Dear New Mom,
Your baby is sleeping longer at night and you’re finding that you have a little bit more energy. Your brain has space to think of more than just surviving the next moment. You’re a great mom so you start researching some of the decisions upcoming for your baby and forming opinions about where your motherhood journey will take you.
There’s lots of decisions to make and they all seem so significant. The list seems overwhelming.
- Cloth diapers or stay in disposables?
- Traditional vaccine schedule, alternative vaccine schedule, no vaccinations?
- Day care, nanny, babysitter, mom stay at home, dad stay at home?
- Cry it out, Pick up and put down, or respond to every need?
- Introduce solids at 4 months or 6?
- Organic food? Grains first? Meat first? Veggies first?
- Spoon Feeding or Baby Led Weaning?
- Allergens before a year or after?
- Spanking, time out, Love and Logic, permissive?
- Traditional parenting, attachment parenting, hands free parenting, helicopter parenting, authoritative parenting, instinctive parenting?
Some times the choice is easy for you to form an opinion and convictions and stay the course. Other times the conflicting information is overwhelming. Sometimes none of the labels fit at all.
Suddenly the parenting landscape seems like a war zone. Mompetition and self-righteousness in our own choices draw the battle lines.
The carnage of insecurity and pride lay all about the battlefield. Those friendships that you have worked so hard to cultivate begin to shatter under the stress.
The thief of joy is comparison.
Let’s just stop comparing. Look at your mom friend across these imaginary divisions of opinion or research and whisper, “You are a great mom. These choices you’re making are significant and right for your family. They may not be right for mine, but diversity means we will be able to help each other when we struggle.”
New mom, when you say those words and then lean in to understand how what they are doing works for their family, you destroy the weapons of comparison. You build the bridge of joyful compassion.
It’s not easy to be the vulnerable one on the battlefield of mompetition, but, honey, stand strong and soft. Be joyfully compassionate and reach out to encourage diversity.
I’m listening to your diverse story and cheering for you, new mom,