(DISCLAIMER! This post is to encourage the "Sandy Moms". It is not intended for any other reason but to be honest about what I feel about Mothering (you ask for honesty, you get it). It should not be taken any other way than to encourage those Moms who are made to feel "subpar" because they DON'T do these things, not for the Mother's who DO do these things. Because if you DO do these things and are passionate about why you do, that's great....just don't judge Sandy for not. So if you are not a Sandy, you might want to skip this post, because again...this is JUST FOR THEM.)
When I hosted my giveaway last week asking your New Years Resolutions, Sandy left a comment that not only made me laugh, but also made me want to stand up and applaud her. And so I wanted to write about it.
This is Sandy's NYR:
"My resolution this year is to find other crappy and unpretentious moms to hang out with. moms that are not going to judge me for my baby not having taken to my breasts, or not using cloth diapers because it is too time consuming to do that and make meals and clean and look presentable, or my baby not having organic clothes. I just want to find friends that can admit how hard it is. I resume to not judge or compare myself to all my hippie darling friends but to find other "crappy" moms!
So Sandy, this is for you. And for all of the rest of the Sandy's of the world. Which I'm sure, is all of us at one time or another.
Being a Mom IS HARD. It is the single hardest job on earth because not only are you responsible for a tiny human's LIFE (that in and of itself is stressful enough), but you rarely get a break. It is a 'round the clock job and while those who sit around and say "Stay at Home Mom's have it made", well, they clearly have never been a Mother. And those are the same people who slave at work all day but when they go home they're "off work". We, as Mothers, are never "off work".
Nursing. You should NEVER (let me repeat...NEVER) be judged for not breastfeeding your child. That is a personal choice and no one knows what is best for your child and yourself other than YOU. If your friends look down on you for not doing it, well, I would question if they were truly your friends. In my opinion, nursing is the best option. After all, it is the way God designed it, and the whole process of solely providing the nutrients to fully sustain your child is pretty incredible. BUT. It is not for everyone. It was not for me. It was not for Levi. A series of events/problems took place during the first 4 days of Levi's life (ones that I would rather not discuss with the entire world) that led us to bottle feed. Not once did I feel bad about it. I knew that it was best for both of us. I feared having a sickly baby if I didn't nurse him, but God has been so gracious to us. Levi is 7 months old and the only thing he's ever had is a little runny nose a month ago. No ear infections, no fevers, NOTHING. I have several friends who breastfed and it seems like their babies are always sick! Which is why I believe that while breastfeeding is best (nothing can beat those nutrients), I also think your child is either going to be prone to colds, ear infections, etc, or just isn't - breastfed or not. Not nursing does NOT make you a cruddy Momma!
Cloth diapers. Okay, seriously. Are we living in the 1800's or what? That is just a concept that I can't understand for the life of me. I know, I know, it is cheaper and it "saves the earth" yada yada, but seriously - who has time in between laundry, dusting, baby crying, vacuuming, baby screaming, changing sheets, making beds, feeding baby, doing dishes, cooking supper, changing baby diapers, scrubbing the toilets and tubs, picking up toys, playing with baby...etc, etc, ETC!!!! to rinse out cloth diapers 292,034,829,343 times a day?!?!? The whole idea gags me and makes me frustrated. I would be a screaming mess if I had to deal with cloth diapers on top of all of my other responsibilities. Not using cloth diapers does NOT make you a cruddy Momma!
Cooking, Cleaning, Looking Presentable. If you asked Husby how many meals I cooked in Levi's first few months of life, he would probably laugh in your face. Even now, there are plenty of nights during the month that we have something super easy or we drive through something. There is a fine art to timing everything to where Levi is either napping or happily playing so that I can start supper and keep it going without interruption. And some nights, it just doesn't happen. Likewise, some days the house is clean, other days it's a wreck. Some days I look cute when Husby comes home, other days, I look like a hagged out weirdo! Some days, I feel like I have it all together - supper is on, the house is clean, Levi is happy and I look refreshed. Those days are awesome. But inevitably there are other days when I simply can't balance it all and somewhere along the way, something gets out of control (usually the laundry) and the whole day feels like a disaster. Not always cooking, not always cleaning, and not always looking presentable does NOT make you a cruddy Momma!
Moms should never compare themselves to anyone else, because no one has YOUR LIFE. We are all in different circumstances, our babies have different needs and personalities and we all have different opinions on how to rear our children. If someone judges you because you don't do it like they are doing it, chances are, they need to self examine and reevaluate. We need to realize that if we all methodically raised our children in the same manner, we would end up with a planet full of robots.
I think so many Momma's get wrapped up in useless details of organic products and parenting "fads" and they lose sight of the big picture -> Are You Training Your Child In The Way He Should Go? A good Mom is not determined by if you nurse, what type of diapers you use or if you look cute at the end of the day. A good Mom is one that loves her baby unconditionally and shows that with lots of hugs, kisses and snuggles. A good Mom is one that interacts with, plays with and works with her baby to teach and develop their little minds. A good Mom is one that is in tune with her child's needs and goes out of her way to make sure those needs are met. A good Mom is one who covers her baby in prayer every day and works on herself to become a better example of Christ to her children. A good Mom works to love her husband deeper so that they can be the living picture of a covenant relationship to her children. These are the things that MATTER. These are the things that your child will grow up appreciating you for. These are the things that will help your child become the best person they can possibly be.
So for all of the Sandy's out there, keep doing what you are doing. If you need to, put horse blinders on if you are tempted to watch other Momma's and compare yourself. Keep loving on, teaching, playing with, and instructing your little one and never buy in to the lies that nursing, diapers and an immaculate home make you a "Super Mom". Because really, there is no such thing. (Well...besides my Mom.)