Monday, March 9, 2015

It's as Simple as Support #sisterhoodunite

This sponsored blog partner post brought to you by The Sisterhood of the Motherhood. Today's post is meant to be directed towards moms, but I think it could really be applied to any woman out there who takes the time to read this. This is a continuation of our discussion on ways to stop the mommy judging. I want to talk about supporting moms, whether they make the same choices you do, or not.

How to Support Other Moms, Even When Their Parenting Styles are Different- from Serenity Now #sisterhoodunite #parentsfirst

It's easy to support the moms we have things in common with. The mom you invite over for coffee when you're not snowed in, the mom who makes you laugh at every book club get-together, the mom who has the shoe collection and fashion sense you envy.

But what about the mom whose parenting style or philosophy differs from yours?

Maybe she homeschools her kids and yours go to private school. Maybe her family only eats organic food and you are a regular at the Chick-fil-a drive-thru. Maybe her kids have a strict bedtime and routine, and yours are night owls. 

If you're a regular reader, you read about my first breastfeeding experience with my older two kids and know that I was able to exclusively pump with both of them. 

I had everything all planned out for baby number three. I planned to pump for as many months as I could, knowing it would be difficult with two girls in school and activities. I planned for him to be a healthy, thriving, breastfed baby.

But, as we all know, life is what happens when you are making other plans. Fast-forward a few weeks after Harris' birth, and I knew something wasn't right.
Supporting moms, even when their parenting style is different- from Serenity Now #sisterhoodunite #parentsfirst

After some visits with the pediatrician and allergist, we determined that even after me going completely dairy free in my diet for over a month, Harris was not tolerating breast milk, though he wasn't allergic. Both physicians recommended that we immediately switch him over to a special (very very expensive!!) formula. 

It seems silly now, but despite the fact that my son's pain and discomfort went away within a few hours of starting the special formula, I was wracked with horrible guilt. 

I'd never given any of my babies formula that young before. Everyone up until that point had told me that "breast is best." Would he be okay? Was I a terrible mother? Terrible for not recognizing the signs of his pain earlier (it wasn't colic!)? Terrible for giving him formula? My sister did her best to encourage me, but living hundreds of miles away from each other made things difficult.

I focused more on me and my guilt than the fact that my son was finally able to take nourishment without horrible pain.

Enter Joy.

Joy was a lady I knew from my local MOPS group. She wasn't a close friend, but she knew about our situation. Not only did Joy take the time to encourage me to ignore the guilt and any commentary from other moms, but she offered me support.
Supporting moms, even when their parenting style is different- from Serenity Now #sisterhoodunite #parentsfirst

We're pretty different. 

Joy has six kids, I have three. She does some homeschooling, mine go to the public school across the street. She likes tea, I like mochas...and so on.

But Joy knew I needed someone to speak some positivity into my life. She showed up on our doorstep out of the blue with dinner. She pulled me aside before our MOPS meeting to see how I was doing and to tell me how cute my new baby was.

But most of all, she let me know that there is no one right way to be a mom. I owe her a huge debt of gratitude. Her kind words helped me see how blessed I was with a baby who was thriving...and continues to thrive a year later.

In the past year, I have learned that you don't have to agree with another mom's parenting choices to support and encourage her. I'm sure that there are some choices I make as a mom that would be different from the choices Joy makes. 

But she didn't let that stop her.

Don't let it stop you.

Find a mom who could use some support this week. Give her a hug, send her a hand-written note with a Starbucks gift card, send her a private email with an inspiring quote, or stop by her house with a plate of cookies (after sampling a few to make sure they aren't gross or anything- I mean, be willing to make that sacrifice). 

Tell that mom that she's doing a great job! She is just the mom that her kids need. 

I guarantee that not only will this make her day, but it will make yours too.

As moms and women, we need to do more building each other up and less tearing down. Social media, especially, seems to be a hotbed of vicious activity. Why fuel the fire with all of the circular arguments going on? Are you really really going to change someone's mind with that article you share on Facebook or the comment you leave on an Instagram photo?
Supporting moms, even when their parenting style is different- from Serenity Now #sisterhoodunite #parentsfirst

Our free time is limited as is with little ones needing to be diapered, fed, driven to activities, homeworked, bathed, and sent to bed. If we used those little windows of free time as opportunities for SUPPORT, think of what we could accomplish!

It's as simple as support.

What's one way you could encourage another mom or woman this week?

*You can learn more about Similac's The Sisterhood of Motherhood on Facebook and their website. There's also a hilarious Mommy Judging video you can watch!

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. And I always appreciate kind comments, Facebook shares, and Tweets!

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Disclosure: Similac partnered with bloggers such as me for its Sisterhood of Motherhood Program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. All opinions expressed are my own. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


  1. What a lovely, inspired post. I think we could all (myself very much included) be a little more like joy. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Thank you for this- we've been talking about this a lot with our moms group, and I just posted about this today. Being a Mom is hard and we're all in this together!

  3. Loved this! Definitely made me tear up!

  4. I totally agree! No reason to judge. Support is so much better and honestly, easier!


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