Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mommy Confessional

This blog post was not prompted by an isolated event, but because of the dreadful “mommy judgments” I feel or hear, in general. Any mom knows that we are our own worst critic, but hearing comments from other moms is not a ton of fun either. We brush these comments off, but they do build up after time. We feel the need to justify the choices we make for our children, or often feel judged if we haven’t laid out a clear explanation as to why we might be doing certain things with/for our child(ren). This pressure takes its toll on all of us mommies and is only magnified when you have more than one child. That being said, I feel the need to put some things out there. Judge them all at once. At the end of the day, I count it a blessing that my children are happy and loved. I know I have done my job well and I thank the Lord above that He has given me the means to raise my children the way I choose to.

Confessions of a tired mommy….

• I had an epidural with both of my labors. I think it is silly that there is this public opinion that you are somehow better because you gave birth “naturally”. I think that any woman who survives labor and delivery, or a c-section, deserves a medal no matter what kind of pain medicine was administered. Besides, I found out that I am one of those lucky ladies that an epidural doesn’t work on. Ever heard of the “pocket of pain” (as my anesthesiologist called it)? Well there is such a thing, so I felt every one of my contractions. Ask my husband. So technically, I can say that I have done it “naturally”. But I don’t want to say that. I don’t care. I had an epidural and I would do it again, if I were going to have more kids (not that it would work on me).
• My babies were formula-fed and they turned out just fine. And this one is a touchy subject for me. Attempt #1: child wouldn’t nurse and we tried for two months. Attempt #2: child nursed for five months and then decided she was done with it. I have never been ashamed to say that I think nursing is weird, BUT I was all for the nutritional benefit for my babies and I liked that it is FREE. It was not easy to come to the formula decision either time (but especially with the second one, since she was capable of nursing) and I DO take it personally when people act like formula is poison for a baby.
• I give my kids fruit snacks. Say what? As a matter of fact, I buy them in bulk at Costco.
• I give my kids granola bars WITH chocolate chips in them. Why you ask? Because they taste good.
• I let Jaycoby play Wii and have computer time. Right now it is his passion. I let him do it because he likes it and he is REALLY good at it. Nuff said.
• I use disposable diapers. Laundry is not a chore I enjoy. Poopy diapers are not on the list of things I am fond of either. The quicker we can ‘getter done’ the better. And I will pay for the luxury of the disposables. To me it is worth it.
• I don’t buy organic unless it is on accident. 1) It is usually more expensive. 2) I can’t taste a difference. 3) My husband was raised on a farm. Pesticides were a part of his upbringing, so understandably he has an issue with rebelling against them. LOL
• I give my children juice….and I don’t always dilute it. GASP! In fact, I gave Jaycoby juice in a bottle when he was teeny tiny. And I think you would too if you saw your itty bitty baby with a prolapsed rectum because he had been so extremely constipated. It’s a terrible sight! I would have given him whiskey in a bottle if that is what the pediatrician told me. I was going to do whatever it took to make him more comfortable.
• I let Jaycoby have SODA when we go out to FAST FOOD. That’s right. He will get Dr. Pepper with his happy meal. Am I the worst mom ever or what? :-) He happens to think it is pretty cool. • I have never had my kids sleep in my bed….or even my room. This is for their safety. If mommy isn’t getting quality sleep, she will be a bad mommy. I cannot sleep well if my children are in my room making all sorts of adorable sounds, or laying in my bed and trying to steal my covers. This is why some genius came up with a thing we call a baby monitor. And I have been spoiled with the video kind, so all is good. I can check on them as many times as I want from the comfort of my own bed (while they are tucked safely in theirs).
• TV is not a curse word in our house. And, yes, I have been known to let it “babysit my child”. I KNOW there are worse things that my child could be doing than watching Sesame Street and Super Why!
• I let my baby sleep with blankets and a bumper in her crib. This is when the video monitor comes in handy (especially when you have a baby that insists on pulling the blankets over her face before drifting off). It might require extra attention, but I always go back to this: “we slept with blankets in our cribs when we were babies and we turned out just fine”.

