I created UrbanMoms and I still, seven years later, feel passionate and protective of this space and the community. We have grown and changed but, at the core, our values are still the same – Your Voice. Your Place. My goal was always to represent the diversity that is Canada. I wanted to give a voice to as many kinds of families and women out there. I wanted women to feel that they had a place to be themselves – fallible and real – where they would be supported and encouraged. A respite. A place where we build each other up, not beat each other down. There’s enough of that ugliness and I had faith that we could rise above it here. Plus, I wanted us to see that at the core, we all share the common experience of being mothers.
The Sisterhood of Motherhood.
Over the years UrbanMoms has had many different blogs and contributors. We have had blogs on pregnancy and childbirth and parenting at every stage. We have covered many topics including weight loss, divorce, single parenting, death of a parent, death of a child, death of a spouse, and mortality. We have talked about puberty, menopause, body image and growing old. We have represented many religions and races and choices and lifestyles. We have opened our minds to new and progressive ideas while debating the pros and cons of The Good Old Days.
UrbanMoms has continued to work with many different companies in many different ways. We have represented modern women and mothers in a way we should be proud of with tolerance and an open mind.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~Aristotle
Of course, we have had our share of controversy and backlash. We have seen and experienced hurtful comments and harsh judgment. This is to be expected as some people, especially with certain things, are unable to separate out feelings and be objective. It just hits too close to home, I guess. However, despite the occasional negativity, we continue to represent many perspectives and experiences in the spirit of how we started with the hope that we will be better people for it.
Mostly, this has been embraced by our readers. Most of us seem to understand that just because someone posts about eating gluten free or free-range parenting or budgeting or un-schooling it doesn’t mean that we all have to jump on board and adopt this thinking ourselves. Instead, the hope is that we can learn and be respectful. That we can put our emotions aside and open ourselves up to another person’s point of view. Not with the goal of converting anyone but with the goal of understanding and tolerance.
Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress. ~Mahatma Gandhi
Sometimes what I see makes me sick to my stomach and sad that this is the world my children will grow up in. When someone tries to share their story or point of view and we feel it is an open invitation to sling insults and hateful words. This doesn’t just happen here but all over the internet. We wonder how our children learn to be bullies or “mean girls” or intolerant when our own judgment and hatred oozes out of every word in the comments we leave on a post we disagree with. We are not open to listen, to learn, to understand. We are poised in self-righteous anger to pounce.
Shame on us as we point fingers and blame others when our own intolerance is to blame. The problem here is not the choices and stories shared, they simply bring it to light. The issue is that some are threatened by difference and react in fear. Because otherwise they would realize that these stories and ideas have nothing to do with them and their hatred is wasted.
In time we hate that which we often fear. ~Shakespeare
The perspectives and experiences offered by other women – mothers – is an opportunity for each of us to take a peek into another person’s life. From this we can learn and hopefully see that no one person is defined by one opinion or thought or experience but that, at the core, we all share the common experience of being a mother.
To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform. ~Theodore H. White