Hey there, over sharer. Plasterer of articles demonstrating your child rearing opinions.
There’s a mama at the other end of your judgmental Facebook post.
Trust me, I’ve been there. When our daughter was a baby, I read every baby book out there, and we decided to try the Ferber method. Before we began, I had actually crafted the Facebook post in my head. Our kid sleeps through the night! This is the only method that works!
And it did work, and I did post my opinions about sleep training all over the Internet. But it only worked for a couple of days, and she was back to waking up in the middle of the night. She is four and a half, and she still wakes up in the middle of the night. Every night. It was Facebook karma at its finest.
I’ve since been on the receiving end of such “my way or the highway” Facebook posts, and it doesn’t feel too great when you feel like you’re the one alone on the highway. Things like:
Natural childbirth is the only way to go and you are a superhero if you did it! (I had an induced, very painful labor and screamed at the doc to get an epidural like I was in a romantic comedy.)
Screen time will destroy your child! (I am a WFH mom, and y’all can come over and babysit if you don’t want me to use a screen when snow days and conference calls coincide.)
Co-sleeping means you love your kid a whole lot! (I also love my sleep although our child does find her way into our bed in the middle of the night because she’s a ninja.)
You gave your kid that thing to eat? You’re ruining them! (I believe in whole foods, vegetables, clean eating, etc. But when my kid has two birthday parties in one day, I let her eat cake. All the cake.)
I’ve also seen other moms post very defiant opinions on breastfeeding, homeschooling, working moms, stay-at-home moms, bedtimes, having a certain number of children, making your own baby food, religious choices and discipline.
But guess what? The thing we all have in common is: WE ARE ALL MOMS. And the thing our children have in common is: THEY ARE ALL DIFFERENT. As are our birth plans and our bodies and the stuff life throws at us. There is no one way to parent and somebody’s else’s way is not wrong.
So, please, lovely mamas: think before you post. There’s a mom out there on the receiving end who might be struggling to do her best just like you are. Let’s join (virtual) hands and embrace our sometimes perfect, sometimes crazy, always-our-own-ways of parenting.
Momming should be a no judgment zone. With a little empathy, we can get there.