Friday, June 10, 2016

Stop With the Mom Shaming Already

When I started this blog, I picked the name One Mom's Blog for a reason. I am just one mom. I am not the only mom who's kids came with owner's manuals. I am not the authority on anything kid related. I am just a mom. I am just one mom out of many. The best I can do is the best of myself...but I know that I am just one mom.

My dear friend and fellow mom and blogger Lindsay wrote a piece the other day about how hard it is to be a mom with social media being so prevalent in our lives, and it really got me thinking about how hard we are on one another. (you can read her piece HERE ) None of us knows better than the other, so why do we act like we do instead of lifting one another up? And I don't mean giving props to your friends. We all do that shit. That's easy because we already like them. I mean encouraging ALL the moms to do the best they can instead of coming down on them for the things they do. Even the ones you don't agree with.

I have one key to parenting that I use more than any other key on my mom ring. LEAD BY EXAMPLE. I don't tell my kids to be kind, I am kind so that they see how it works for me. I don't tell my kids to be courteous to others, I am courteous to others so that they learn having manners is a way of life and not something you do because someone tells you to. Why are we not doing this as much with one another as moms? If we think we are doing a good job, we should continue to do a good job. Create generations of good people from these efforts. Lead by example. You think you rock this mom stuff? That is fucking awesome! Keep rocking it! You created a human and now you get to help shape them to be the best person they can be. It's really pretty freaking amazing what our role is in this world now. But seriously, stop knocking other moms down.

Yes, we all have our principals and beliefs, and those are things that we have found work best for us in our lives. Why do we expect those things to work for everyone? Why are we walking around in the world telling moms that what they are doing is wrong? Heck, we tell other moms that what they are doing might KILL their children! I am not talking about things like putting your car seat the right way (I even had to do research on that one myself to see that the laws were right) or not hanging around with crack heads in your home with your kids. Yes, you don't smoke in the car with your kids. That is bad. Yes, you don't leave bottle caps on the floor of your living room because your child can choke (learned that one the hard way with my first born...thank God for his dad having quick reflexes). Yes, do all the things your pediatrician tells you will prevent SIDS because that shit is terrifying. I am not talking about the obvious things. I am talking about the other things.

I refer to moms who tell other moms that BREAST IS BEST like a broken record. As a formula mom, yes. We know this. And you know what? A lot of us COULDN'T breast feed. We didn't not do it because we just didn't feel like it. Many of us were physically unable. We have dealt with massive guilt and severe depression and anxiety over the struggle to make something work that our bodies were screaming at us was not possible. When you have a child, you are supposed to be able to breast feed. It's natural. It's something that evolution has told us our bodies are designed specifically to do. Sometimes, it just doesn't work. No amount of teas or dry nursing or anything else will make it happen. So seriously. Do you want me to breast feed my baby enough to push my postpartum depression to suicide? No. Then seriously. Shut up. I feel inadequate enough. My baby is fed and happy. This does not make me a bad mom.

I refer to moms who are on a crusade to get us all to stop buying store products to bathe our children, treat their rashes, and protect them from the sun..etc. Listen, I like Johnson's. I used their products as a kid. I used them with my son. I now use them with my daughter. Do you know why? Because they fucking work. They smell good. Their NightTime line is a miracle for a fussy, teething baby. They are also moderately priced and within my tight budget. Aveeno makes a great line as well. So does Baby magic. If your all natural, gluten-free, earth friendly bath soap made from the anal secretions of sacred unicorns was affordable and readily available when I am at Shop Rite with my massive stack of coupons, I might be more inclined to use it. But it's not. So just stop. Stop threatening us with rumors of cancer. Seriously. It's fucked up. Our kids are not smoking Newports. They are taking a bath. You act like we are using nuclear waste water instead of soap.

I refer to moms who tell us we are spoiling our children by wearing them everywhere. Listen, I like hanging out with my baby. I like it even more when she is happy. Do you know how she is happy? Strapped to my body. There is ZERO evidence to suggest that wearing a baby will create any kind of attachment issues or psychological damage later in life. Am I saying EVERYONE should baby wear? Of course not. Like everything else, it's a matter of what makes you and your baby happy. If your baby is independent, he or she might not like being stuck to you all day. They want to be exploring or playing or eating the cat hair she finds under the couch. (ok, maybe that is just MY baby)  That's TOTALLY fine too. No one is right or wrong here.Wearing our babies is not sentencing them to a life spent residing in our basement into adulthood.

I refer to moms who actually have the balls to tell moms like me that because we had a C-section, we didn't REALLY give birth. These people are a special kind of annoying. First of all, I had my son the good old fashioned way. Twenty one hours of active labor, a third degree tear from end to end when his shoulders came through my lady bits like a linebacker, hemorrhaging after the placenta was delivered. and then proceeding to vomit. My recovery was very difficult with bleeding and stitches and I can remember the pain of that first pee like it was yesterday. Yes, it was everything I dreamed it would be. It also scarred me. It made me not want to go through childbirth again. I was quite literally terrified when I became pregnant with my daughter. After discussions with my doctor about risks due to my first delivery, we decided on a C-section. It was scheduled, it would be quickly done, and my recovery would be different. In my opinion? It was better. This does not mean that YOUR birth through the birth canal was in any way not as good or special or qualifying for mom-hood. It means we brought our miracles to this world in different ways and now we have great dinner party conversation when we compare stories! So don't tell me I didn't "experience" birth the right way (whatever the fuck that is) because my baby came through my stomach and not my vagina. That's stupid.

What stupid complaints or criticism have you gotten that made you want to scream?

Here is the thing. Somewhere in some other dimension 100 years from now when we are dead and gone and have met up in heaven or hell or Nirvana or wherever, we can compare notes on who did a better job. By then our kids will have lived out their entire lives. We can see who's kids had attachment issues, obesity, and who's kids died from cancer due to our not using earth friendly products. Seriously, I will put that in my date book for the afterlife. Until then though? You know no more than I do. You might THINK you do. Maybe you have more kids than I do. Maybe you had them in a more "eco-friendly" way. Maybe you had your kids decades ago when "things were different". In the end, you know no more than I do. You have no business telling me my way is the wrong way, nor I to you. You do what is right for you, and I do what is right for me. Ultimately it's our choice whether or not we choose to criticize or encourage.

I will encourage. I think you are fucking amazing, Mom!

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