AP Moms Don’t Think We’re Better Than You: We Just Want Our Kids To Be

Yes, yes I am.
And so are you.

There is a lie going around the internet.

It’s perpetuated and exacerbated by social media sites, newspapers, magazines and most scarily, mothers themselves. This damaging and divisive lie is everywhere these days, and is growing like a cancer in our society. 

The lie is that mothers can be pigeonholed into clean categories, be they “Attachment Moms”, “Tiger Moms”, “Helicopter Moms”, “SAHM Moms”, “Working Moms” or any other singular hat we are ‘supposed to’ wear. What if we don’t fit into just one category- or ANY of them? I sure as hell don’t fall cleanly into just one and I bet you don’t, either.

For Mother’s Day this year,  I don’t want candy, cards and flowers, dammit. (No offense, Babe.) I want EQUALITY OF MOTHERHOOD. I want it to be okay for moms to parent how they see fit. Is that so crazy?

There are wide avenues of scrutiny and criticism open to pour in from every facet of our lives. be it our peers, media, doctors, MILs, our own mothers, strangers on the street. Everyone seems to think they have a right to impose their ideas and ideals upon us about how we should be doing it. Well, WAKE UP, people. There is no ‘One Mom to Rule Them All.’  What follows that phrase in the story is “and in the darkness, bind them.”

I think it’s a pretty fitting metaphor.

Source: Heather Kushman Dowdee

It’s time that we pull the wool off of our eyes, call a truce in the “Mom Wars” and quit growling over and biting at tidbits the media throws at us; like this week’s Time Magazine cover. Time’s headline insinuates that mothers who practice Attachment Parenting think that the ones who don’t choose that style aren’t good enough. Well, I’m right here, a practicing attachment parent of 10 years, telling you that’s not true. While it IS true that

AP moms don’t think we’re better than you; we just want our kids to be.

We want our kids to be better than we are, too. Isn’t ‘better what every mother wants for her child(ren)? To have, to be, to learn, to do- better than the generation before? It’s the very nature of evolution, of progress. We’are ALL better than perpetuating and even embracing this type of narrow, restrictive mindset.

Big businesses and their campaigns twist our words, images and very purpose into divisive, sensationalized publicity stunts; their products, opinions and misinformation smeared around social media sites. I don’t want them shoved up my uterus and down my baby’s throat anymore and it’s ridiculous that these are things I have to fight for in the first place. I keep thinking, “This has GOT to end!”

So what’s a girl to do? 

The best way I can think of to jump start a Mother Revolution is rip off the blinders, quit taking the bait and come together as a whole to focus on sharing our knowledge about the tie that binds
ALL mothers this Mother’s Day, and every day after: Birth.

Every mother has a birth story, yet many pregnant women are sadly unaware of their birth options. I read voraciously during each of my pregnancies, yet most of the true knowledge I gained was through my own experiences and when other mothers shared theirs with me. This knowledge inspired me to create a Birth Story Blog Hop as my own grassroots effort to turn the focus on mothers sharing with and supporting each other- no matter what the story and the choices are that came before, during or after.

Why share your birth story?

  • It takes a village– and our village these days is global! No part of motherhood is more universal than birth. You never know how what you have to share might help someone you’ve never even met. Never underestimate the butterfly effect!
  • No mother is alone. Without knowing others who have gone before, pregnancy and birth experiences can be akin to navigating a ship on the ocean without knowledge of maps. Sharing with other mothers helps each of us realize how many of us have similar feelings and experiences, regardless of age, race, income, style, or resources.
  • Create awareness. It is the single best tool to combat ignorance and misinfomation. We have to power within each of us to help each other realize that every birth, child and mother are different, and to welcome & celebrate those differences. The best resources I’ve ever found for gaining knowledge have been listening to other mothers who have been there, too. 
  • Empower your own family. Start a tradition of sharing the story of the day they were born with your children each year on the anniversary of their birth. Storytelling is the oldest means in every culture of education, cultural preservation and instillation of moral values. Telling the story of your birth, like giving birth itself, connects you to the infinite line of women who have paved the way through the same rites of passage since the beginning of time.

“Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.” Albert Einstein

Will you share your experience?
Join in! Help me show that knowledge is power, that each of us matter. That:
  • All moms are working moms.
  • And you’re doing it right.

“Intensive mothering is the ultimate female Olympics: We are all in powerful competition with each other, in constant danger of being trumped by the mom down the street, or in the magazine we’re reading. The competition isn’t just over who’s a good mother–it’s over who’s the best. We compete with each other; we compete with ourselves. The best mothers always put their kids’ needs before their own, period. The best mothers are the main caregivers. For the best mothers, their kids are the center of the universe. The best mothers always smile. They always understand. They are never tired. They never lose their temper. They never say, “Go to the neighbor’s house and play while Mommy has a beer.” Their love for their children is boundless, unflagging, flawless, total. Mothers today cannot just respond to their kids’ needs, they must predict them–and with the telepathic accuracy of Houdini. They must memorize verbatim the books of all the child-care experts and know which approaches are developmentally appropriate at different ages. They are supposed to treat their two-year-olds with “respect.” If mothers screw up and fail to do this on any given day, they should apologize to their kids, because any misstep leads to permanent psychological and/or physical damage. Anyone who questions whether this is the best and the necessary way to raise kids is an insensitive, ignorant brute. This is just common sense, right?” Susan J. Douglas

Right, Susan. Exactly.

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Want to join? Just follow these simple steps:
Please follow them all- it’s not  fair (or good karma!) if I provide a link to your site if you don’t tag or link back to mine. I’ve put a LOT of time, energy and even my hard earned money paying for this site and a cool link subscription that won’t expire. I really, really appreciate your participation!

  • Write your birth story. If you have one already posted, you’re 90% there! If you have more than one, write/link them all or pick your most memorable. If you don’t have a blog, you can create a “Note” on Facebook and enter the URL from there. If you don’t have a blog or FB account, (or if you just get confused!) private message me and I would be happy to help. (If you’re stuck on getting started check the links here and here for some tips and suggestions)
  • Enter it into the Linky. Just click where it says, “Click here to enter” and follow the instructions. Tell a little about your birth in the intro & add the link to your post in the box provided. Simple as that! Remember when writing your description to include key highlights about your birth, ie; whether it was a hospital/home/emergency/planned birth, any special medical problems during pregnancy or birth irregularities or medical conditions you’d like to raise awareness of yourself. 
  • Then Copy and Paste 3 things- separately, to the bottom of your post:
  1. All of these instructions. So others will know what to do, too!
  2. The html (aka: internet jargon) from underneath the button above. Also, feel free to add it to your sidebar. 🙂
  3. The code from the “Get The Code” button underneath the Linky of your choice, or both*
  • Tag your entry with the label #birthstrong, then
  • Tweet your entry with the label #birthstrong to maximize its reach and join the discussion!
*There are two separate, valid Linkys here: A thumbnail version that will display all entries in random order each time the page loads, which I feel like that will give maximum exposure to each story and make each visitor a chance to find something new. There is also a Linky for entries for mothers who prefer not to share photos. Use what you’d like, write what you’d like, grab whichever linky code you’d like displayed at the bottom of your post. There are no entry qualifications. (other than my list above.) The point is to celebrate that we all do it different ways. 
Not ready? Don’t worry. One of the first virtues to embrace about motherhood starting with pregnancy is patience. I’ll be here. 🙂

Feel free to check back as time goes on to read more stories, even if you’re not ready to share your own
I appreciate your contribution in whatever way you feel comfortable- be it reading & commenting on other stories, talking about #birthstrong to a friend or posting a story yourself.
Every person and every part matter!

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