Part of the reason why I like to write is because I like to feel connected. In a world with social media, that isn’t too hard anymore. But still, I like to be able to try and bring moms together with common ground. I have hit some road blocks along the way. “She’s blogging now?!” Although I’ve had support, I’ve also felt alienated from it. “Don’t say that in front of Noreen or she might blog about it.”
I’ve also had someone say the meanest things to me, “I feel sorry for your girls,” she said, “when they grow up and see what you have said.” This comment devastated me, until I realized that it came from someone without children, who doesn’t know, and who likes to make others feel bad so that they feel good. As my dad says, “never give someone else power over you with their opinions. People only have power over you if you let them.” I’ve been able to squash this feeling numerous times since. People will try to bring you down in life. This is what I tell my daughter. They will bring you down with their opinions on what you do and who you are. At 6 years old, it is what you draw. At 15, it is what you wear. And at 35, it is how you parent. But, you can’t let them hold power over you. If you are confident in what you do and who you are, then you don’t have to listen to the useless opinions and statements flying at you. Be confident enough to ignore it. That is what I tell my girls. Ignore the negative. What matters is how you feel about yourself.
This is what I tell myself.
One thing I try not to do, is alienate moms. I try. Who knows if I succeed?! I never want to alienate moms. I want to unite us. The truth of the matter is, no mom is better than another. That is the absolute truth. No child is better than another. Truth. They might read faster or run faster, but it doesn’t mean they are better. (I mean, unless they are slapping or scratching out eyes. Well then, that is a different situation.)
And other moms may have different lives; some may work and some may stay at home. Some may see their kids all day, every day, like me, and need some time to come up for air. And others may carry guilt for not being home. The truth is this, we choose our lot in life. Don’t we? We decide. We choose. All the decisions in our life lead us to where we are. One thing we as moms should do about it is own it. Forgive ourselves for our choices. I don’t wake up with a power suit and take the train with my coffee. I forgive myself for not having a career. Sometimes, I wish I did. But, I chose my lot in life, to stay at home with my children no matter what I had to give up. I chose it. I own it. People who chose to work, should own it too. Of course there are people who have no choice and I understand and appreciate that as well. I guess we have to do our best with our lot in life. And, we should all try and be confident in ourselves and the decisions we make. That way, we can be the best people for our children.
What prompted this is based on an article that a friend shared on Facebook on how working parents create better, smarter children, in essence. I read the article and then I looked at my 3 year old and asked her what she wanted to be when she is a grown up. “A Barbie,” she responded. Hmmm. Ummm. Maybe there is something to this?! I thought about it a lot and tried not to be offended, but I did let this article hold power over me. Not the person. The article. I texted my friend and told her that articles like that create Mommy wars. And articles like that, divide us. I don’t like that feeling of division. I like to always find common ground in parents. Because if you think about it, we are all the same. She was so gracious about it. She didn’t want to offend anyone. And the truth is, she shouldn’t have even offended me. Because it means nothing. The article, the “study,” means nothing. Same with the 50 articles that counter that claim. They mean nothing. They may validate how we feel at moments when we question our choices, but they don’t make it true for everyone. The only thing that makes it true is what we do with our choices and how we raise our own children. The only thing that creates our truth, is ourselves.
I would never have an opinion about anyone else’s choices in life, and not just in parenting; I will never have an opinion on who someone chooses to marry or what someone wants to wear.
I believe the word is tolerance.
We should all have tolerance for each other. We should all accept each other. We should all respect each other’s choices and decisions. That is what life is all about. We are one.
People will try to bring you down. But, only you can let someone else hold power over you.
Make your choices. Own them. Accept others for their choices.
After all, in the end, it is love that wins. #lovewins
~Noreen Heffernan,Writer, MA in Public and Corporate Communications, Certified in PR Writer, Growing Ladies