Fast forward to last night. A woman that I've been friends with for a few years made some really hurtful statements on Facebook. Really hurtful. Including dismissing people who have had a natural birth, stay home vs. work, use cloth diapers, and breastfeed "for too long." She dismissed them all as being grounded in "competing and one-upping" other moms. ???? I saw these statements, which were supposedly not directed at me, and I lost my marbles. In my already very gray cloud of depression and anxiety, what she said did not help.
If I can't be proud of my daughter's birth, if I can't be proud of staying home, if I can't be proud that I still breastfeed my son (despite my own freaking discomfort), then what do I have to be proud of? This woman has a great job, a good education, a bright kid who goes to a good private school, a fantastic body, and... The few things that I am working so hard to accomplish, are just me competing.
I am so hurt. I feel so overwhelmed with hurt. I feel like we live in a world that doesn't value mothers at all. I am *just* a mother. And that's really getting me down, because it's been the major obstacle in maintaining friendships. It's why I've lost my friends. I became just a mom. I am only good enough for my children. And it hurts so badly.
Michelle- I am really sorry to hear that you are hurting so much. I agree with you that we live in a society that doesn't value mothers. I wish there was more support for mothers to just be mothers. You should feel proud of your accomplishments and that you and your family have been able to make it possible to "just" be a mother, which is, in my opinion one of the most important jobs around (and it isn't easy). I have to say that I am a little jealous because I dearly want to be "just" a mother, but currently I have to work at least a little. I don't believe that you making decisions about what is best for you family, kids, and you is competing it is simply doing what is best in order to raise wonderful kids. In our society I don't believe we recognize or value the benefits of having a stay at home parent for the early years of childhood. I believe that we hear over and over the importance of working and that daycares/school/other people taking care of your kids are good for a wide range of reasons. To me, most of this sounds like looking at the positives so that people don't have to feel bad, which makes sense and I do this some or else I feel awful about having to work. However, this should not undervalue the benefits and importance of having a SAHP, which is what I believe has happened in our society. Feel proud of your accomplishments your are doing a great job and are a wonderful mother.
I don't know if it would work out, but I am going to be visiting my family around xmas time in Portland. Maybe we could get together for coffee or something like that