Let me tell you about my youngest child, Addison. Addison can be the funniest, sweetest, craziest, most lovable kid in the world. She is also the reason I have had to reevaluate the way I parent. She is the reason I have put my foot in mouth on so many parenting issues that I used to think were clearly black and white. She is the reason I have had to change the way I feel about other moms who parent differently. Let me explain…
My first 4 children were all sleeping through the night by 6 weeks old, they took great naps during the day, they were awesome eaters, potty trainers and moving them from the crib to a “big girl bed” was a piece of cake. It used to drive me crazy when another parent would say, “My 8 month old still wakes up 4 times a night.” or “my daughter won’t take a bottle so I can’t leave her with a babysitter.” These parents were clearly doing something wrong, right?! I mean, if you let a baby go hungry long enough, they will totally take a bottle. And maybe if you’d let him cry for more than a half second, he could learn how to fall asleep and stay asleep all night!
And then I had Addie.
She cried from the minute she was born and she continued to wake me up sometimes hourly for the first 2 months of her life. She is a super picky eater who wanted nothing to do with baby food, and let’s not even talk about how long it has taken us to transition her from her crib to her toddler bed! (We started in June- it’s now almost November! 6 out of 7 nights a week she still refuses to fall asleep anywhere but on our bedroom floor.) Am I failing as a parent?
I can’t even count the number of times I have recalled a conversation with a friend and thought, “Oh, THIS is what she meant!” … and suddenly my previous judgements are completely invalid and totally ridiculous. (Cranky, picky babies are a real thing- it’s not a parenting issue, it’s a child’s personality! Who knew?!?)
The truth is that every child is different so what worked for my first child may not work for my last. Likewise, every parent is different and what works for me may not work for you, and that is ok!!
When it comes down to it, we’re all on the same side. We all have the same goal of raising happy, healthy kids, but the journey is unique to each one of us. Let’s unite and help moms experience motherhood with confidence — and zero judgment. The way it should be.
Similac recently released a short film featuring seven new moms who are just trying to figure things out after the arrival of their babies. These are new moms with different parenting styles who have judged and been judged. The goal of the film is to show that there is more than one right way to raise a baby and that we need to support each other’s decisions. The people are real and the emotions are raw. Take a look- it is 7 minutes and totally worth your time!
Why are we making an already difficult time of life much more stressful by passing judgement? Every mom means well, yet all of us are judged by what someone else thinks is “the better way” to raise our kids. It’s time to put down the fingers and the subtle suggestions. Because no two of us are the same, but we’re all in this together.
I have spent the better part of 2015 as an ambassador of Similac’s Sisterhood of Motherhood- an initiative to empower parents and get the most out of parenthood, where acceptance is the focus, not our differences.
You can do your part to #EndMommyWars by watching the video above and sharing your thoughts on EndMommyWars.com. Then, make a commitment to yourself, to your friends, to your children and to mothers everywhere that you will try harder to support more and judge less.
I invite you to join the hundreds of moms and dads talking about and supporting The Sisterhood of Motherhood by sharing your story on the Similac Facebook page.
For more information on the “Sisterhood of Motherhood” initiative, please visit the following links:
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Similac. All opinions in this post are my own and are 100% genuine. Thank you for supporting our sponsors so we can continue to provide creative content to SomewhatSimple.