This all looks horrible in list form, but of course I do all of these things in moderation. Actually, you know what? Some of them we don’t do in moderation and I am okay with that. And I am perfectly okay with the fact that other people do it differently. I would be lying if I said I never think: “Why in the world do people do ‘xyz’ with their kids?”. But just because I don’t understand it, or it isn’t what we do with our kids, does not make it wrong. I still might think it is weird, but not wrong :-). I just try to remember Ephesians 6:4- “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” As long as we are following this instruction, it doesn’t matter how many fruit snacks they consume. Okay. I’m getting off my soapbox.


Colie said...

I'm gasping and judging yo Mindy :-). Just kidding - I do lots of those things too and others you'd gasp at :-). I have, unfortunatly judged because who doesn't. But, I really want to encourage mama's, not make them feel guilty! Thanks for your confessions!

(My kids are going to have root beer floats tonight - right before bed!)

Rachel said...

I am SO DISAPPOINTED in you Mindy! I was really expecting great things from this blog title...and you oh so did not deliver! What in the heck??? I have done EVERYTHING on your list except for the juice in the kids had no issues pooping! LOL!
Who is judging you? And why are you friends with them???

Alyssa said...

Can I share your post on Facebook. I know the tab is there. Here is what I think of your post.
AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!!! I couldn't have said it any better. :)I do all the same things and my kids are quite awesome, respectful, growing in the WORD and they love Jesus. AMEN!

Meghan said...

You GO Mama!!! I am totally with you!! Its so hard to be judged as a mother. I feel so much guilt all the time, for whatever reason, that I may not be doing the right thing for my child. But, you know what? HE is happy, I am happy, My Husband is we must be doing something right. Its hard to be judged too, whether directly or indirectly, and I never realized how hard that would be as a Mother. I love this post Mindy!

Jessica said...

Oh, how I love it! I laughed especially when you said "I don't buy organic unless it's on accident." That's seriously perfect.

My kids eat fruit snacks constantly.

The only reason I don't let them drink soda is because I don't want to share. I think that makes me worse. :-)

In my super humble opinion, being a mommy isn't about parenting "perfectly". "Perfect" is constantly changing, and what people judge today, they'll do themselves tomorrow. Great, perfect parenting happens in the sweet spot where children feel loved, see love and learn how to love. The rest is just opportunity for people to feel better about themselves...and totally 100% irrelevant.

It's all good, Mindy. :-)

P.S. I also vaccinate the hell out of my kids. (triple gasp!)

jana said...

This is such a great post! It's funny, because all but one (the juice for constipation) I try to usually do the opposite of and you know, it doesn't make either of us a better mom. I heard a saying once that went something like this: I was the best parent in the world before I had kids. What I've decided is that all of the things you listed are probably more important to the adults than to the kids. What matters to the kids is that they get attention and love and are the center of our worlds. That's it!

Good post!

Our Family Adventure said...

Loved this post.
To each their own. We can not judge another mom's ways. We have to do what we have to do to "survive" this adventure of motherhood.

Gaby said...

It's funny (but not the ha ha kind) but I have felt a lot of criticisms for being the opposite of some of those things.It goes both ways.
You give your kid juice? OMG!
or "He's never had juice? OMG!"
People need to chill out.
I know I'm a conservative granola hippie schedule type of mom. And I am OK with that....I thrive that way....except for the criticism. And when we were barely surviving through a premature baby turned colic.... criticisms were definitely the LAST thing we needed.
Oh... sadness. I think I need to blog about the mompetition.

Gaby said...

p.s. I don't buy organic, either.
I'm not against it...but AM against the price. I hate Lifesource b/c I feel like they steal my money if I go in there.
So maybe that means I'm not a true hippie ;)

Dawn said...

Oh my goodness you gave me a much needed laugh tonight! You are not alone, there are others who do the same as you. I am one of them and I have heard the same comments. Thanks for tackling it with taste and humor!