Can’t We All Just Get Along?

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“Don’t be fooled. You’re not in competition with other women.” – Tina Fey

So, this post is something I’ve been thinking about for a while and I want to say I’m writing with caution and hope not to offend anyone.

Before I got pregnant, I felt like I was repeatedly given one message: My life was unfilled because I didn’t have kids. I was missing out because I didn’t have kids. I’ll want children one day …  ‘they’ all assured me.

But I didn’t. And quite honestly, as I read articles about the misery of parenting (apparently it’s the new vogue to complain about motherhood) and saw updates and posts about how hard it was to be a mom, I was further grounded in my expectation that pugs and mastiffs would be my only children.

But, we all know where this is going … I got knocked up.

Me. The spouse. One night. A look in his eye … timing, right?

First, the mom-parts of me blossomed, then the baby arrived, the nights got long, and the diapers piled up. I started to empathize with the articles and stories I’d read. It is hard! But so fulfilling … I get it! They’ve been right all along!

But, are they?

Of course meeting my tiny man has resulted in the happiest and most fulfilling moments of my life. And sure, some of those moments have been the hardest and most challenging. But I have to wonder, could I have not achieved fulfillment in any other way? And are my struggles so unique … can I even truly define them as struggles?

The other night, I spent time with an amazing group of women. And I was reminded that happiness and  success come from many different sources. It doesn’t matter if working hard and achieving professional success is important to you. Or if crossing that first finish line is the ultimate goal. Or if being in a situation that allows you to spend every day with your children is your highest priority.

As women, it’s hard enough to accept ourselves. We shouldn’t help cultivate a society that doesn’t accept us. Do we really need to point out areas we’re failing to each other? Do we really need to say that one lifestyle choice is better, or more demanding, or more fulfilling than another? Can we really comment on what makes someone else happy?

There are a lot of dreams out there. A LOT. I only wish I could have the capacity to understand the wants and needs of everyone … or maybe not. It’s hard enough keeping up with my own wants and needs.

I think what I’m trying to say is that each woman is different. And we’re all AMAZING.

Some of us are single, some of us are married. Some of us have kids, some of us choose not to have children. Some of us are working moms and some of us are stay-at-home moms (and, increasingly, some are work-at-home-stay-at-home-moms). Some like cats, others prefer dogs.

We all have hearts, feelings, and hopes and whether or not we fit into a cookie-cutter lifestyle, we need to support each other. Instead of justifying our own choices by looking down on others or making wide assumptions about other lifestyles, we should be learning from each other and supporting other women to succeed in all the ways we can.

Don’t be fooled. You are not in competition with other women. Let’s support each other and celebrate our differences.

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5 thoughts on “Can’t We All Just Get Along?

  1. I love this and totally agree! After the much wanted and amazing addition of a baby, as weird as it sounds, I totally I felt it necessary to tell all the women and couples I knew that had been poked and proded to have kids that there was no rush!! I have even told some “be an old mom even if you want!” Do everything and anything that makes you happy or that you want to do first, THEN, decide/have kids. Because kids are not the answer to each person’s fulfillment.

  2. This is a very thoughtful post.

    As a woman without a child I’m surprised at how often other woman make comments that seem 1) none of their business and 2) condescending about my choice not to have children.

    Example of 1) When are you going to have children? You know after 35 the risks go up. (as if I’m a complete idiot and didn’t know this)
    Example of 2) see below.

    I feel as thought they are making the point that THEY ARE ABLE TO DO IT ALL, while I am not. Those exact words have never been said to me, but I feel that all too often this is the undertone . Plus, I’ve been told to my face that I’m selfish because I’ve chosen not to have children. Wow!

    I agree with you! We have enough on our plates as women, the last thing we should be doing is judging each other for very personal choices.

    This is a great topic and needs to be discussed more often. :-)

  3. As a mother of an only child, I get hounded CONTINUOUSLY about how my kiddo will grow up lonely and miserable. Truth is, there will always be something for people to give you a hard time about. But your are right… we just need to get along and support one another for the decisions we make. Great post!

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