We had a beautiful spring day here earlier this week; as a treat for Becky and Huck, I packed a few snacks and drinks for a quick stop at the park. Then little Tom and I dashed up to school to pick up them up.
As I tossed bags of crackers and gummies into the battered blue lunchbox I keep for around-the-town snacks, I paused, remembering the first time I'd pulled that lunchbox out of our pantry in Illinois and packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a trip to the Decatur Children's Museum.
Becky had been just shy of two; Huck was just a couple of months old and still fitting into both the car seat carrier and the the Baby Bjorn (man-boy and his ginormo chubby and long legs did not last too much longer in either of those useful baby transportation systems). My mom's group was headed up en masse to the museum and I was packing lunch for Becky and I.
Packing lunch for the first time, and feeling, finally, like a real mom.
Silly, isn't it? I'd already had two babies, had birthed the second one without drugs (not by choice; see reference to his ginormo stature above), and had nourished them with my body. I'd faced the beginnings of the terrible two tantrums with Becky (not knowing they would last for another year and a half - oy!) and had found myself caring for both my tiny ones at the same time from the moment I came home from the hospital with Huck.
But it took slapping two pieces of bread together with some sugar and protein in the middle to step through the doorway of my mind into the room where all the real moms hung out; why?
I commented on a post over at my friend Jane's blog that sometimes I think all of us moms get so caught up in the methodology of mothering that we forget that we all share the same end goal: raising good people.
This is lost, more often than not (and sadly so), when moms take sides against each other. Can I list some of the more prominent wars in mommy culture without inciting an incident?
There's the Working Moms vs the Sahm Moms; the Breast is Best Moms vs. the Bottle Moms; the Homeschooling Moms vs. the PTA Moms; the Vaccinate Moms vs. the No Needle Moms; the Pampers Moms vs. the Cloth Diaper Moms.
And so on and so on and so on. It's exhausting just keeping up with the lastest factions and in-fighting.
And it's just plain silly. Why do we divide ourselves instead of standing together as one? I do think this is changing and changing more every day because of the overwhelming use of social media by moms. When we connect with Mom A over at Enemy Mom Camp B via her blog or Twitter or in the forums, we see that she isn't so bad after all. She's funny and kind and genuine.
Score: Social Media (1); Petty Differences (0).
I look back at that moment of epiphany where I felt like any other regular mom, a real mom at last, and I shake my head at my naivete. I was a real mom then, more so in some ways than I am even now. The stages our children go through pass by in a blink; we as mothers shouldn't bother with building walls around our differences of opinions in how to weather those fleeting times of childhood.
We should instead step outside of the safety of our well-thought out and rapidly defended opinions and seek to be walls of strength for other moms to lean upon for respite and support.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up (Timothy, 4:12)
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