One of the things I am constantly amazed – and appalled – by is people's judgements when it comes to parenting. Nothing can drum up a controversy faster than someone having an opinion about topics like breastfeeding, cosleeping, or immunizations. (Thank goodness I have girls so circumcision was never an issue) Sadly this has forced most women to simply “get quiet” about their thoughts, beliefs, and practices. I remember being a new Mom and looking to other Moms for help… very few of which would even broach the subject of what to or not to do.
And that was 13 years ago.
My friend Jen from LifeWithLevi posted a great picture yesterday on Facebook which caused a stir that had my mouth dropped open for hours. The picture is from GranolaBabies, and clearly is to celebrate Moms OPTIONS, and choices as we all try to do our best in this thing called parenting… because last time I checked, God hadnt provided us with a written manual for how its done.
This image sadly turned into a heated debate about who was right and who was wrong, whose child was going to need therapy, whose child was going to be scarred for life…. as of nine minutes ago there were 224 comments – some of which were outrageous, but others were so painful for me to read- because I know there is a human on the other side of that post whose feelings were hurt… and I wish I could reach out and hug her and say I am sorry that adults, too are bullies.
I am proud of Jen for trying to make some positive out of this however, and she has begun a meme which gives ALL of us a place to go and be honest – honest about our opinions, honest about our beliefs, and honest about our screw ups…. cause I gotta tell ya, I dont know anyone who is getting this parenting thing 100% right.
I am a bad Mom.
I do not spend as much time with my children as I should.
I have yelled at my girls – cussed even.
I am super strict about things like meals, bedtimes, and chores because I want them to be responsible adults.
My Moms Group called me the “Nazi Mom” (no I didnt like it)
Sometimes I count down the days till my girls go to their Dads… even though my body physically aches when they are gone.
I was only able to nurse my oldest for a few weeks… my youngest for a few days.
Both of my girls have their ears pierced. As do I.
I ALWAYS used disposable diapers… I used cloth diapers as burp rags.
My oldest took a paci until she was 2. Her Dad taught her when she dropped it to say “oh shit.” It was funny.
I have no idea if my car seat was always installed properly, but I do let my now 6 year old ride in the car without one.
Both of my girls have been in the ER… a few times.
I worked outside of the home for a time when my oldest was younger, but even when I worked from home I had both of my children in a daycare at our church. All. Day.
My girls are the light of my life, the air that I breathe, and my very reason for being. Every day I do the absolute best that I can – as I feel most all mothers do. We all get tired, we all get mad, we all get a case of the “eff its” and we all have glimpses of being little girls again, when we let ourselves take time to “play” with our kids… even if it isnt often enough.
I haven't been a perfect mother…nor did I have a perfect mother (or Godmother) growing up. But we all have done the absolute best we could. And in the end, I think that is all that matters. I adore the two women in my life who had a hand in raising me, and have helped me with raising my girls. All I can hope for is that my girls are healthy, happy, and grow up to love and adore me the way I love my “Moms.”