I’m a Sisterhood of Motherhood Partner and am a sponsored blog partner, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional information.
The past few days were trying ones for my family. Yesterday morning, my beloved mother underwent total hip replacement surgery. Seven hours later, her blood pressure dropped to 0. Fortunately my father was at her bedside and yelled out for emergency support. A talented team of physicians and nurses revived her within seconds and then brought her blood pressure back up slowly over the course of the day. My mother is still in the ICU and will be discharged once she regains her strength. I am grateful.
My mother did not have it easy when she had small kids. A Swedish immigrant, she lived far from her own mother, family and friends, which at times made for a difficult family dynamic. Her husband working long hours, she balanced meals and driving and new babies with four kids born over six short years. She often awoke at 5 a.m. to get the baby fed, the kids ready for school and dropped off, and then to drive herself to our local university where she was determined to get a college degree. Her day ended at 2 a.m. when she fell asleep over her American Studies textbook.
Many years later, this formerly stressed out new mom sat as an older woman in a hospital bed surrounded by her kids and her husband. Calls were coming in – from Colorado, from Sweden, from Connecticut. On the other line were my moms SISTERS – the woman who have been there for her since she first had kids. Encouraging her, praising her, looking out for her. They had been the ones delivering a home cooked meal the day before a big exam, loaning a Halloween costume, brining in extra brownies to the bake sale when she just couldn’t manage, always looking out for how to be a better friend.
My parents and I
My mother with my two girls
There was one thing that was truly not present in that hospital room yesterday and truly not present in the SISTERHOOD my mother has created and nurtured over the course of her life as a Mom: judgement.
Judgement is the opposite of support – it brings someone down just when they need to be lifted up. It questions another person’a ability to navigate her life when what she needs is the love and space to follow her well-intentioned heart. My mothers friends could have said: “What, take college courses when you have a newborn and 3 kids under 6? That’s crazy?” But that’s not what they said because they didn’t judge – they loved, embodying the qualities of a good friend.
They loved like mothers who know that love is about acceptance, kindness and generosity – not sneering, scorn and one upmanship.
Similac has just published a wonderful film about the experiences of a group of new moms that I encourage each of you to watch. I’ve embedded it above this blog post. The film chronicles the daily lives of a group of very different new moms.
My mother and I
Each mom has her own challenges and values: for one, dressing her little cuties up in bow ties and tutus as newborns is a priority. Her pictures were glorious. For another mom, dropping her new baby off with her own mother so that she could trot off to work and get her bills paid was an inevitable reality, but one that brought tears to her eyes. Another new mom of twins struggled with time in the NICU only to find upon arrival home that her quantity of breastmilk did not suffice.
At the end of the film, these women, all with different parenting styles, group together and cry because they feel supported for WHO THEY ARE AS UNIQUE MOMS doing THE BEST THEY CAN DO. I challenge anyone watching this film not to burst into tears. When we look at someone who is living and doing differently than we would but we accept that and offer encouragement and support, we are LOVING LIKE MOTHERS. When we give and receive that love, we are capable of great things.
Mothers know how to love strange beings who come into their lives wreaking havoc on all the prior order. Gone is the nicely organized fridge, the organized drawers, and the sexy Friday night outfit. All is different and all is weird and hard and inconvenient and strange, and yet we LOVE, more than we ever thought we could.
Pin to spread the love and help #EndMommyWars!
We mothers own a special patent on love. Love is what we know how to do. It’s in own Mommy DNA.
Let’s love each other as fellow Moms like mothers know how to do. Let’s stop judging and go back to being sisters. Let’s end the Mommy Wars. Be sure to check out The End Mommy Wars documentary above and see other stories plus share your own at endmommywars.com.
With love and gratitude,
Similac partnered with bloggers such as me for its Sisterhood of Motherhood Program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.