The Sisterhood by Molly Doss
Recently I was asked by a friend in the mommy-blogging world to contribute to her blog. She asked me if I would be willing to write an article illustrating my perspective about where our country is heading with the recent changes in our educational system.
Of course I obliged. But it did take me quite a while to gather my thoughts and put them into cohesive sentences because I had so much to say. Also, I was worried– what if my perspective did not reflect hers? What if my article did not resonate well with her avid followers and readers? I definitely did not want negatively affect somebody who was generous enough to ask for my opinion on a very relevant and serious matter.
While we were discussing everything– messaging on Facebook and emailing back and forth– she mentioned something about sisterhood. Specifically, she said, “Sisterhood needs to unite!”
Dear God is this woman smart. She is so, so correct.
For those of you who are not mothers or do not know anything about mother/parenthood, sometimes it can be vicious. It’s sad to say, but mothers can be the most judgmental and competitive people when it comes to how somebody raises their children and whether we wear pink on Wednesdays. Wait– that’s another mean girls– anyway…
There are so many debates. Breastfed or formula-fed, co-sleeping or exclusively crib, cry it out or coddle, rear or forward facing and at how many years, how long do you breastfeed, is it okay to have half a glass of red wine while pregnant OR breastfeeding, are epidurals better than natural water birth, should you wear the baby or stroll the baby?? Sweet Jesus there are so many arguments. It will make you CRAZY, especially as a first time mom who has no clue what she’s doing (pro tip here: do not rely solely on Google searches. Google is one of those people who hopes for the best but only tells you the worst). And do not even get me started on vaccinations…
These are all just a matter of parenting differences, so imagine the stress I felt when I was asked to write about politics and parenting.
As moms, we need to put aside our differences. We are a part of an amazing sisterhood. We share a bond that is the most amazing, miraculous, exhausting, and life-changing bond there is to experience. That makes us the same– we’re happy. We’re tired. We’re proud. We’re terrified. We have all experienced this insanely beautiful and sometimes ugly transition into discovering our new self, very much like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Sharing that bond– that metamorphosis– is enough of a reason for us to support and help build each other. And outside of this bond, do you know what makes us different? Our children.
As a mother, you know what is best for you and your child. I breastfed my son for 9 months and my daughter for 15. One of my best friends, though, could not breastfeed at all and strictly formula-fed. My other best friend is still nursing her soon-to-be three year old. I did not co-sleep with my children and was preached at to let my son cry it out so he would sleep through the night. I tried it. It killed me. When it came time with my daughter, I coddled, fed, rocked, and sang my ass off until the wee hours of the morning. And we both were happier.
There should be absolutely no judgement from one mother to another. Is your child safe, healthy, and happy? And alive? Then, congratulations, you’re doing an amazing job. Do I agree with the fact that you sleep with your child, tried potty-training at 12 months, or let your 5 year old still sleep in a crib? Well, you’ll never know. Because it doesn’t matter so long as you and your baby are safe and happy. I’m not your child’s mother and our metamorphosis into our new selves looks different.
What I am, though, is part of the sisterhood. And so are you. So own your decisions, rock your mothering style, and be proud in what you believe and what you’ve done. Because being a mom is hard. And that’s something we’ve all experienced. I applaud you for ensuring the safety and happiness of not only your child, but you as well.
We’re a sisterhood. We got this.
Molly Doss is a former English teacher now turned stay at home mom. After following her husband around the East Coast while he served in the Navy, Molly and her family are now settled in Richmond, Virginia. She has two children—a five year old son and a three year old daughter. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, and being outdoors. Read her blogs here.