However, this week everywhere I turned moms were weighing in on the latest mommy war.
Recently, the reportedly highest paid super model, Gisele Bundchen, posted a photo of herself nursing her one year old baby while a team of individuals worked to prep her hair and makeup for a photography shoot. She captioned it saying, "What would I do without this beauty squad after the 15 hours flying and only three hours of sleep #multitasking #gettingready". Thanks to the internet, mothers everywhere began a virtual war of words both supporting and tearing down the model's post.
We are less than two weeks away from Christmas, people and this is how we want to spend our time and energy? Fighting over Tom Brady's wife's picture? That's right; the most beautiful woman in the world is married to the New England Patriots' star.
Now, it would be easy for me to look at my little life, in my little town with my little house and join the ranks of snarky women who are angry with Bundchen's portrayal of a day in her life but I won’t.
You see, I don’t get all the fuss. I don't know this woman and she has no influence in my life. What and how she chooses to feed her child bears no relevance to me. I'm a little busy over here managing my own life. Weighing in on how she manages hers only detracts from what I need to do. And folks, I don't have the time to get distracted. I got work to do.
Secondly, she is nursing her baby, not yours. Her opinions on the benefits of nursing are hers. Your opinions on breast feeding are yours. Opinions are by nature, personal and therefore vary. If you let her photo offend you and your choice to bottle feed than it seems to me the issue is with your confidence level, not hers.
I've never met a mother who wants to do badly by their child. We do the best we can with what we have. Be secure in your choices, if you made a bad one - and we all do - learn from it, use it to propel you to be a better mother in the future and move on. Tearing another woman down won't make you better. It only sucks up the precious energy you need to focus on your family.
Finally, mothers everywhere went ballistic that Bundchen had the gall to call sitting in a chair and getting beautified "multi-tasking". Throngs of parents argued that the photo does not portray real life multi-tasking. Well, of course it doesn’t but I can’t see how getting mad at her because her definition is different than mine makes one bit of difference. Because let’s be honest, I would trade any one of my days for one day of her glamorous treatment. And I bet I’m not alone.
When my twins were born I nursed them, but I wasn't getting my nails done at the same time. I was nursing, making dinner, changing diapers and wrangling three other kids! Simultaneously! That is multi-tasking.
To argue that her definition of busyness is wrong and mine is right infers a lot of judgment on my part. To say that I'm a better mother because I do more, did more, can handle more is hurtful and doesn’t uplift anyone.
I wish we could learn to accept and appreciate our own efforts. Instead moms often rate their performance based on what we observe in other mothers. We see kids who are weaned and potty trained while their mom, who has managed to lose all her baby weight, has time for knitting and making homemade baby food.
Then we feel less about ourselves. This is so defeating. I must remember what I do well, and what I don't do well, do not make up the sum of who I am.
I may not ever be a super model like Bundchen but that's okay. Me and my un-manicured nails know precisely what's important. Even without a glam squad. Why? Because I'm the mom and I said so! That's why!
Stephanie is a parent educator for the Monmouth-Roseville school district. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article appears as a part of my weekly Practical Parenting series for The Review Atlas, a GateHouse Media company.