The biggest battle mommies face is each other.
Now, I'm sure to some degree that this battle is a little more bold and colorful online because much like cyberbullying, these ladies can hide behind the anonymity that the internet provides. I guess this makes them mommy cyberbullies. However, even in person, moms are not bashful about letting you know how you should be parenting your child, as if there is some kind of manual that you've missed out on along the way.
It's taken me many months to learn that Amelia is not like any other child because no two children are the same. That sounds pretty basic and maybe silly, but when so many people are handing out advice, you start to wonder if you are doing something wrong. Together we are figuring out what works best. Even though I thought she would be a crib sleeping baby on a rigid schedule, we pretty much fly by the seat of our pants and co-sleep part time. It works for us. I would not point my finger at someone else and say "You should NEVER let your baby cry it out! I do such-and-such with Amelia and look how perfect she is!" She's not perfect and neither am I.
Apparently, perfect parents do exist though, and they are sharing their advice all over the internet world. As evidenced in this mommy's post about her struggles with sleep training.
For those of you who don't have time to read the article, basically she is trying cry it out (CIO) with her baby. If you really want to experience some strong parenting opinions, search for CIO or co-sleeping on the internet. Or, read the comments in the above article. I particularly am fascinated with these:
"You are horrible. I am sad for your children. Lazy parents are the worst."
"...Even so I just wanted to let you that even on social networks and everywhere you are being portrayed as an evil mother that lets her child cry for hours on end. I’d be concerned about someone possibly calling child protective services…"
"I have been a big fan of yours for a long time. Not anymore :~( Leaving babies to cry it out, all alone, at such a young age is unnatural and awful. I don’t want to be a flamer but it breaks my heart. I’ve done a considerable amount of research into this as I am currently writing a book about peaceful sleep. The thought of all those babies out there crying themselves to sleep because some self proclaimed guru presumes to tell mothers to act in a way that goes violently against their instincts makes me so angry. Sleep training is bad."
"I do feel the need to tell all of you attachment parents that you folks are crazy! You are breeding kids with no ability to be independent and this is a detrement to their social health! By the way, there comes a time when sleeping with your kids is no longer appropriate, and maybe someone should call social services on you."
I assume these moms are rich, as they have determined the best way to parent and must be writing books and making millions.
Also, please note how one mom says children's services should be contacted for using CIO (which is completely different from leaving your child in the crib night and day-- just thought I should point that out before someone suggests that I'm saying neglect is OK) and another says that children's services should be called for sleeping with your kids. Calling the mom 'lazy' really got me too-- there is nothing more excruciating for me than to hear Amelia scream and cry, and it is obvious to me that the author of this post feels the same.
I left a couple of comments for this mommy myself, the first being supportive and the second being sarcastic (what else would you expect from me?) towards the mommies that suggested protective services be contacted dependent on which sleep theory you follow. It was difficult for me not to defend my choice to co-sleep, but much like engaging in a battle with your children, a battle with other mommies is a waste of energy.
My point to my long rant is this: Mommyhood is hard. We all have different tactics as we raise our children. Hug the moms you know, provide encouragement and support, and remember that we are all doing the best we can to bring up healthy, happy kids-- even if it's not the way you would do it.