I recently got kicked out of a local Facebook group for complaining that vaccination debates were getting out of hand and generating harsh judgment and that I was judging others for judging others. Yeah, I know. Silly, stupid, especially the end part. The group was intended for motherly support, but was a breeding ground for differences in opinion and parenting styles - it was an ugly place.
Seriously though, can we stop this? We have ventured into a world of "my way is the only way and you're a bad parent.".
I don't care if you vaccinate or not. I don't care if you cloth diaper. I don't care if you use a stroller. I don't care if you use formula. I don't care if you homeschool. I don't care if you skipped rice cereal.
What I do care about is that you have all the information and make a decision that is best for you and your family. I don't want you to take the easy way out.
I have been a parent for seven months. I parent like I invented parenthood, like my daughter is the first human to ever experience the first year of life. A tooth is peaking throuh her gums and she invented having teeth. No baby has ever teethed before. I am celebrating every moment. I encourage you to do the same: it's magical. When making a decision for my baby I investigate every angle and find out which is the best, I aim high and see where I land. Someone called me "crunchy" once, but I hate that label. I love Kraft Dinner. My gut flora sucks. But I wear my baby and exclusively breastfed her for six months. She still sleeps in our bed, we cloth diaper. Does that make me better or worse than a mother who eats whole organic foods but has to formula feed her child who refuses to sleep anywhere but its car seat bucket? Or the woman who adopted her baby and did everything right to be able to lactate but pierced her son's ears when they circumcised him?
Stop. Keeping. Score.
The only reason you should be looking over your neighbour's fence is to make sure they have enough, to make sure they are well - however they define that. Be a resource for all mothers, not a source of anguish. We should base our relationships on love and support, not on judgment and criticism.
You love your child, you try to do the very best, you have good days and bad days and some days you take short cuts but at the end of the day, no matter how different we are, you're a good mom!