When was the last time you criticized a fellow mom for bottle-feeding? How about for yelling at her kids? Did you raise your eyebrows when you saw a mom bribe her child to stop a tantrum?
We always say we moms should take it easy on oursleves—but, really, we should also take it easy on other moms and give them a break. Sure, it’s easy to judge another mom who isn't able to tutor her kids, or who may not be able to prepare a decent (read: healthy) baon for them. But we mothers are on the same page when it comes to wanting what's best for our kids. And while they are always a priority, sometimes, we can only try to do the best we can.
The fact is, not all moms are superwomen. Some moms are limited by their skill sets, or their financial status, or the values each of us hold dear. As much as we want more than 24 hours in day to get all our tasks done, time is limited. As much as we want to easily program ourselves with all skill sets every mom is expected to have, it’s not that easy. And life is too short to have room for any negativity.
That’s why Next Life, NO Kids blogger and mom of three Julie Maida launched the “Mommitment” campaign—an initiative that promotes kindness and support, and provides a “safe, judgment-free, space to be an imperfect mom.” She decided that enough is enough, and gathered moms who shared her advocacy.
According to its website, “Mommitment doesn’t care if you strictly bottle-feed, breastfeed, or choose a little of both. It doesn’t consume itself with labels or details that seem to separate moms and send us into battle over the ’right’ way.” There is no right way. To each her own. You are not a perfect mom because you are set in your own ways. There is really no perfect mom; it doesn’t exist.
So, instead of dividing the moms into, say, those who choose spank and those who don’t, or those who choose to eat only organic foods, the campaign encourages all moms to learn from each other’s differences. Many moms hesitate to ask questions because they fear being judged, and thus pass up the opportunity to learn and be better.
Maida’s own experience with postpartum depression made her realize the importance of moms getting the support they need: "So many women feel alone and unsupported in their communities," Maida said in an interview with The Huffington Post. She wrote in the description of a video entitled "No More Mom Shaming": “All moms deserve support and compassion. We don’t always know what another mom is going though, and judgment and shame can be damaging to moms who suffer in silence."
So the next time you think of blurting out a criticism or a put-down to other moms out there, take a pause and ask yourself: “Is this going to help my fellow mom?” If not, hold your tongue. Remember, too, the moments when you needed someone to reassure you in your parenting decisions. Put yourself in your fellow mom's shoes, and choose kindness.
Know more about the Mommitment campaign be visiting its website, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also make a "mommitment" by signing Maida’s Change.org petition, or by simply sharing supportive messages for other moms out there who could be going through a rough time on your blog or social media accounts.