Friday, February 20, 2015

Compassion. Pass it on.

The recent trend of mom-bashing and internet bullying really gets on my nerves. It seems like every single day, as I am scrolling through my morning bulletin (Read: Facebook newsfeed), I see at least one instance of a mom calling another mom out about her choices.

And it doesn't stop there.

If you are dumb brave enough to click on the comments on that post, the bashing usually gets worse. Women ganging up together to completely word lash another woman, a fellow mom. Blast after blast, some mothers force their opinions on other mothers to the point of outright bullying.

But when does it STOP?

The answer to that question is simple: It stops when WE MAKE IT STOP. When we band together and realize that we are all just mothers. Mothers who are trying to make the best choice for our families. Mothers who are human and who make mistakes. Mothers with different backgrounds and upbringings, different income levels and different support systems. Mothers with different education, perspectives, and opinions. Not wrong, not right, just different.

When we realize that different isn't wrong, then, and only then, can we stop this horrible trend. Mothers judge themselves more harshly than anyone else ever could and what they are truly desperate for is compassion and understanding. If you can’t offer that, then ask yourself "What does it matter to you?" instead of lashing out.

If I want to give my baby a bottle of formula or if I want to breastfeed my child until she is five years old...

What does it matter to you?

If I choose to work because I need to get away from my family for a couple hours each day or because we need the extra income, or if I choose to stay home because I can't get enough of my children's sweet cherub faces and no one can raise them like I can and the monetary sacrifice is worth it to me...

What does it matter to you?

If I want to dress to the nines and wear makeup every single day or if I want to wear yoga pants all day, every day or even no pants at all...

What does it matter to you?

If I home-school my children to provide them with the best learning environment possible or if I choose to send my kids to public school in the heart of the ghetto to teach them diversity...

What does it matter to you?

If I put my kid in the shower with me to shave a couple minutes off of our morning routine or have a closed and locked bathroom door policy...

What does it matter to you?

The truth? It doesn't. None of your choices as a mother affect me. None of my choices as a mother affect you. Whatever choices I make, I make with my family's best interest at heart. I bet that mother who chooses the opposite of me does so with her family's best interest at heart as well.

Let's choose to be supportive when another mother puts herself out there for ridicule by posting a picture or defends a personal choice with her words. Even if we don't agree with it. It works for her.

Let's choose to be understanding of a different point of view. Just because we do not agree does not mean that we need to be harsh and condescending to someone who does. Let's agree to disagree.

Let's choose to love each other, faults and all. After all, we ALL make mistakes. And hate only begets hate.

Let's choose to embrace each other as mothers, as women, who are all battling the same fight to raise a family the best way we know how and not lose ourselves in the delicate balance between motherhood and womanhood.

Let's choose our words wisely and carefully when we see something come across our screens that is opposite of what we personally believe. A kind word goes so much further than a harshly spoken one.

Let's choose compassion, because it really is a choice.

This piece was written as part of a world-wide compassion movement. 
Find more great voices speaking compassion by clicking on the picture above 
and by searching both Facebook and Twitter for the hashtag #1000Speak. 
Join the Facebook Group 1000 Voices for Compassion for more information.
Photo credit goes to the very talented Qwiet Muse.

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