The popular Christian women’s blog, Her.meneutics, recently posted two posts (here and here) discussing the hot button issue of “crying-it-out.” For non-parents, “crying-it-out” refers to some amount of letting a child cry in their crib, by their self, to fall asleep. Good moms on both sides can get pretty spicy about defending their views. Many on Her.meneutics talked disdainfully on the existence of such “mommy wars” in the first place, surprised that moms can’t just parent the way they feel is best, and be happy to stay out of others’ business.
Really? It’s surprising that these exist? There are wars on so many fronts- sports, politics, business, education, religion, Christianity, church leadership, church growth models- I could go on. Women in general (and probably men too, I dunno, I’m not a man) start these kind of “wars” with one another in the workplace, in fashion, in lifestyle choices, in body shape. Aren’t we all trying to get people to do things the way that we do because we think they are the best ways?
While I’m not saying that these kind of things are good, I’m saying let’s stop pretending that mommy wars are any more horrible than all the rest of the wars going on in our lives. Kids are important; we care deeply about them (whether they are ours are not). I think moms can come together in community, offering our ideas and reasons why we do things the way we do, and then ask questions of one another, trying to understand why others do the things they do. Perhaps we find ourselves changing our minds on some things when we lower our defenses and actually try to learn. Or maybe we have a little more understanding of a different way of parenting because we love the person we are talking to and see that they are working hard to make decisions that are good for the child and the parent. It’s also about recognizing when we are doing something that is not in the best interest of the child, and then creatively brainstorm with others different ways of doing things (that may be outside the realm of Way A and Way B).
So let’s work together to help in this difficult journey of parenting. And let’s be open to one another- in things we are doing well and things we need help in.