Last night, my mother in law came up from Augusta to watch Reagan so that I could attend the Columbia Area Alumnae Chapter meeting of my sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma. It felt so great to reconnect with my sorority, and to remember our motto "Faithful Unto Death" (not faithful unto graduation!). For all my friends out there who are sisters, especially if you're in the Columbia area, PLEASE get in touch with me about reconnecting!!! It's a monthly thing, so minimal time and there are some exciting things to look forward to! :)
Okay, that said, I wanted to talk with y'all ...or vent or whatever...about some stuff that I've been seeing around the blogisphere and on Facebook and Pinterest. It's about mommies, birthing, babies, etc. I've held my tongue (for the most part), and I'm not looking to fire everyone up. I'm simply looking to clarify my thoughts, and yes, a few of my frustrations!
When I was pregnant with Reagan, I had glorious dreams of being an eco-friendly, do it all, awesome mom. I dreamed of cloth diapers, breastfeeding, and generally, a holistic approach to raising our child. I naively went along my merry way in my pregnancy, assuming that everything would be hunky dory, and I would have labor pains, a long long long time at the hospital, and out my baby would come.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that things would be so different.
Now, I'm a disposable diapers, formula feeding, momma of a darling little girl.
Yes, she had some breast milk from the 5 weeks that I desperately attempted pumping (plus with donor milk from the milk bank at the NICU). But, she hasn't suffered from any lack of breastfeeding. We snuggle, we've bonded, I've not suffered from postpartum depression (although I was at great risk for it), and I'm not a bad mom. It took me a long time to embrace and understand that. I had factors out of my control that I had to come to grips with. And that's okay. Now, I'm just so thankful that Reagan and I are both physically, mentally, emotionally, and in every possible way, okay and alive. Yes, there are moments when I think, oh, I wish that we had been able to breastfeed (especially with the rising amount of our budget that goes to formula each month). Yes, there are moments that I hate how much disposable diapers are (but I'm somewhat relieved that I don't have to spend time washing and cleaning out cloth diapers). And regardless of anyone else's thoughts, my daughter is well loved, well fed, and well cared for. And that makes me a good mommy.
I've read so many articles, comments, pictures, phrases, and thoughts about what it means to be a good mom in today's modern world. I've seen women and men completely diminish the beauty of being a mom, no matter how you choose to actualize that. I've seen post after post of negative comments, belittling those who would do things in a different fashion. I have had it with reading about it. I'm so sick of seeing comments that show a lack of empathy and support for different moms and dads out there. So what if they don't do things they way that you do? So what if they don't cloth diaper or breastfeed or co sleep? So what if they do cloth diaper or breastfeed or co sleep? Everyone has a different reason for raising and running their families in the manner that they do.
|I know we ALL saw this memorable cover from Time Magazine.|
Instead of bashing each other's opinions, why can't we all just be supportive of each other? Why can't we embrace our differences and applaud each other for standing firm in our beliefs, our families? Why can't we all be supportive of each other, to raise each other up, and to simply care about each other?
My friend, Sally, over at Exploits of A Military Mama, summed it up perfectly in her blogposts a month or so ago. You can read it here and here, but I wanted to share this quote from it:
So, I guess what I'm trying to say through all of this is...
I refuse to let myself read any more of the negativity out there.
I refuse to let someone else's standards define who I am as a mom, a wife, as a woman.
I refuse to feel that I am a bad mom.
I'm embracing my choices as a mom.
I'm embracing our circumstances.
I'm embracing my role as a mom, a wife, a woman.
I'm embracing the role that God has set out for me.
Take care y'all!