Oh, The Labels

I recently spoke with a postpartum mom who is participating in a specific online support group. While I can’t reveal its title, it did get me thinking about a topic I have pondered since I conceived my first daughter Lo those many years ago. It’s a little something I like to call The Label Trap.

Breastfeeding moms.” “Co-sleeping moms.” “Sleep-training moms.” Working Moms.” “Attachment-led Moms.” These and many other phrases may describe a particular approach to a particular piece of the mothering puzzle. But they aren’t identifiers, and they shouldn’t put mothers in boxes.

Our brains like to categorize – it helps us make sense of the world around us. However, this can be problematic, especially for new moms who commonly struggle with reclaiming their own identities after they become parents. While it’s one thing to be proud of how you raise your child, it’s another for others to judge you for it. And while there was plenty of that to go around before Insta and Snap, the ubiquity of social media has escalated the whole situation to enormous and often damaging proportions.

Why can’t all the moms be, well, all the moms? Do we really need quantifiers? Can’t we just agree that as long as our children are thriving and happy, it’s all good? And at the risk of sounding cliché, we moms really do have more in common than we don’t. So, let’s embrace our different philosophies, because we can learn from and provide support to one another a whole lot more effectively when we remove the titles and the judgement. 

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