Recently, a friend of mine shared with me a “dirty” little secret. She was still breastfeeding her nearly 2 year old child at night, a fact that as a former breastfeeding mom I had not one concern with at all. I laughed and said, “Good for you.” She then said “Don’t tell anyone!” She shared that she had been on the receiving end of some glares and comments from, of all people, other moms. I laughed again because I could totally relate. When my son was just 6 months old people had already begun the litany of questions, “How long will you be doing that”, or my personal favorite, “Is he going to get off the school bus and nurse?” Indeed, my son did stop nursing before we hit the two year mark. I weaned him slowly and naturally in a timeframe that worked for us, but it was well after his 1st birthday.
As humans, we naturally understand that every person, every child is unique. It follows that every parent and child will make unique choices specific to what best suites them. So why is it that we gravitate back to a mentality that tells us there is one right thing to do in all situations? My guess, we are looking to validate our own choice. When you love someone so intensely, more than life, the joy of that gift is completely fulfilling. Equally, the pressure involved in making choices that will most assuredly impact the rest of that little person’s life can be overwhelming. So we seek out people that make similar choices and perhaps over analyze people that make different ones.
The long and the short of it for me is that all the sub-categories of mommy-dome are simply a reflection of the diversity in our world. So my challenge is to honor our diversity and extend each other grace and respect. Being a mom rocks; but let’s face it, it is no cake walk. I am committing myself to celebrating the choices I make, while acknowledging the simple truth that my choices aren’t right for everyone. Yes, I am passionate about providing organic, whole foods for my family, passionate about sharing the power of the arts, passionate about providing creative interactive learning & play opportunities for them, and passionate about teaching them to embrace the natural world around them. But, at the heart of all those choices is one driving force, wrapping them up every day in LOVE. I celebrate all the Mommy's out there motivated by that same goal ... even if we never end up on the same side of any debate. :)