|i don't own this picture, just the words. don't sue me|
The following is my recent article that appeared in my local paper, The Henry County Times.
For one day out of the year, moms from all walks of life are celebrated and showered with love, and gifts of flowers and chocolate. We’re congratulated for our heroine like efforts of producing life. We are given lovely hand-made cards (probably that morning by a well-meaning spouse while the pop-tarts brown in the toaster for our breakfast in bed). It’s all very heady stuff. However, for the rest of 364 days of the year, the world sings a very different tune.
As mom’s we are constantly being questioned, judged, and flat out disrespected at pretty much every turn in our efforts to raise our children. A recent Times Magazine article asking “Are you mom enough” featured a mom breastfeeding a child, many felt, was far past the acceptable age of being breastfed. The article in short is about the concepts of attachment parenting. This article effectively stirs two very hot pots of parenting debate; breastfeeding and the age old argument of working moms vs. stay- at- home- moms.
Let’s tackle the first one shall we? I do not give one single ounce of a care on how any mom decides to ensure that her child receives nutrition. At all. As long as the mom, does in fact, try to make sure that her child is eating on a regular basis it should not mater to anyone else if that food is coming from ta-ta’s or a bottle. It really is just as simple as that. There are plenty of mom’s out there that starve their children and those moms we should be concerned with. The ones that ARE feeding their kids should not be on anyone’s radar. If the site of a boob bothers you that much you might have a bigger issues you might want to look into. This is, after all, why woman have them right? I know over the years the details have gotten muddled and many feel that woman and their attached body parts are solely for the amusement of others, but that’s not actually the case. Shocking right?
Next up we have working vs. stay- at- home. This is a hot topic. Having done both in the short amount of time I’ve been a parent, I can debate from the fence. It is absolutely none of my business or anyone else for that matter why a mom decides to work or stay at home. The grass is always greener on the other side. One of my favorite sayings is “you might know my story, but you don’t know my journey.” I think this applies nicely here.
And while we’re on this topic, moms, I want to talk directly to you for a moment. Can we cut out the fellow mom bashing between us? Some of our harshest criticism comes from each other. Why? The last I checked we were all soldiers in the same war. This isn’t friendly fire we’re throwing at one another. Maybe the next time you feel like uttering that phrase that makes even your own skin crawl, “ well, that’s not how I do it” opt for something a little more supportive. Because we all know how it feels to be delirious with sleep at 3 a.m with a crying a baby that will.not.sleep. and you are praying to every god in the cosmos that if you can just maybe get like thirty minutes of sleep that you will never do another bad thing in your life. We know how it feels to hold our children, while the scream and cry, getting shots at the doctor’s. And your own eyes sting with tears that you cannot cry because you have to be the strong parent, but inside you feel like dying. We all know that joy, pure and unadulterated, the first time our babies say “momma”. Because most babies say “dada” first. I dunno why. I’m going to assume that every mom I know is doing their personal best. We all should.
So to answer the question “ Are you mom enough?” Yeah, I am. And so is every other mother out there making sure their kids grown up to be happy and healthy. We moms have enough plates spinning in the air most days that really the last thing we need is someone implying that we’re not doing a good enough job. We’re doing just fine thank you. So can we put this tired old debate to bed once and for all. The economy looks like it needs a little help though so maybe we should focus on that. Or do us mom’s need to fix that too?