My newsfeed has been flooded lately with "mom" articles. And I have read each and every one of them. Why ? Because there is a part of every Mother that makes them question if they are doing "it" right.
If your breastfeeding you worry if your children are getting enough to eat? If your formula feeding your worried your opening your child up to disease and infections.
If you are co-sleeping, will your child be too dependent? If you let your child cry-it-out will they be emotionally scarred for the rest of their lives?
And your choice for education, public school will surely ruin any chance they have at living a life with morals and values. And home schooling your child, please don't make your kid weird and unsocial.
We worry and wonder because there are so many voices out there making claims that "this is the way you should Mother, and if you don't do it, well, good luck! Your a bad mom!".
One voice tells us that if you are caught using your smartphone while in a 1 mile radius of your child your a Bad Mama because, after all, your every waking moments should be spent focusing solely on your child.
Another voice that leaves us feeling like a bad mom because we give our children too much attention. We should distance ourselves and allow children to make their own choices, and when a bad choice is made, have them learn from it.
Another voice, tells us that our children should only be fed organic, unprocessed, whole healthy foods. And if you don't, for whatever reasons, well, then you should have never had children you were unable to care for!
And I have not even reached the great school debate. But when talking openly about my ideas, I have been met with both sides. "you MUST homeschool him if you want him to grow up to be a God loving man of integrity. IF you homeschool him he will be weird and have no social skills."
I am all for seeking advice. Having been at this "job" for 3 and half years I have learned some things. I love it when my sister calls worried or upset about her 11 month old and I am able to tell her "it's okay, that totally happened for us too." I have sent crazy worry stricken texts to a close friend because x,y,and z happened and I didn't know what to do. I have sought out a mama support system because every mama, no matter what your point of view needs support.
Support without judgement or criticism. "it's okay, when that happened to us, which it totally did, I did this, and it seemed to help" everything is going to okay.
Where are the articles telling us that, "being a mom is hard work, and if you can catch a few minutes of an online "timeout" you should take it. Don't ignore your children, and be sure they are safe and taken care of. But if they are happily buidling a lego tower for the 100th time. You should be able to hop online and see what the rest of the world is doing.
For me, my phone is a lifeline. I am home full time with my 3 year old son. I cherish my son, adore him to pieces, and would not change "jobs" for any amount of money. But sometimes I need a little break. A time to feel "connected" to friends I used to see on a regular basis, and now am lucky to find a second to send a quick text to.
I want an article that tells me I am not overprotective, I allow my son freedom to explore and discover. I am also totally not okay with taking a backseat and allowing him to choose at the age of 3 what he is capable of doing. Things that in my gut, I know are not okay for us. Again I say, for us. I am not judging or criticizing. It's just not right for us, and I don't like being told that is should be.
Being a mom is hard work. It looks different for everyone. Some mom's are 100% okay devoting their undivided attention to their children 100% of the time. Others feel like their children are better with distance and freedom, and take a more relaxed approach. Some have the resources to go all out on their grocery shopping and others are counting every single penny and organic everything is simply not in the budget.
My point is, why are we so adament that "our way" is the best and that every mama should be doing what we are doing.
I know I make mistakes! Every day I am reminded that I am not perfect. But I do know that when it comes to raising my son, I have absolutely postively chosen the best choices for us, at the time I chose them. Will I do some things different if, and when, we have another child. Probably. But I would choose differently because it's a different child I am raising.
So why write this rant, I wish more women that were knee deep in the trenches of motherhood would know, and believe, that they are a great Mama. They are doing the best job they can and should be supported and loved through it.
Follow your Mama instinct 100% of the time, but realize that every Mama has a different instinct.
No matter what your path was into motherhood we are all here. We are all trying our best.
Adios Mis Amigos,