Wednesday, August 13, 2014

There Are No Merit Badges For Motherhood

       There are no merit badges for mothering. Really, there aren't. Unless there's some super secret underground Mommy Cult that I don't know about, and if there is, thank God I don't know about it.

       The other day I read the most ridiculous article about a drug free birth (I refuse to call it 'natural childbirth'). I don't think the idea of a drug free birth is ridiculous, indeed to each her own. It was the tone of the article that rankled. Three out of the four reasons the author gave that drug free birth was superior were plausible. Not ironclad reasons or only found in natural childbirth, but possible. Her fourth reason that drug free childbirth was 'awesome' was that it afforded the mom 'bragging rights'. Really? If you're bragging about something, you clearly feel superior to someone. If you feel superior about a drug free birth than you are suggesting that any other kind of birth is inferior. All kinds of things happen in a delivery room and the best laid plans can go to hell in a matter of minutes, trust me, Doug was an emergency c-section. The point is that my doctor and I made the best plan we could based on the situation at hand to get Doug out ALIVE. That is the goal of any birth.  A healthy mother and child. Period. Once Doug was born, I only felt insane relief and gratitude that he was alive. That's it. No regrets. I did not get a 'I Survived An Emergency C-Section' badge.

     Mothers beat up on each other for a variety of other reasons too. You have your breastfeeders who look down on formula feeders (and vice versa). Your stay-at-home moms who look down on those who work. Your cloth diaperers who radiate smugness to those who use disposables. The list can go on and on, wherever there are different parenting paths to take, there will always be tension.

    I'm going to let you in on a little secret here: Moms are making the best choices for themselves and their children that they can. Some mom's can't breastfeed. Some moms need medication. Some moms just plain don't want to. Some moms can't afford to stay at home. Some moms (gasp) love their careers. And I think we can all agree that people who cloth diaper are insane. Just kidding.

   No college is going to ask your kid how they were born. If they were bottle or breast fed. If they had a stay-at-home parent. Why? It doesn't matter by the time they're that age. You've already done a fabulous job of raising the child. So can we please stop tearing each other down for the choices we make?