Tuesday, September 18, 2018

raising the white flag.

as i cooked dinner, jackson sat at my feet- pots + pans scattered all over the kitchen floor. he mimicked me as i stirred the food. i smiled + thought back to this time one year ago. smiling didn't come easy because of the constant state of anxiety that plagued my everyday life.

i questioned everything i did in regards to my mothering abilities. i was drowning in worry + self-doubt. jared kept gently reminding me that i was doing the absolute best i could do and offer our son. he was right, yet the negative thoughts outweighed the positive every single time.

one year later, i think back to that season. that new mom. i wish, oh how i wish, i could cradle her face in my hands and tell her, YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB. [no doubt i'd have tears in my eyes because i do just typing it.] i'd tell her to stop comparing herself to others around her and moms she sees on the internet because their perfect instagram squares don't tell the whole story.

comparison was my nemesis. from jackson's birth to breastfeeding to his sleep habits to everything in between. it consumed me. google is one of the worst things for a new mom. i once read a comment section [whyyyy did i do that?!] where another mom wrote, "breastfeeding is the most natural thing a woman can do. it was the way God intended it." well susan, i'm pretty certain God intended for us to be kind + compassionate to other moms + not judgmental d-bags.

our abilities as mothers don't hinge on how another mother raises her kids. we've convinced ourselves that the beliefs of other moms are absolute, even if they aren't in any way possible because of circumstance, lifestyle, etc.

mama friends, here me on this. stop spending so much time comparing and justifying your child-rearing choices to strangers on the internet, to the neighbor across the street, to the way so-and-so does it, to everyone with a differing opinion. your child is just that - YOURS. if you're making informed decisions regarding your child and their well-being, YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB.

so this is me raising the white flag to all the moms out there.

whether you breastfeed or formula feed or do both.
whether you vaccinate or you choose not to.
whether you stay home or work from home or go to a job outside the home.
whether you have one child, two children, three or twelve.
whether you use regular diapers or cloth diapers.
whether you co-sleep or your child has yet to sleep through the night or both.
whether you dress your kid in nothing but name brand clothes or it's alllll hand-me-downs.
whether you feed your kids only organic foods or you don't care about organic food.
whether you homeschool or send your kids to public school or pay for private school.

let's repeat this together: GOOD FOR HER; NOT FOR ME. [thanks to amy poehler for this phrase!]

you are in no way 'less than' because someone loudly proclaims a specific method that is different from yours as the "best" way. just because they're loud doesn't mean they're right. mothering differently than others doesn't mean you're doing it wrong.


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