Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mama Manifesto

In a perfect world, we would all acknowledge that there is no one "right" way to parent a child.  We would all admit that every parenting philosophy out there is an attempt to answer the same question: How do I raise a reasonably happy, reasonably healthy, reasonably well adjusted child given the fact that all resources are limited?  In a perfect world we could all admit that we have limits to our money, time, and patience.  We could agree that every mom has to make her own decisions, based on what makes sense for her and her family at that moment in time.  In a perfect world we could even confess that we don't know everything, and we are biased by our own experiences.

In that world, every mother would be able to agree to disagree and would be able to make her decisions without being defensive.  Because the truth is, any child raised by a loving mother who makes the best decisions she can with the knowledge and resources that she has available can turn out reasonably happy, reasonably healthy, and reasonably well adjusted.  Yes, every philosophy has its flaws.  And, yes, every parent will make mistakes. But, NO, that doesn't mean that we should fight over what's best or who's better.  In a perfect world, mamas of every stripe would support each other in acknowledging the struggles and triumphs and joys of motherhood.

I'll admit, though, our world is far from perfect.  So I'll settle for something slightly less ambitious.  How about this: Go ahead and criticize the way I parent, but please do it behind my back.

I am already fairly well aware of the mean and snippy things you are going to say (who does that? that's disgusting!), and none of those comments is going to change my mind.  I'm also sure that you've heard all of my responses before (lots of people, including me. no, it's not!), and none of them is going to change your mind.  So let's just save ourselves the headache.  How about we tolerate each other quietly, and then complain to our husbands later tonight.  I'm pretty sure they'll be a more sympathetic audience.  Deal?

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