Forget the mommy wars, offer support instead

I was just thinking the other day how much I need my mom friends. The ones I’m fortunate enough to have in real life and the ones (you) who come here, read, offer support, share your stories, and commiserate at times.

All of you moms are incredibly important to me. It doesn’t matter to me whether you’ve breastfed or bottle fed, whether you are a champion of sleep training or prefer co-sleeping, or whether or not our parenting styles completely mesh.

What matters to me is that we are there for each other. We support each other and enjoy each other’s company. Besides, how boring would it be if we did everything the same? I’ve learned so much from you … from all of you.

You made sure I didn’t miss the upcoming soccer registration. It wasn’t even on my radar, but you kindly reminded me about it at gymnastics the other day. Seriously, I would miss so many sign ups and registrations dates if it wasn’t for you.

You sent me a text picture of my son at his kindergarten Thanksgiving party. I couldn’t be there, but you were. Your pictures and messages made my day at work go by easier and with less guilt. I wonder if you even know how happy that picture made me.

You graciously offered to pick up my son from school so I could stay and watch my daughter dance during her dance class. She was ecstatic to have me there. My son had a wonderful play date with your daughter and didn’t want to leave.

You encouraged my husband and I to start having date nights again. Your offer to swap babysitting nights really gave us the nudge we needed. Date nights are no longer a luxury of the past.

You answered every single one of my phone calls during my first couple of months as a new mom. As a recent new mom and pediatrician yourself, your words of encouragement and support got me through some really tough days.

You lifted my spirits and buoyed my mom confidence that day we met in the park. Your kind words about me and my son carried me through a particularly trying day.

Your comments that you leave here both encourage and inspire me to keep writing. To keep sharing these stories of motherhood because in turn, I get to hear yours.

Each one of you is an incredible mom friend. A friend who offers moral support and a helping hand. A friend who doesn’t judge me when my three year old is having a public meltdown. Why? Because we have all been there.

It makes me wonder why the so-called “mommy wars” even exist. Clearly, we are all bonded by the common thread of motherhood. We all just want to do what is best for our children and come out on the other side with our sanity mostly intact. Is it so hard to realize and accept that what may be “best” for one may not be for another?

There are so many paths to take along this motherhood journey. I just call myself lucky that I’ve crossed paths with some amazing moms who believe in their parenting choices but also believe in mine. The greatest gift we can give each other is support.

So I say, forget the mommy wars, offer support instead.

Melissa Arca is a pediatrician who blogs at Confessions of a Dr. Mom.

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