I feel like I need to start this request with an apology.
My generation has been really opinionated. We’ve shunned advice to put cereal in formula at two weeks old and scoffed at the mere suggestion that our baby sleep on his tummy. This is, of course, because current research shows this to not be best practice. You couldn’t have known that, but we still side-eye you when you suggest it. We’ve held our heads high and turned to mommy groups on Facebook for advice. As a whole, we’ve pushed you away to prove that our new way of momming is better.
I’m sorry for all the times we discounted your advice.
But here’s the thing– we’re struggling. We have all the information we could ever need about raising children at our fingertips, but the internet has also scared us to death. Our mommy groups consist of other moms just like us — moms that also have no idea what they are doing and are just repeating what they also saw on the internet. Everyone is so passionate. Feeding practices, sleep practices…opinions are blazing fires that consume each other and leave most of us confused and overwhelmed.
We need your wisdom.
No amount of research or information can replace experience. The experience you bring to the table is a calming presence that reminds us there is always a solution. You are able to see motherhood from a bird’s eye view when we are so deep in the trenches. You see the sleepless nights as a phase, not a life sentence. When we are overwhelmed with the enormity of this job, you remind us to take it one day at a time.
We need your advice.
I’ve seen so many young moms pick apart the way you raised your babies. They’ve written off all of your advice. For that, I’m sorry. I know it can feel like entering shark-infested water to make a suggestion to a new mom, but do it anyway. For every mom that feels angry at your unsolicited advice, there are five more that treasure it. Even if “the rules” have changed and research has been updated, your advice comes from a place of experience that we cannot find in our young mom cohort. You help us narrow down the infinite choices that the internet throws at us. Even if we ultimately choose a different way, your advice points us in the right direction.
We need your encouragement.
More than anything, we are discouraged. Mommy boards are flooded with women who are struggling to survive each stage of parenthood. Just as we survive one stage, we find ourselves in another that is just as challenging. You already know this, of course, because you survived them all, too. We aren’t sure if we’re doing this right or if our kids are normal. Your encouragement is a bright spot in our day that keeps us going. We need to know it’s going to be okay. We need to know that our kids will be fine. We need to know you’re there for us and will support us.
I know you may still be mothering your own children. Your days are still long and you don’t feel like you’ve arrived yet. I pray someone even more experienced is shepherding you. I can only speak for those of us still in the trenches of young motherhood — the diapers and potty training, the night wakings, breastfeeding around the clock, refereeing small children from sun up to sun down — we need you.