, "I work harder than her because I have an ACTUAL job" followed by, "No I work harder because I don't outsource my childcare and obvs that means I love my children more" was glaring back at me. There was the occasional 'Norma' comment, "I count every hour I spend with my delightful poppets a blessing, my life is nothing without them and I'd never dream of complaining" - zip it Norma; we all spend most of our day tearing our hair out and count our blessings when our precious poppets are sound asleep.
Come on ladies, why does it have to be a competition?
I think these women are looking for some validation, someone to tell them they are doing the right thing for their children. Well let me say it; if you are doing what you feel is best for your children and they are well fed and taken care of then you are doing it right!
Let's all give an applause to the mums who battle to breastfeed. Who bite their lip in pain when their nipples are red raw, who are feeding every 30 minutes whilst their babies are small.
And in the same spirit fist pump the air for the ladies who formula feed, providing their babies with nourishment whilst potentially fighting off guilt for doing it. Fending off the judgemental looks and continuing to do what they feel is best for them and their baby.
To all the stay at home mums out there, you deserve a medal for spending every waking moment of your day caring for your children. Sacrificing any sense of self or adult interaction.
A huge cheer for the working mums. For how you manage to juggle everything, stretching yourself in all parts of your life - you must be exhausted!
My only opinion on the matter (because let's face it, why should you care about a stranger's opinion on how you parent when you're smashing it anyway?) is that respect is the only thing we should be expressing to our fellow mothers.
Respect for their decisions on how to feed.
Respect for their decision to work or to stay at home.
Respect for the endless amount of energy they pour into their little people.
Respect for their endurance through all the crap that comes with being a parent.
Respect for the wonderful human beings they are shaping.
Stop the competition now!