In my last post, I told you of my journey to become a stay-at-home mom and what a surprise it is to me that this is what I want to do. I’m very aware that lots of moms out there are a bit sensitive on this topic, so I want to take a moment to address those fears, and to let you know that you have a safe place here on this blog.
I think that being a mother today is a very tough job. I think that when our babies are born, it’s like this self-critical, self-judging chip gets planted in our brains. We are always obsessing over whether we are doing a good enough job as a mom, and maybe even more frequently, whether other moms are judging us on our decisions.
It seems like when I would talk about my desire to keep Burrito out of daycare, other moms who were using daycare felt like they needed to justify their decision to me. This made me sad. I didn’t want to make them feel that way.
Decisions, decisions. There are the choices of babyhood: cloth diapers or disposable? Nursing or bottle-feeding? There are the choices of child care: Nanny or daycare? Stay home or work? Vaccines or no? And it’s easy to meet moms who will jump down your throat over the decisions you’ve made.
Now, it’s true that there are some awful parents out there. But I honestly don’t think most moms are like that. Most moms are just trying the best they can to get through the day and love their kids as well as they can and care for their kids in the best way they can. For some families, bottle-feeding is best. For some families, attachment parenthood is best. For some families, Mom feels called to have a job. For some families, Mom can’t imagine being anywhere but home. Everybody’s situation is different.
As long as we moms aren’t putting our kids in danger, don’t we owe it to each other to support each other in the decisions we make, to be a positive, encouraging voice to each other in a world full of negativity? To not make each other feel dumb and inadequate? Chances are, the moms you know have thought long and hard about the decisions they are making for their children. They want the best for their children and as far as they can tell, their choices reflect the best they have the capacity to give their kids. Maybe we could respect that, instead of making moms feel like dirt. Isn’t being a mom tough enough?
I don’t know how I would have gotten through those tough early days of mothering without positive women encouraging me along. I always appreciated those women who told me what worked for them while emphasizing that I needed to find what worked for my family. And so, sometimes I took their advice and sometimes I didn’t. I found that with prayer and discussion with my husband, I was able to find a unique patchwork of strategies that worked for our unique family. My Mom told me that’s what I should do, and I’m so glad she did.
So, I want each of you to know, as you read this blog, that my goal is to just share my experiences as a mother without casting judgment on yours. I know you love your kids and want the best for them. Please assume the best of me too. And then maybe we can learn from each other.