Editor’s note: Attachment Parenting International (API) hopes every mom enjoyed her Mother’s Day on May 10 and every dad is looking forward to Father’s Day on June 21. This week, in honor of all mothers, API gives you a special “Inspired Mothers” celebration. We hope these posts inspire you in your parenting journey.
The day I became a mother, I felt a sense of purpose I had never known before.
These little lives have been placed in my hands, and it is my responsibility to give them love and nourishment, all while giving them room to grow into the people they are meant to be. The responsibility can seem overwhelming, but from the beginning, I had such a strong sense of this is what I’m meant to do.
That feeling of purpose and responsibility has also led me to feel such a connection with other mothers — both past and present. Motherhood looks different for each person. So, where I followed my instincts and naturally fell into Attachment Parenting, others may take a different path. There is no one right answer, no quick-and-easy golden rules that will guarantee a perfect outcome. If there was, motherhood would be easy.
Motherhood is by far the most rewarding thing in my life, but it is not always easy — especially when it seems that everywhere I look these days, people are tearing each other down. More specifically, moms are tearing other moms down. People are so quick to pass judgment or offer “advice” on the proper way to do something: cosleeping or crib, breastfeeding or bottle feeding, homemade baby food or store-bought. It can seem like a competition, offering up your thriving baby as proof that you’re doing things right. It can also make moms feel inadequate or insecure.
While I try really hard to refrain from gossip or judgment, I’m not perfect either. It’s easy to get caught up in comparisons of who reached what milestone and when, or assigning blame when things don’t end up the way you planned. But at the end of the day, every mother is doing her very best to provide her children with the same thing: a safe and secure place to grow.
As we continue to celebrate Mother’s Day this week, I sincerely hope that we can all feel confident enough in our own parenting decisions not to knock each other down. Instead, try to remember that we are all carrying that same sense of responsibility, and we should be building each other up. The world, and our kids, will be better for it.