Monday, October 20, 2014

An Open Letter to Mothers.

I'm going to be honest here......I used to judge mothers (that is until I became one). 

I didn't understand why some mothers did the things they did until I became one. 

And to continue on with my honesty......I was even a tad bit naive during my pregnancy. I had these big hopes and dreams of parenting and what it would look like and how my child's disposition would be and how family would adapt to mine and H's parenting attempts.........and I'll be the very first to tell you that it didn't happen AT.ALL. as I imagined (don't get this confused with planned. I didn't plan anything. You can't plan with babies. You can only imagine. And hope. And pray. But mainly pray). 

I recently told someone that I have been judged the entire time I have been a mother. I have had to defend my parenting tactics since the day we brought Jax home from the hospital. It started on Day 1. And y'all, the sad thing is......we don't do anything weird! 

Why is your child sleeping in his crib in his room on night one? Because that is what the pediatrician told us to do and H made me do it. 

Why isn't your child taking a paci?
I'm not sure. Let me ask him. (At times, I sorta wish he liked them.)

Why are you waking your sleeping baby during the day?
Because I'm trying to get him a schedule because I'm going back to work. 

Why are you going back to work?
Because I am...that's why. 

The hard thing about being a mother is that other mothers judge you. They will ask you questions in a minute that don't matter. They are more concerned with the brand of food (or formula) you are feeding your child rather than tending to their own baby. 

Can I get an Amen and Amen.

Ladies.......why are we doing this to other mothers? 

Why are we not supporting each other and realizing that it's their baby, not ours. 

Let me type that again. It's their baby.......not ours. 

And, if we don't like what they are doing......just don't use it/buy it/feed it to your own baby. 

Don't we all have the same goal in mind: To be the best mother that we can be? 

My child's very first meal ever was a formula bottle from the hospital because of several reasons. Reason #1 was because of an unplanned c-section and a TON of meds, I was pretty much out of it and didn't get to see my sweet baby for over an hour. Reason #2,  I had an audience of family literally standing at the foot of my bed when I woke up. In that moment, I quickly realized that it was going to be ok. My baby was in my arms, he was happy, healthy and eating. That is all that mattered to me. That moment changed the way I see parenting. That was my moment. Granted, it didn't go the way I had imagined......but it didn't matter. What mattered the most was my baby was in my arms. 

I don't understand why we question or belittle our friends (or family) and other mothers when they are not doing things the same way we are? There is no manual to go by here. 

 I have a BFF that is about to give birth this week (Eek!! I'm so stinkin' excited). Because we are so close, I do tend to give her 'free advice'......but I always preface it with: this is what worked for us (or what didn't work for us). I by no means, am the 'end all be all' in parenting. My goal everyday is to try and out smart a 4-month old little man. I need to be 3-steps ahead of him. 

There have been several times where I have thought (and sometimes even said): My baby. My house. My baby. My house.

I have some amazing friends that I do go to for baby advice. They provide the 'no judgment zone' and they allow me to ask questions freely and they know that it's out of pure ignorance and not judgement. 

Questions and Answers with my honest friends:

Why do you feed your baby Gerber foods? 
Because it was on sale at the grocery store.

BOOM! Honesty. 

Why did you choose that brand of bottles? 
Because someone gave them as a gift. 

Why did you start feeding your baby 'food' at 4 months instead of 6? Because the pediatrician recommended it. 

Why did you choose that brand of diapers? 
Because they catch poop and I don't want to spend a lot of money on something that I'm just gonna throw away. 

All mothers need encouragement. It doesn't matter if you stay-at-home or clock in everyday, we all have the same goal: to provide the best for our little munchkins. Some people lose sight of that. 

Here's some advice from a mama that has been in the game for 4-months:
-don't get baby advice from Facebook/Pinterest/and bad Mommy blogs. 

-take everything with a grain of salt. 

-make a sign to carry around with you: My baby. My life.

- remember that a lot of recalls happen because an idiot didn't read the directions. 

- you know your baby better than anyone else, trust your gut (even if pregnancy/giving birth did relocate it)

-give yourself a minute. It's always fun to see your child light up after they have had a break from you. 
One of my very favorite moments of the day is picking Jax up from daycare and seeing his face light up! I cry almost everyday! 

Moms: we are doing good jobs. We love our babies. We are giving them everything that we can to make their little lives full and happy. Who cares at what age you feed your baby 'food', or what brand food you use, or if you swaddle or not. It doesn't matter. What does matter is knowing that you are providing a loving home for your baby.....

Let's encourage instead of discourage each other. We create enough doubt in our minds without having our friends and other mothers add fuel to the fire. 

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