Lets make a pledge, we sane and confident and deeply competent women who are mamas, a pledge to believe the best in each other’s words, even on the Internet. Let’s agree that sharing our experiences doesn’t automatically mean we’re judging. Let’s decide that accidental pissy-ness or pettiness or thoughtlessness doesn’t count because we’re all in this motherhood-on-the-internets thing together… and in the end, what you decide about your life doesn’t actually affect mine. This is the blessing of the Internet.
My oldest best friend is special because we’ve never really lived in each other’s lives. Except for the first year or so, we’ve lived in different cities and communicated via phone or text message only when things get roughest or to check in once or twice a year, a surprisingly great situation in that we are as supportive as friends can possibly be because we can’t judge the people or situations for ourselves. All I know is his perspective so I can’t help but be there just for him.
This is the Internet. I don’t know your husband or your son or your boss, but I can read your fear and worry and joy. If you say it is so, it is so, and we go from there; no time is wasted on debating if it really is. I am here just for you, and though I may have never met you, I care about you.
And so I assume that this is true about you for me, too. I choose to share my thoughts because in return I get confirmation and support BUT ALSO your opinions and ideas. If you only want the support when you blog, please make that clear; the default understanding otherwise is that you’re posting to interact, not just be agreed with. And hey, if that’s what you want, cool, just say so. Like many friends, I am happy to be a cheerleader.
Let’s stop caring so much about the words and start looking for the intent. Let’s drop the whole “when you say ‘working mother’ you hurt my feelings as a SAHM” and “when you say ‘choose’ to work you hurt my feelings as a non-SAHM.” Deal? Let’s cheer breast feeding mamas for being bad asses and formula feeding mamas for being bad asses too. Let’s choose to remember that in decisions not related to parenting, we disagree all the time and it’s no big deal. You’re a teacher, I’m in software. I don’t recall ever feeling like your choice to teach was a judgment of mine to be in business, do you? So why must we get all wrapped up in how your parenting decisions MUST imply something about mine?
Knowing how unstable and scary this mamahood boat can be, shouldn’t we be the people most impressed by each other?
The intent behind Kathryn Heigl’s comment was one I relate to – and so can every mama: how much selfishness am I allowed now? What IS selfishness? If I do something for myself because then I can be a better me, though that means I miss bedtime for my son tonight, I think that’s okay…but for how long? How do I decide? Who am I now that I’m someone’s mom but still myself?