Monday, August 18, 2014

This is not middle school ladies

A few days ago, my friend Kennisha Fisher posted this on a popular local mom's Facebook support page.  I wanted to be able to share it with others and got her permission to repost it as a blog.  I removed a few names and details from the post to make it easier to understand for those that don't know the situation that brought this conversation about.  

This is for all the Mamas that think they have it all figured out - as well as those of us who realize we don't (on our good days).  Let's do ourselves a favor and stop the crazy Mommy Wars.

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Listen. 

I'm about to be extremely honest. 

I need everyone to take a moment and re-evaluate why you are here. 

Ladies, I know that we are all passionate, headstrong, loving women. Or maybe shy, timid, quiet women. Either way, I know that we care about our children beyond what anyone could ever believe or see. As a parent of almost eleven years let me tell you a secret. 

The first year to two years of your child's life is the most roller coaster, inconsistent, challenging, self-doubt ridden, sleep-deprived coma of your life. EV. Er. Y. single thing you do, you question, especially with your first baby. Some people have numerous outlets of support, some people are literally pulling at straws to find anyone to help them on their journey. Some people from both of those groups land here. 

This is not middle school ladies. However one thing about this group is very similar to middle school. Most of the things that cause the most stir WILL NOT MATTER IN THREE YEARS. As soon as you finish one chapter in your child rearing, something else seems like an unattainable achievement. YOU. WILL. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. have doubts. 

My plea is this. Evaluate your reason for being here. Figure out what you bring into this space. Let me give you an example. Real talk.

Yesterday I went with my almost 11 year old to deliver his birthday invitations. He sends them to the same 7 boys every year. Sweet kids. Great parents. They speak to me while at school and seem to be raising amazing young men. Now they are all at different middle schools. So here I am, driving around in a nicer neighborhood than where I live, where they ALL live, and I start getting a little mad. I then realize that I don't think my son has ever been invited to their birthday parties. Here I am wasting my gas, delivering invites to a bunch of people who think they are better than us! I was really starting to get pissed. 

So one of the moms comes out to my car to thank me for thinking of her boy. She says, and I quote: 

"You always have to coolest birthday parties! We are always so impressed with the invitations and ideas you come up with. I hate to even say it out loud, but I feel bad because I NEVER throw my kids a party. I just don't have time. I let them get pizza and invite the neighborhood kids over. Then I think of you with your five boys and wonder how in the world does she do it?"

She went on to say how all of them work five days a week, so do their husbands, and no one really gets a chance to do anything as elaborate as I do. She said she feels bad for just buying him the top three things off his list every year without figuring out what HE might actually want to do. My work from home self-employment status allows me to be here when my babies get home and take days off to plan really cool birthday parties. 

Boom. Shut down. Here I was judging her and she is feeling inadequate in what she does in my sad limelight. It's a vicious circle. It will keep happening. It doesn't end with formula/breast, cloth/disposable, vac/non-vac, circa/non-circ, public/private/homeschool, CIO/co-sleep, spank/timeout, etc.

It NEVER ends. 

So make a decision. Whichever you want to make. Stick to it. Write it on a board if you have to. There is a difference between looking for help and validation. There is a difference between a point and soapbox. There is a huge difference between my kid and your kid. Let's take a moment and respect the hell out of that. 

When you log off from this forum, you should feel filled. Occasionally, you should fill someone up. STOP TEARING AT EACH OTHER. 

Because in three years, your babies won't be babies and they don't need mama's stressed out because some other mama told her how to do her job. 

Either you are in the village, or you can kindly step out. 

Know that I love each and every one of you and will help you in any way that I can. Mincing words is not my strong suit.

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Love me some Kennisha Fisher.  Thanks for saying what needed to be said girl!

Take care all!  I hope you appreciated her thoughts.

~Terra

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