I Don't Care What The Other Moms Do

When I was growing up, I would always protest to my mother about how "such and such's mom let her [fill in the blank.]" And every time, nearly without fail, my mother would reply to me, "I don't care what the other moms do." It never worked as my argument. Never. She always stood resolute in her own path and what she felt was right for her own parenting style.

As a sort of joke, before my husband and I had children, whenever he would compare me with anyone, I would reply with "I don't care what the other moms do." Now that I am in a position of actually being a parent, though, I find it's true on so many levels.

First of all, parenting style. Comparison, in nearly any arena, is a killer of joy. It's just that simple. So if someone says they do "x" and I do "y," I really don't care. I find it interesting, of course. I'm always interested in what other moms do. Maybe I feel that it'll work for me, or it won't. There is always something voyeuristic about knowing how the other half lives, but it's not always going to be for me.

I find that too many moms are worried about what the others are doing. I've heard it reflected in conversation time and again. One of the biggest red flags that someone is worried about your choices say about them surrounds the question of having more children. It's all this wanting to convert me to to their camp of "let's make more babies" that puzzles me. I don't care what you did--I'm sure your children are lovely, but seriously, back off--those choices are yours and yours alone, I hope you're happy in them.

It's this attitude of we must be united otherwise we are divided that leaves me scratching my head. We can be different, and certainly we are. To quote a two year old I saw on You Tube, "Worry about yourself." We shouldn't be concerned over what the other moms, or dads, or families are doing if it doesn't work for us. We've simply got to walk our own paths.

So far in the several months of my child's life, I've discovered that I am a babywearing, cosleeping, breastfeeding, attachment parent who is a big old softy on some things and really strict on others. I don't care as much as I ought to about routine, but family dinner is a mandatory activity. I'm not worried about my daughter being too clingy, or not wanting to be held by others at times. We probably definitely watch too much TV. She's had all her scheduled vaccines. She's never had sugar, but she has had eggs, mushrooms, all sorts of leafy greens, venison, chicken, squash, strawberries, carrots, and potatoes. We've never observed the four day rule with food. And all these things work for me and my family.

Sharing our stories is important. It allows us to relate, or brainstorm or just practice listening. But that doesn't mean you have to conform or even agree with how someone else chooses to live their life. Someday soon my daughter will come bounding in the door wondering why her friend's mom lets her eat junk food and we are a little more strict--or whatever--and I'll have to explain that I don't care what the other mothers do. And she might be angry, or frustrated with me, but the bottom line is, while it's all very interesting (and certainly it takes all kinds) I'm on my path as a parent.

How do you brush off what the other moms do? Is it easy for you, or do you find it a challenge? Share with me in the comments section below! 

2 comments: