I was first introduced to the CT Working Moms from their campaign to End the Mommy Wars, and if you're at all familiar with Early Mama, you know how strongly I feel about support over shame. (You might remember our #spreadlovenotshame initiative.)
And now these incredible ladies are teaming up with The Bump for an even bigger social media project to spread love and support to other moms. Today is Moms for Moms Day!
So I asked one of the CT Working Moms bloggers — an "early mama" who spent her 20s immersed in motherhood — to give us a little background on this project, as well as her own story...
By Sarah Bernhardson
Cloth diapers or disposables? Bottle or breast? Cribs or co-sleeping? As moms, we make choices every day about what's best for our families. And far too often, there's someone out there who's ready to tell us why our choice isn't the "correct" one. Well over at CTWorkingMoms.com, we think it's time to acknowledge the fact that we moms all want to do what's best for our own families, realizing that every single one of us is facing different circumstances. That's why we are partnering with TheBump.com to celebrate Moms For Moms Day today, March 4, where we ask moms everywhere to embrace their differences and realize that we're all doing the best we can to keep our families happy and healthy.
As a fairly young mom, I've certainly faced my share of judgement for my choices. My twenties were, in a nutshell, exhausting. I graduated college at 21, met my husband at 22, got engaged at 23, married at 24, first baby at 25, second baby at 28, and a Master's Degree at 29. I'm exhausted just thinking back on it, to tell the truth.
I was among the first of my friends to get married, and certainly the first to have a baby (let alone two!). I had people asking why I bothered to get a college degree at all if I'd planned to jump right into motherhood. When I waited in line for text books in grad school — nine months pregnant with my second child, with my then two year old holding my hand — people gently told me there was nothing shameful about taking some time off.
"What will you do with a Master's Degree anyway, with two little ones at home?"
Lately my Facebook feed is peppered with articles about why women should wait to get married, why older moms with more life experience are better suited for motherhood, and why I should have spent my twenties seeing Machu Picchu and exploring alternative religions instead of frantically popping out babies and degrees.
But you know what? I did what worked for me. I may have traded a decade of "me time" for a decade of chaos, but I'm now finding myself in my early 30s with school-aged kids, a career, and a graduate degree. I'm happy, and so is my family. I was fortunate to have had the support of my family and friends, without which this all would have been much more difficult. They didn't judge me for my choices; they supported me. They didn't stop me and say, "No, no, no — you don't want kids now. Have your first at 32." My childless friends didn't stop being my friends when I declined weekend trips to Boston because I was nursing a newborn while they were living the single life. They let me do what was best for myself and my family, and they said, "Rock on. And let me know if you need help." And that response is a whole lot nicer.
So join us and The Bump.com today to celebrate Moms for Moms Day!
Snap a photo of yourself holding a sign with a supportive message for other moms. (You can download templates or pre-made signs, as well.) Better yet, gather a group of mom friends and host your own photo shoot embracing your various choices! Pop your photos on Faceook and Twitter using the hashtag #moms4moms and help us spread our message! Tag us (@ctworkingmoms) and The Bump (@thebump) in your tweet if you'd like.
Let's all try to love more and judge less!
Thank you Sarah for sharing this with us! And make sure to add the #earlymama hashtag so I can share your photos, as well!