Sep 21, 2010

The Invisible Line of Parenting

On my Infertility Doula blog, I talked about an invisible line that can sometimes divide an otherwise strong and close community of women (and men) who are all trying to make it to the other side of infertility. This led me to wonder whether a similar visible line exists in the parenting community. I guess, I don't so much "wonder" it, as I visibly notice is daily; whether it's at the playground, parenting blogs and parenting literature.

Like the infertility community, we all have so much in common. Whatever it took to become a parent (au natural, via IF treatments, adoptions, etc.), we are doing our best to raise our kids and turn them into productive adults. And yet, how we go about it can vary drastically. Before we even start raising our kids, there's the natural vs. medicated vs. cesarian groups. Once they're born, then it's all about breastfeeding vs. formula (Stirrup Queen has a great post about that). Then there are plastic toys vs. wood toys only. Or attachment parenting vs. independent parenting (I'm not sure if that's the correct terminology). You get my point.

We sub-divide ourselves into groups of moms who only believe that their way is the only way to care for a child. And chose to solely seek out friendships that will not challenge our mindsets. Sort of like political affiliations, I guess.

As for me, there are certain decisions that I made for myself and K. that I felt/feel were right for us. They were decisions that were affected by my past and what I wanted for my future (one day at a time). And now, as I try to assimilate myself into this world of suburban moms, I've come to meet some mothers/parents who each have their own philosophies about parenting and are accepting of our differences. We don't pass judgement on how we've managed to keep our little toddlers alive thus far (and you know that's a hard task) and we share all the initial wisdom we've acquired thus far.

Motherhood is truly a gift (albeit one that requires frequent diaper changes and patience). I'm not suggesting that we sit around a camp fire and sing Kumbaya, and braid each other's hair, but before we roll our eyes at this mom or that mom at the playground (or in the bloggesphere), let's try to remember that we're all (ok, most) on the same team.


Flucky Mom said...

Bio Girl ( sent me the following comment:

Hi! I tried to comment over at Flucky Mom, but for some reason it wouldn't take :( Anyway, I agree about the lines, but I think so often we draw them around ourselves. I know that once I was having a conversation with a girl I went to high school with and I asked if she was working (her son is the same age as mine) and she said she wasn't but jumped into a big explanation, and I just thought now funny...I would feeling the need to explain why I DO work. We each feel judged sometimes, even if we aren't.

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