So what? {One question that will end “mommy wars” before they begin}

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A friend of mine asked me to write a post about Mommy Wars. She had recently taken a Facebook fast and when she returned, she was so discouraged at the hatred that is spewed between moms all over the internet over our mothering choices.

“Why can’t everyone just accept that they parent the way they see fit to raise their children? Why does different have to be wrong?”

I think the answer is that we want justification. Because if someone else agrees with our choices then we must be doing the right thing. And if someone doesn’t, well, they must be doing the wrong thing because we have to be right.

It’s a lot harder to just own your choices and decisions without others justifying them, and to be be okay with others doing the same.

I had this realization a few months ago that I feel a lot more secure in my mothering, even more than, say, a year ago. I’m feeling less of a need to defend every choice I make for myself and my family. Because I’m realizing it just doesn’t really matter to anyone but my family what decisions I make.

And so I have to ask you…

So you don’t use cloth diapers. So you had a home birth. So you use Young Living instead of doTerra. So you don’t let your kids watch Calliou or Dora. So you homeschool. So you use formula. So your kids are on such-and-such schedule or sleep training routine. So you don’t wear yoga pants. So your kids don’t eat gluten. So you don’t use birth control. So attachment parenting didn’t work for your child. So you have chronic fatigue syndrome and can’t keep your house clean. So you don’t do Santa. So your three-year-old doesn’t go to preschool(Ahem…calling myself out here.)


So what? What does it really matter?

I get it. Your choices matter to YOU…that’s why you made them. And no one wants to feel alone in her choices. But really, outside of the people within your home, whom do YOUR choices really affect?

And if that answer is, well, really, no one, then why do we share them, argue about them, and justify them in the first place? You aren’t changing anyone’s mind (at least not from what I’ve seen). All you are doing is frustrating yourself by seeking validation from other moms instead of resting secure in your own ability to make good decisions. (Because, you know, we all have brains. Sometimes they just come to different conclusions.)

So just stop. Stop rushing to your own defense. Stop sharing every choice you make for your family.

Your choices don’t need to be announced, let alone defended or justified. Because they are YOUR choices.

Our family recently made a choice. A choice that when we sought advice for said choice we received a lot of conflicting advice. A choice we were conflicted about ourselves for a long time. A choice that if I told you about, some of you would probably majorly disagree with us for. But we made it. And it’s working for our family. And oh…I have been SO tempted to blog about it. To share the thought and research that went into this choice. To explain the whys and the hows. To make you understand why it’s okay even though a lot of people say that it isn’t.

But I’m not gonna. Because…really. So what? What does this choice matter to you?

The truth is that it doesn’t. What we do in our home doesn’t affect you at all. So I’m just going to keep it to myself and move on.

So the next time someone leaves a comment on your status telling you to try this or that you shouldn’t do that or have you looked at this or read this article, ask yourself, “So what?”

The next time that one friend posts about the poison that is sunscreen or her unassisted birth and you want so badly to defend your own choices, as, yourself as yourself, “So what?”

The next time you find your hands hovering over the draft of a blog post entitled “Why our family does/doesn’t xyz…” ask yourself “So what?”

Own your own choices without needing external justification. And let the rest of the moms in the world do the same.

And then step away from your Facebook and go have a living room dance party to The-Song-That-Should-Be-The-Anthem-Of-All-Moms-Everywhere. You will come back a nicer person.



  • Tricia

    This is so good. I get really upset when parents who don’t have special needs kids tell me that our girls shouldn’t be taking medication. Would they have the same opinion if they faced the daily life that we face? It’s so easy to say “I would never” when you aren’t actually facing the situation.

    Thank you for the reminder that I need to just say “So what?” next time someone questions our choices. Our choices are working for our family and that is all that matters.

    • Aprille

      “Our choices are working for our family and that is all that matters.”

      Yup. That really is all that matters. Thanks for commenting, and I’m so glad that this decision is working for your family.

  • Becky Daye

    Fantastic, Aprille! I love this!!! I think there has been a blogging phenomena that has convinced everyone that they are experts and they get to teach everyone else how it’s done. Really? On the flip side, I love reading about different perspectives when they are shared with humility and the attitude that this is what works for MY family as you stated.

    • Aprille

      The attitude of the writer helps a lot I think. I know you recently wrote a post about why your family makes a certain choice. But knowing you, your writing, your heart, I am sure it didn’t come as much from a place of defense or self-justification as much as sharing perhaps a different perspective. You also have great maturity in this area. Too often for myself, those lines are very blurry. What starts out as “let me just share a different perspective” can turn into delving into my own insecurities and trying to seek affirmation online.

      And yes, on the everyone thinking they are experts. Guilty.

  • Colleen

    Very true. We each need to make our own decisions because we know best for our own families. As a mother of grown children with families of their own, I tell them the same thing. If they want advice, I will tell them what I think or suggest things to investigate. But ultimately the decisions are theirs to make. Why should I be personally offended because they don’t choose the same thing I would choose? I support whatever choices they make. Thanks for this blog, Aprille.

  • Amanda H

    Hi, Aprille. I just found your blog and your perspectives are so refreshing. As a first-time mom to a 2 month old, I basically have to tune out most of the unsolicited advice given to me. I’m learning as most moms really do: trial and error. If something works for your family and your child is thriving (oh, and mom is happy), then so be it. It’s easy to have all the answers from the outside but every child is different. There truly is no one-size-fits-all in parenting. I deleted my Facebook 3 years ago and I haven’t regretted it a single day. It made me not like my friends and that was before I had a child! Being a parent is so difficult and we all have done things that we said we never would (ahem, napping with the baby on my chest). We need to be sources of support and encouragement to one another through this journey.

    P.S. I loved your post on deviating from Attachment Parenting. Bless you for trying! It sounded too exhausting to me from the get!

    • Aprille

      Thanks Amanda, for reading along with me on my journey. I’m glad you are happier off of Facebook. If I didn’t have so many close friends on there, I’d probably do the same. I view FB as a necessary evil – that much of the time I have to just filter out what I see and keep. my. mouth. shut.

      So glad you are learning these lessons now when your baby is so little. I think I was a bit of a slower learner in this department.

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