I remember all too well the first time I went to “battle” with another mom.
It was in my postpartum suite, less than twelve hours after laboring for more than eighteen hours with our first child. I was a new mom, already sleep deprived and scared to death of being sent home. I had spent the first six hours of my precious newborn’s life trying to coax her to latch onto me and just eat, for Pete’s sake!
She refused. I pleaded. We both cried.
The lactation consultant was called in to help. And I will never forget that conversation.
She introduced herself then proceeded to give me her credentials. Not only had she had extensive training in breast feeding and all things boobies, but she, herself, had also birthed and breast fed six children until they were the age of two. Nothing was more important than my baby’s nutrition and nothing should come between my supply and her hunger. Not even a newborn who clearly didn’t understand that my expanding breasts were the relief for both our pains.
The consultant’s message was loud and clear….Breast is best!
I listened to her politely then explained that I had tried but didn’t want our first hours together to be strained and stressful so I was going to go ahead and begin bottle feeding now. I had planned on switching to formula and bottles in eight weeks when I would return to work anyways.
She looked at me stunned, then softly asked, “But don’t you want what’s best for your baby, dear?”
I felt like she just sucker punched me in my engorged, leaky chest.
Of course I wanted what was best for my baby! How could she doubt that!
With tears welling in my eyes, I told her that I needed to rest and then promised her I’d call when I was ready to try again. She left and I cried myself to sleep.
I lost the battle that day.
And since then, sadly, I’ve been pulled into countless mommy battles over everything from breast verses formula, organic verses non-organic, cry it out verses soothing, crib verses co-sleeping, spanking verses not spanking, helicopter verses let it go, and so on and so on, and blah, blah, blah……
It’s time to put away the mama bear claws!
It’s time to call a truce, ladies!!
Because guess what, YOU are what is best for your child!
Not the latest trend. Not your friend who has researched every parenting topic under God’s beautiful sun. Not some sleep method found in a book written by some doctor slash psychologist who doesn’t know your complicated offspring. Not even the breast feeding expert at the maternity ward.
You know their cries. You know their quirks. You know their strengths and weaknesses. And you will ALWAYS make the decisions you know will better their health, life, and being.
So you want to breast feed? You go girl!
Bottles or bust? Great!
Only cloth diapers will ever touch your precious baby’s rear? More power to you and your washing machine.
Love seeing how many disposable diapers will fit in a diaper genie? I will fist bump you as I throw my own box into the cart in the baby aisle.
Co-sleep? Cry it out? Whatever! Let’s just give a shout of praise that they sleep at all, amen!
Organic only? Don’t care as long as they eat something? I will call you both sister and share a big glass of wine with you.
And my homeschool kids will always be down for a playdate with any public school posse, especially if it involves sun, slides, and swings.
We don’t need to compare any more, friends! Let’s celebrate our differences and toast making it through another day without having to call the fire department or ambulance.
So what do you say, mamas? Can we do this? Can we put an end to the mommy wars, once and for all?
I think we can. No, I know we can. We have to.
Because it’s about time we all just got along and supported each other….. heaven knows we need it!