Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: Be cool to other mothers
There’s been a great backlash in the past few years against that notion of there being some battle between mothers. It’s an upper middle class and wealthy made-up problem. Most of it is and was waged on the Internet and in some ridiculous books. All it does is make women look like a bunch of jerks.
The Internet can be a cesspool where people who don’t mind their manners go to spew forth rudeness. Now, we all know that people are rude to each other’s faces, too, and in print. We all lose our tempers sometimes, but if you’re doing it with regularity, and being judgmental about it, then you are the one with a problem. So that awesome backlash has been from mothers who don’t care if everything in their lives is perfect, and they certainly don’t insult other mothers who have different jobs, household roles, parenting methods or whatever else. Instead, they offer support. They hug. They make jokes. They laugh at themselves. They want to make things better for everyone, not worse.
Now most books on mothering are about relaxing a bit and supporting each other. Blogs are more about sharing funny stories than slamming another woman’s parenting choices. Essentially, the kind mothers are edging out the jerk mothers in media, and we’re all better for it. In reality, I like to think there are way more kind mothers who are cooler to each other than the alternative. Let’s lift up the mothers today, whether you’re a mother or have a mother or a maternal figure. Raise a glass of wine or cup of milk, whatever you like.
Nurturing life – whether you physically brought it into the world or not – is what keeps the world going and life getting better. Here’s to the birth mothers and adoptive mothers, to the grandmothers and sisters and aunts, to the stepmothers and foster mothers, to the teachers and the child care providers, to the women who raise each other up. Here’s to the women who fill the mothering role when another falters. Here’s to those who step up.
And let us not forget the mothers who have lost their children to miscarriage, illness, accident, murder or any other way their babies were taken from them. They are mothers forever. Let’s lift them up.
And for those mothers who are down on themselves, or feeling lonely, or wanting to see the greener grass of tomorrow, just keep going. As Dory in “Finding Nemo” says, and I know you’ve watched it: “Just keep swimming.” The other mothers out there know you can do it.
On my way to work Friday, the radio station was playing songs about mothers. The coolest one was Parliament’s “Mothership Connection.” This is P-Funk – I wasn’t looking for lyrical meaning, just enjoying the ride. I hope all those who mother enjoy their day today. Have a cool Mother’s Day.
Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-419-6563.