Here at Red Stick Mom, we offer dozens of ideas from diverse perspectives in our mom hacks, tips and tricks category. From taking road trips from Baton Rouge to meatless meals to natural cold remedies, we’ve written about it. We are here to help everyone as we navigate through this wild ride through motherhood.
When it come to battling the mommy wars.
About a year ago, I woke up to a beautiful fall morning and toted my kids to our favorite Baton Rouge outdoor play area, Leeward Park. While snuggling my then five-month-old Ben, another mommy of a young baby approached me. We began with small talk, but eventually our conversation moved to our birth stories. She told me with much enthusiasm that she supported natural birth and labored med-free with both of her babies. I told her my stories; that my first was a scheduled induction that ended in a C-section after nine hours of labor and that my second was a scheduled C-section. We both told our stories fondly, reminiscing on some of our favorite moments in our lives.
However, when I finished telling my birth stories, I was very quickly barraged with some very uncomfortable questions and statements: “Did you really believe your doctor when she said you needed a C-section?” “Surely you didn’t desire to have an induction or C-section, right?” “You really should fight next time for a better delivery.” “You know you have a voice, right?”
Now, here me out. I BELIEVE she was coming from a good place. She desperately desired for me to have as incredible of a birth experience as she had. But the problem was one simple fact: I adored my birth experiences. Even though I had hoped that my labor would have ended in a vaginal delivery, I was happy with how things turned out. After that conversation, however, I wondered if there was something wrong with the way that my children were brought into this world. For a few hours, I wondered if I was a worse mother because of the fact that I didn’t desire or advocate for a natural, medicine-free labor and delivery.
Ladies, the mommy wars are fierce!!! Some of you (lucky ones) may not be really aware of what the mommy wars are. To put it simply, it’s the practice of making others feel inferior for their decisions in light of the decisions that you have made. Part of why moms do it is to defend what they do. It’s easy, after all, to feel threatened by other people’s choices, especially if those choices are in complete contrast with the decisions you have made. Another reason is to attempt to “bring you to their side.” With good intentions, these moms hope that by educating you more, you will see their way and eventually make the “correct” choices for your children. Whatever the reason may be, the truth is that, no matter how you look at it, it is rooted in judgment.
- natural vs. medicated labor and delivery
- breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding
- working or staying home
- public school or private school (or homeschooling)
The list can go on and on, but these specific issues have generated a great deal of controversy among mothers.
Here’s the thing, ladies. Motherhood is HARD. We all love our sweet babies so much and desire the absolute best for them. We come to the decisions we come to after prayer, conversations with our husbands, internal anguish, etc. We make our decisions hoping we will be the best possible mothers to our young children while fearing that we will be far from that. Then, after we have made our decisions, things happen that make us have to choose otherwise. Our labors don’t progress. The baby won’t latch. Formula is too expensive. We can’t afford to stay home. We miss work. It goes on and on. We all deserve to cut ourselves and each other a little slack. There is no need to have the battling mommy wars when we already have a lot to battle with daily.
So, how can we remain passionate about our decisions while offering support to other moms with differing views? I’d love to hear your thoughts.