BIRTHFIT ENDS THE MOMMY WARS
Mommy Wars: evil, mean-spirited Cold Wars like everyone’s worst day of junior high. Worse yet, the assault occurs in adulthood. Still flagrantly worse, the attacks happen when Mom is brand-new postpartum. She experiences 1,000 baby worries per second, is healing in regions unknown to her, exhausted, hungry, thirsty, leaky and oh yeah, tired. Yes, I said it twice and probably should have said not only tired, exhausted, but I also should have said worn out, fatigued, sleep deprived, drained, empty, and broken down.
What are these Mommy Wars? The constant weighing and comparing by moms of another mom’s performance, choices, actions, words, and desires. Imagine waking up, getting ready for work and reading online how you did it ALL WRONG and everyone you know is weighing in. You woke at the wrong time (idiot!), wore the wrong pajamas (non-organic cotton? Do you HATE the Earth?), showered using soap that wasn’t coconut oil, applied lotion that wasn’t coconut oil and ate breakfast not cooked in coconut oil (you toxic heathen!). If you think I am kidding, you just haven’t been there yet. Judgment is passed on in birthing choices, feeding choices, parenting styles, car seat choices, baby sleep/wake cycles, lotions and soaps, ANYTHING ever ingested by mom, activity levels, non-activity levels, is your baby hearing Mozart?, baby-wearing, career decisions, etc. And this is not the complete list.
But I think the most important point here is that Mommy Wars are not started by moms. Sure, many moms get mired in the muck and lost in the stories. They find themselves fanning the flames of someone else’s war and have no idea how they went from financial planning to wearing their new little snuggly baby around the neighborhood on the lookout for THOSE moms who allow pacifiers.
Mommy Wars are made in marketing rooms. Mommy Wars sell products: formula, swaddlers, pacifiers, rockers, musical bouncy seats, genius-making sing-a-long CDs, breastfeeding boob timers, corsets, phone apps, plastic wrap corsets, bottles of all shapes, colic potions, blinged-out strollers, baby wipe warmers, educational bath toys, bumper stickers, baby foods, scare-tactic books, lotions, teas, high chairs, sippy cups, and diapers of all fabrics and materials. Mommy Wars are aimed at new moms when they are at their most vulnerable. They target new moms, they prey on fear and they yell so loudly, they drown out Mom’s inner voice. They cast enormous shadows of doubt at a very difficult time.
New moms are learning so much! Every minute of the day is a rapid-fire paced lesson in what is your body doing now, what does your new baby need, is your baby ok? Healthy? Thriving? Tired? Should you change your rocking side to side? Is baby fussing? Normal fussing? Hungry fussing? Is this mastitis? Is this colic? This is where the magazines, online articles, and baby websites swoop in and create the doubt like a black tide.
Mommy Wars thrive where moms feel nervous and undermined. Moms are frantic and focused outwards trying to figure out what is the best and how not to mess everything all up and mother the Wrong Way. They jump from team to team, desperate to feel a part of something. Are they part of the Sleep Schedule Team? Baby Led Weaning Team? Co-Sleeping Team? Caffeine-Avoidance Team? Is there a team for Co-Sleeping Moms who Eat Ice Cream? What if grandma used formula one time, can Mom remain on the Exclusively Breastfeeding Team?
This is where BIRTHFIT exposes the bullshit. We throw open the curtains and say, “enough is enough.”.
BIRTHFIT stands to offer education, information, and support to prenatal moms-to-be, birthing women, postpartum women, new and not-so-new moms, and their partners. BIRTHFIT shines a welcoming light in all of the dark corners of vulnerability and strongly supports a mom’s inner voice, decision-making, and opinions. You know what BIRTHFIT really knows? Moms want the best for their babies. Ten moms may choose 10 different ways to soothe their babies, and they are all wanting their babies to feel loved and comforted.
When a mom can heed her inner voice, she is confident and comfortable in her decisions and there is no place for a Mommy War. Someone else’s opinion may be interesting, but does not define her and isn't even always requested. BIRTHFIT courses are teaching moms how the postpartum window is a time for healing, listening, and learning. Moms worldwide now have BIRTHFIT resources at their fingertips: blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, phone consults, small group classes, and more; all focused to help Mom grow into her new role. Looking for some BIRTHFIT in your life? Check the website for all it has to offer, seek an Affiliate in your town, and join in! We’d love to have you. Mommy Wars have waved the white flag and finally, thanks to BIRTHFIT, there is space for simply Mothering.
-Dr. Gina Sirchio-Lotus
Women's Health Series