Thursday, April 4, 2013


Now that the kids are quickly closing in on three and five years old, I've had an opportunity to reflect on what it's like to raise two small people. Up to this point of course. There are many more challenges and rewards to come. There are so many little things that make them uniquely who they are. Many memories of  "appy ju" and crossed eyes. Wrestling them away from the park and sending tiny people off on the school bus for the first time. Lot's of everyday memories of sisters growing up together and becoming best friends. There are lots of fantastic rights of passage when raising a little person or two. There are also some that are best avoided but, for some reason, many new parents find themselves pulled into.

 One of the things I won't miss are the so called "Mommy Wars" that seem to preoccupy the lives of many new parents, especially moms. In one moment, an innocent search on the Internet for advice, can turn into a battle of who's right, who's wrong, and why you should feel guilty about every decision you've made thus far. Do you breastfeed or bottle feed? WHY? Do you sleep train? Do you use a soother? Yes? No? WHY? Cloth or disposables? Epidural or natural? Co sleeping or crib? WHY? Here's a hint; everything you answer is wrong. At least that's how it can feel at the time. Everyone with a keyboard, Internet access and an opinion is suddenly a "expert" and will feel compelled to educate you in the correct way of raising your children. In as much has the Internet can be a great resource to find support and common ground, it can also pull that ground out from under you if you let it.

Now that I have the benefit of hindsight, I'm amazed, truly amazed at how utterly insignificant any of that is at this point in time. The battles that people waged online defending their own positions seem like tiny wars waged by ants. Sure a big deal for the ants, but in the great wide world, it's a tiny ripple. It may be reassuring to know, if you are a newer mom or still well immersed in babies and toddlers, that this will all pass. Not even with a bang or a whimper; but more with a disregarded fizzle. Your life moves on. You're occupied with other things, including your own life, not that solely of your children's. When your kids are three and five, no one cares if you breastfed. No one cares when they were potty trained. No one cares when they finally slept through the night. Why? I don't know. Perspective I guess. The point being at some point we all move on, so don't sweat the small stuff. You may as well get a head start worrying about how you're going to pay for their university tuition.