No More Either/Or: Choose Both


The mommy wars rage on. I’m not sure how it happens, but as soon as we become moms, we are suited up for the battle. I rarely hear dads arguing over cloth diapers versus disposable, or formula versus breast, but I have seen friendships between moms ruined over these very same discussions. Here’s the thing: motherhood doesn’t have to be either/or. Let me say it another way: you can choose both.


I say this as someone who has, in fact, chosen both in lots of arenas. My daughters have both been fed at the breast and with a bottle. I’ve used cloth diapers and disposable ones. My older daughter watches TV, but she also engages in lots of imaginative play and sports. Sometimes I wear my baby in a wrap or carrier, other times I hold her all day, and sometimes I put her down in a swing. My older daughter goes to sleep in her own bed, but she often ends up on the floor in our room. While I try to be responsive to my children’s cries, sometimes they just have to cry to move on (the seven-year-old and the four-month-old alike!), and all I can do is let them know I am there with them while they work through the tiredness or disappointment.

I won’t tell you which option you should choose on any issue. I won’t even tell you that you should choose both, but I will tell you that you can. I won’t tell you that my way works perfectly, but I will tell you that I feel free to choose something else if what I’ve tried before stops working. Just like there’s a balance in parenting decisions, there’s a balance in the mommy wars. You can believe that what you are doing is best for your child, and you can believe in another mother’s right to choose what is best for her children. It’s as simple as that. The only way to win a war is to refuse to participate.

What are some mommy war issues that you have had to decide between or BOTH?

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Aside from being a writer, Kendra is a Birth Trauma Doula at KarysMa Birth, where she helps moms find their joy after birth trauma. A former middle school English and theatre teacher, she has an insatiable love for learning and a flair for the dramatic. Among the best moments of her life, she counts marrying her husband Steve during a dream rainbow wedding, planning a princess picnic on the beach with her eight year old daughter Karys, giving birth to her one year old daughter Saryn in the middle of a blizzard, and sitting on stage with Glennon Doyle. A Navy brat for the first 13 years of her life, Kendra settled in Virginia for eighteen years before she was finally ready to move again, relocating to Portland in 2014. You can find her work on Portland Moms Blog, The La Leche League Blog, and The Not Your Average Mom Project, as well as the hard drive of her computer.


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