Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Mama Drama

"So your daughter just decided to try out for cheer this year out of the blue?" The woman behind me asked my mother.

I was staring out the glass window in front of me, watching the group of middle school cheerleaders play a game as they wrapped up their practice. My sister was one of the girls in that room. She was a "new girl" having just moved to the area, and far from a veteran on the squad.

"Yep," my mother answered her casually, not giving in to her snide remarks.

"Oh, well my daughter has been cheering ever since she was seven years old," the woman continued.

"Is the competition squad down there too mom?" I asked, trying to get the subject off this woman and her daughter.

"Yes and no," my mom answered. "Some girls from each squad make up the competition team."

"My daughter made the competition squad but we told her she couldn't do it," the woman who couldn't take a hint kept going. "She's already on the competition team at her gym, plus the football squad, and with that and school it was just going to be too much."

I rolled my eyes and sent a Tweet: "Hanging out at my sister's cheerleading practice but tired of listening to all of these booshey moms. OMG!!!"

Booshey= Stuck up. I asked my mom how she could stand it, and she told me that's just how moms are. "We're competitive" she said, so matter-of-fact.

And then I began to think... This competitive attitude didn't come out of nowhere. And it didn't start when their kids hit middle school. On previous posts and topics I've touched on, such as stay at home moms, working moms, breastfeeding, labor--All topics that get a big response... All from passionate mothers.

It wasn't the sport of cheerleading that had these mothers tooting their own horns--No, it was The Sport of Motherhood... The most competitive game in the world. From crunchy moms to soggy moms... And even women who aren't moms... Everyone has something to say.

Come on now, let's be honest. I'm not even a mom yet and I can see it. I can see it starts before you even conceive a child. Everyone wants to say something about why you don't have kids... Why you should or shouldn't. How you're selfish if you wait, or selfish if you don't wait.

Then when it's time to conceive, women want to tell you why it's taking so long "don't stress" they say... Yea, right, that's easy. And then some wonder why you don't adopt after you've been trying so long... To those trying it's as if they're saying "give up already."

Then those who do adopt and don't adopt are combating eachother for their differences in opinions on the "whys" and "why nots" of their decisions.

Women who deliver their babies naturally and/or breastfeed criticize those who don't. And even if they're not guilty of that... Some are convinced their kids are or will be smarter because of it.

Women who pull their newborn from their own womb say they have a connection to their child other women miss out on... While others say they enjoyed those few minutes of peace before holding the being they'll forever have as their child.

There have been times when I've almost mistaken a post about a C-section as a story about a murder. Epidurals described as "drugging your baby." And I've read judgments going the other way saying home births are ridiculously irresponsible.

Had I believed the first blog post I read about babies sleeping alone in their cribs I may have thought it was a crime to allow it--Because of the way it was described.

Some say spankings are a bad form of discipline while others say timeout is a joke.

I've had women tell me a woman's place is at home, and no where else. Then some stay at home moms feel under appreciated and say they work harder than any other mom, while working mothers say saying at home would be a breeze. The arguments don't seem to cease on either side.

But what I don't get is the reason for pushing what you believe on others. And making people feel bad for their choices. And why get so defensive when someone doesn't have the same opinion or lifestyle as you?! WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT!

I've even had a woman comment to me, saying the pacifier and bottle pictured on the front of the book on my cartoon header "was not crunchy" and that I should probably take it down. Since when did I proclaim myself crunchy? Or a mom? And why the labels anyway?

It's easy for me to not have a bias now because I'm only facing the facts and opinions in front of me... Versus adding my own personal analytic and experienced opinion. In some ways I think it's a better place to be, because I can look at all of the options with my eyes wide open. I'll admit, I ask for advice and feedback now... Though I can't promise I'll be asking for it when I'm crossing the bridges into motherhood.

But one thing I will promise... No matter which roads I choose to take in my journey to motherhood, I vow to state my opinions as they are, but not make others feel bad for their choices. I also promise to try to remember that there are multiple sides to all stories, and I'll try to consider that in my remarks.

Maybe it's the journalist in me trying to be objective... But I'd like to believe it's a sense of compassion that we ALL hold for one another... Somewhere deep within.