I LOVE being a mom. It's seriously a dream come true for me. Even with poopy blowouts and being puked on and tantrums at the store, it's a wonderful life. However, ever since becoming a mom, I've been astonished by the world of (I can't think of a better phrase for it than this,) "mommy wars." Being a mom is so awesome. There is no job that I can fathom being nearly as rewarding. But it's also really challenging. And I feel like, at least from what I see, there is a battle between some moms judging each other that really gets in the way of mothers uniting together.
Bean and I went on a 2 mile walk the other day. It was a beautiful warm morning. Bean really wanted to walk and refused to ride in the stroller. For the first half of our walk, seriously, like a mile, she walked. What a little champion! There was a bakery near the mid-point of our walk route, and so we stopped by, and I let her pick out a pastry. As I strapped her into the stroller to ride the rest of the way home while eating her raspberry roll, another mommy running with a jogger looked at us and shook her head in disgust. For a couple of minutes, I felt really self-conscious, wondering if I was a terrible mom for letting my daughter eat a pastry. But then, I was able to snap out of it. I don't think that my physique is so terrible that I deserve looks like that for enjoying a treat with my kiddo, and the fact is, she doesn't know us. (I like to think now, that she was shaking her head because she was having an internal battle with her inner-sweet-tooth, longing for pastries of her own. Ha. But that's not the point.)
I definitely have strengths as a mom. Some are things that I perceive as positive traits myself, others are things that pop culture and the world consider good at this point in time. I feel like I am pretty patient, very affectionate, I buy organic apples and make fresh homemade meals for my family, we exercise often, we read oodles of books, I keep our house pretty tidy....etc. And then there are my "mommy flaws." I gave up on potty training after just a couple of days. I let Bean watch TV. When her asthma is acting up, or she or I are sick, we watch quite a bit of it. When I bake cookies I let her taste the dough. Multiple times. I can't even tell you how many times we go out and after couple of hours I realize that her face is messy from breakfast. When we play outside I don't always put socks on under her shoes, and I often will just let her run barefoot in the backyard....And I'm sure I'm missing things on this list too. Whether all of these are "bad" or "good" is debatable, but I'm sure there's something somewhere in this paragraph that you do better than me or disagree about or something.
The point is, I am not the same mother as you; you are not the same mother as me. We have different strengths; we have different weaknesses. We are different, and that is awesome. Parenting styles are different, just as children are different. My daughter is part of my family because God sent her to us through her beautiful birth family. I have no doubt that God intended her to be in our forever family. And we aren't a perfect family, just like yours isn't. She will learn from my strengths and weaknesses just as your kids will learn from yours. Luckily, in the Lord's eyes, it's not about being perfect, it's about being your personal best.
When we judge each other as mothers, we are forgetting that each of us has unique talents and abilities. I have had other mothers ridicule me for having a clean house, saying that I must have so much free time, and such an easy kid, or be negligent in order to have a clean house. No! I have a clean house because I work my tail off cleaning it. It's (somewhat of) a priority for me. Just like limiting screen time for your children may be a priority for you (kudos, seriously, I admire that!), while for me personally, it's not as much of one. We are different, and it's alright. Rather than getting caught up feeling threatened by others' strengths and weaknesses, I propose we try for something better. Let's celebrate what we all have in common: we love our kids. We love them ever so much, and we are doing the best we can for ours. The nuances of what's best for my kid won't be the same as what's best for yours. And none of us are perfect. But the big thing that all kids need is love. If you're doing your best, and doing everything you can to love your kid as God would want you to, you're doing great. So let's ease up and remember what matters most.