I always imagined there was a program called Mommy School. If I was having toilet training issues I would enter the toilet training wing and presto problem solved. Or if I needed help with my child’s stubborn behaviour I would enter the behaviour floor and magic my child was fine. When my teenagers were younger they would ask me questions and when I answered they would look at me in awe and say “how do you know that?” Without waiting a beat I would say “I learned that at mommy school.” And they believed me. Wouldn’t it be a wondrous thing if there was a real mommy school? I think this would give many moms a feeling of sisterhood and support. It would be an educational environment to learn how to raise our children. When I was a young mom just in my mid twenties with two young toddlers I felt completely incompetent. I grew up in a family of ten children and helped with my younger siblings. Why was I at such a loss? One big challenge was that my baby had anaphylactic allergies, severe eczema and asthma. It took time to figure this out and for the first few months all I had was a crying baby. I remember taking him to the doctor to try and figure out the eczema. His skin was covered in severe patches of bloody spots. I was a few minutes late and the secretary turned me away. I stood there holding my baby and just cried. Did she understand what it took for me to get out of the house? Did she understand how lost I felt. All I needed was a warm and understanding gesture and then I would feel stronger to figure out the health issues. It took time to figure out motherhood and I’m still on the journey as every day and stage brings new experiences. Mommy School would be helpful but it doesn’t exist just yet. But perhaps instead of creating a new institution we can offer each other a sense of support and reassurance. When we see a fellow mom instead of judging the way she manages her children at the park or the way she deals with bedtime, just give her a warm smile and supportive comment. It can accomplish almost as much as “Mommy School.” After all it’s about sisterhood and mommy-hood needs just that.
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