By Joanna McClanahan of Ramblin’ Mama
It’s time to end the Mommy Wars, ladies. We need to start supporting each other more and shaming each other less. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not all entitled to our own opinions and that some opinions are more correct than others.
For the record, I’m a work-from-home mom, which has allowed for me to breastfeed our toddler and kindergartner full time. Willow and Zephyr are always my number one priority. But I realize not all other moms are lucky enough to be able to put their kids’ well-being first. Some parenting choices are outside of our control.
We all know “breast is best” but some moms aren’t able (or willing) to sacrifice the time and effort needed to breastfeed. Or maybe they just haven’t done all the research into the benefits of breast milk. Either way, some moms choose to use formula, even though it’s not ideal. (Please always choose organic formula if you must formula feed.)
Ultimately, “fed is best,” even though studies show nothing is comparable to a breastfeeding bond. But attachment parenting isn’t for everyone and it’s important to respect different parenting choices, as disappointing as they may be.
That being said, I do think it’s necessary to let other parents know when they’re making choices that are potentially harmful to their children. For instance, there was a mom at Mom-and-Tot Yoga last week who gave their child a juice box. I’m sure she meant well, or at least didn’t realize how much artificial sugar she was feeding her child, but it really shook up everyone’s chakras, so I told her how horrible they are for children.
She appreciated my concern. I think her exact words were, “The fuck?” So obviously she wasn’t aware of all the high-fructose corn syrup she was pumping into her child’s body.
First juice, then what? Soda? It really is a gateway drink. Well, maybe it started with the formula, but I digress.
Yes, we need to stop pitting mothers against one another for their personal choices. But we also have a responsibility to speak up for what is right and to speak out against parents potentially harming their children. So I will continue to speak out against things like front-facing car seats, processed foods, and circumcision. (Check out my “Foreskins Forever” blog post for more on my intactivism.)
We should never judge other parents, but we should always strive to enlighten them as to how their parenting methods can be improved, assuming they’re not already like mine.
About the Author
Joanna McClanahan is an Editor at MockMom. She’s also a Contributor at Sammiches & Psych Meds and has been published on Scary Mommy. You can find more from her on RamblinMama.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.