I’ve made quite a few unconventional choices as a mom. I co-slept with my kids for many years. I was shamed for spoiling them. I chose positive discipline over traditional discipline. I have been shamed for “raising future prisoners” and “ruining society.” No matter the choices I’ve made as a mom, someone, somewhere has felt the need to tell me I was wrong, and not only wrong but despicable for making that choice. As a result, I’ve learned not to talk about it privately and not to read the comments on my public forums because I haven’t yet developed skin thick enough that those comments don’t hurt.
This is what happens as a result of mom-shaming. Connection shuts down. It seems we’re losing our ability to communicate with one another compassionately. We value our own choices and the right to defend them over other human beings. Because of our division, the village has all but disintegrated, and we feel alone and defensive in our mothering role. No matter the choices you make, you are still my human sister, and I am yours. You are still valuable, and so am I.
The mom who breastfeeds for a month is as valuable as the mom who breastfeeds for 3 years and the mom who bottle feeds from the start. All are valuable.
The mom who sleep trains is as valuable as the mom who co-sleeps.
The mom who disciplines traditionally is as valuable as the mom who chooses a different method.
All are valuable because all are human.
You can hold strong to your values and still value me. I can hold strong to my values and still value you. We must break the barriers and see beyond the choices to the human behind the choices because that human is in need. We are all in need of connection. We need acceptance. We need friendship. We need each other. We do not have to agree with one another to value one another. I can disagree with your method without disregarding your worthiness.