We Are Not at War

Kim Steele

I see you, young mom.

You are doing great. I know there is a lot of pressure out there, both from parents and childless people who think they know about the best way to raise children. You should know that there are people who will not agree with the way you feed them, clothe them, or help them go to sleep.

The thing is, though: there is no competition in parenting. Even though it feels like it sometimes, even though some people may try to trick you into believing so. There are no awards at the end if you breastfeed for 2 years or sleep train or don’t lose your poop over the 22 empty juice boxes you find discarded under the couch.

The goal is to keep them alive, help them thrive, and raise good people that stay out of jail. That’s it. If we do all that, we win ALL the imaginary parenting awards.

We are not at war.

I see you, my tween.

You get frustrated when things don’t go your way. (It’s called life. Welcome.) You think you can make your own decisions, but you’re not quite ready yet. You should know that day will come, and sometimes it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Even though we butt heads, we still want the same things, you and I. We both want you grow up and away and have a life of your own.

One day, you can stay up until 3 am playing Minecraft and texting with your friends, and I won’t be able to stop you. One day, not today. Sorry.

We are not at war.

I see you, girl-woman in the mirror.

I know you still feel like a girl, but you’ve been married for 17 years and you have 2 kids. You’re a grown woman now, so deal. I hear you and your doubts. I know you are wondering if you are cut out to do it all, if you are enough. I see you trying hard not to get down on yourself, not to give up. You should know that I want you to succeed. You have other people in your corner too, if you just look around.

We are not at war. 

It seems like we battle so much every day. We try to beat the clock, beat the bulge, beat the traffic, to keep up with the Joneses. We squabble with strangers in comment sections on Facebook. We snap at our loved ones. We sell ourselves short and give away our power.

What are we fighting? We are not warriors; we are just people.

Maybe instead of this us-against-them, me-versus-the-world mentality, we could switch it up.

So, I will cheer you on, young mom. You’re doing your best, and I am here if you want to talk. Take that, Mommy Wars.

I am here for you, my tween. Even when you snap at me and roll your eyes and over-prioritize entertainment. I’m not letting up on you, though. Empty the dishwasher, already.

And as for that unconvinced grown up I see in the mirror, I know you try your best. And good intentions count for something. Remember that you’ve got people in your corner. Even me.

After all, we not at war. (At least, we shouldn’t be.) 

Read more in the Family Room

We Are Not at War

This post was syndicated with permission to BonBon Break Media LLC.

Kim writes at Co-Pilot Mom. (She's not really a pilot.) She is co-piloting 2 young Captains until they are flying on their own. A wannabe foodie and confirmed geek, Kim loves camping with her family and dreams of car singing superstardom.