Wednesday, May 28, 2014

One thing I won't do

I wouldn't mind making a little money from blogging. Have I kept that a secret? If so, the cat's out of the bag. I'm not planning on making the big-time, but I also wouldn't hate it if I made enough to buy a week's worth of groceries every now and again. So, feel free to click on those ads you see and order stuff or share this blog with a friend or pass my name along to anyone who might want to pay me to write. I wouldn't mind in the least.

With that said, I want to stay true to myself and remember the reason I started this blog. You can read that reason here. I want to bring people together so we can learn from each other. I want people to know they aren't alone in their worries. I want to love big and crazy. I want to write for the simple love of writing and reflecting on life. For all those reasons and a whole lot more, one thing I won't do to grow my blog is engage in "mommy wars."

I'm not entirely sold on the mommy war thing and certainly won't blow it out of proportion to get people riled up and interested in my blog. I think the internet is full of cool stuff. That YouTube video of the giraffe whooping up on the crocodile is good stuff. The blogs about emotional running stories and adoption and babies growing up waaaaay too fast get me every last time. Real tears are shed repeatedly.

But the internet also blows things way out of proportion. It is full of small people wielding big words in hopes that those words will make them feel bigger. Instead it just makes everyone feel smaller. People hide behind computer screens and lob grenades full of righteous capital letters and condescending exclamation points and they damage people. It is wrong and it is exactly the opposite of my intention here.

I recently saw a blog equating mommy wars to gang wars. I saw another blog labeling the 12 moms you'll see on the sidelines of your kid's game. Another blog was soliciting answers for what, aside from the obvious answer of income, stay at home moms have given up to stay home with their kids. I find this annoying at best and intentionally inflammatory at worst.

Here's the deal. If you're a nice person and love your kids and are trying you're darndest to make it in this wild world and admit your mistakes and get up tomorrow and try again, I bet we'll find some common ground and get along just fine. Bonus points if you like to run or read or laugh, but totally not necessary. I don't actually care if you work outside the home or inside the home or from your mini-van or your acura. I don't care if you wear high heels every day or hang out in your pjs, put on a full and beautiful face of make-up every day or store your make-up in your car for application on the way to fancy occasions. (ahem. not naming any names. . . OK. Me. it's totally me) I don't care if your kids wear mismatched hand-me-downs or organic cotton outfits from J. Crew Baby. (Is that a thing?) I don't care if you breastfed until the baby went to kindergarten or if you knew you'd never breastfeed. I don't care if you birthed thirteen kids with no pain meds, adopted toddlers, or asked for the epidural on your first OB/midwife appointment.

I care if you smile at the stressed out person in line at the grocery store. I care if your kids go to bed each night knowing you love them and that if they have a nightmare they can go to you because you're a safe place to land. I care if you watch them swing so high. I care if you hear someone's kid screaming in a check out line and react with empathy and not annoyance. I care if you wait up late to hear your kid come home the first (and fortieth) night they drive somewhere with a friend.

We are all making our way in this world as parents and spouses, siblings and friends, children and co-workers. We have so many hats to wear and so many responsibilities to carry. To get hung up on how you mother versus how I mother is something I just don't have time for. Now I will call the cops in a heartbeat if you are hurting or neglecting your kids. Obviously. But that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about the daily decisions people make with the best interest of their family in mind.

I get it. I know. Some people watch what we do and say and feed our kids and how they act and dress and speak and spend their time judging away. They read blogs for what seems like the pure joy of spewing anger and vitriol. These are the people that shout the loudest and type the fastest and with the most fury. But they are in the minority. They just happen to be a noisy minority. The people I know are doing their best to raise kids who love and respect their family, their friends, strangers they haven't met, this world and who will leave it a better place than it is now. Isn't that one of our biggest collective dreams as parents? That this wild and beautiful place we call home and earth would nurture our kids until they are old enough to nurture it back.

The people I know support each other when life and parenthood feels impossible and potty training just will not happen and Jr. won't do his homework and Lizzy all of a sudden wants to quit soccer and we want to throw up our hands. The people I know celebrate together when potty training finally happens and Jr. gets a B+ and Lizzy sticks with soccer and has a great game. We laugh together and cry together and wonder what in the heck we were thinking together and rejoice in the fact that these crazy kids are ours to love forever together. This is what motherhood and friendship can and should be.

There are thousands of pictures of what motherhood looks like. There are thousands of job descriptions tied into that one word: mom. Let the words that ring truest and loudest be wild and beautiful and abounding grace and love.

Your turn: What's your experience with "mommy wars?" 

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your blog DeNae. I don't know that I tell you that often enough. ;)