I went to BlogHer again this year thinking maybe I’d learn how to get a piece published in a magazine. Or how to find a way to make money (rather than lose it) doing what I love. Or just see some of my favorite people who sustain me in my writing efforts.
But I didn’t think I’d come away totally moved by a realization that’s been lying there under the surface of my blog since the very beginning.
You see, when you go to one of these bloggy conferences, you’re supposed to arrive with a 15-second summary of what your blog is all about. Since there are about a gazillion parenting bloggers, I’ve always struggled with what sets me apart. (Besides the most sincere, supportive, insightful readers, that is.)
But on Saturday afternoon, Christy Turlington Burns, who was speaking on a panel about her charity Every Mother Counts, used a phrase that lit a fire inside of me.
“The sisterhood of motherhood”
Yes. Yes! That, that is what I believe in.
I do my best to avoid writing about politics, religion, and other divisive topics. (Except, of course, my breastfeeding experience and the introduction of my former employer’s CEO.) Not because I’m hiding behind my words or trying not to alienate people. But because I believe the ties that bind us are so much stronger than those that divide us.
There is truly an inherent sisterhood in motherhood. It doesn’t matter where you live, what language you speak, what you wear, who sleeps in your bed, who sees what’s under your shirt, or what your job title is.
If you are a mom, we are more alike than different.
We’ve handed over our hearts, and in many cases our bodies.
We’ve stayed up late, woken up early, and collected our very own set of sleepless nights.
We’ve healed boo boos and hurt feelings with a kiss.
We’ve felt heart-bursting pride.
We’ve memorized dimples, rolls, birthmarks, and facial expressions.
We’ve loved so deeply that we know both euphoria and heartbreak.
We’ve questioned ourselves.
We’ve questioned others.
We’ve learned that our guts can give us more guidance than any parenting book.
We’ve talked in silly voices and made silly faces—all while taking it surprisingly seriously.
We’ve experienced days that have brought us to our knees.
We’ve experienced days that have raised us up.
We’ve admired a little something about ourselves in someone else.
We’ve been driven crazy by a little something about ourselves in someone else.
We’ve shed tears.
We’ve wiped noses.
We’ve held hands.
We’ve held hearts.
We’ve added “mom” to our proudest list of accomplishments.
These are big things. Big, huge things that unite us. So let’s do our best to hold on to these truths rather than engaging in the latest battle of the virtual mommy war. Because in that war, the only casualty is a mother’s confidence—and, in turn, a child’s role model.
We all want the best for our kids. And, as a woman, I want what’s best for mothers everywhere. I believe that’s a sisterhood built on laughter, learning, honesty, thoughtful dialogue, and love.
Welcome, sisters. I couldn’t be more proud to be in your company.