May 14, 2012

are you mom enough?

So, here's the thing... I generally avoid "controversial" topics on the blog because (1) I'm pretty sure at this point I don't have the brain power to have an intellectual conversation where I could make sense or be happy with my arguments and (2) I hate the drama. OMG. I hate the drama. Do you know how I posted about my nursery and how I saved money doing this, and that, and I said something about the total cost being $x which I thought was pretty good. Well, sure enough, someone took the time to comment and pretty much tell me I was a snooty beotch for not recognizing that some people can't afford anything for their nursery... well. obviously. Here's the thing. This is a blog. It happens to be my blog. Which means I write about my life. Are there people out there less fortunate than I am, of course. Are there people out there more fortunate than I am, hell yes. So, are those richy-rich people commenting saying that I'm disgusting for buying used furniture and that I should have just gone to pottery barn and saved my time... nope. ARGH. Sorry. Random pregnancy-related outburst there.

Anyways. This article was written in TIME magazine titled "Are You Mom Enough?" I haven't read it. I probably should to comment on it legitimately. But here's the thing... I was listening to them discuss it today on the radio - how it's all about this new "fad" (fad isn't the right word but it's getting a lot of press right now, we'll say) of attachment parenting... which, as far as I understood seems to be things we've all done or tried to do or tried not to do, just taken to the extreme - par exemple, the cover of the mag with a young mother nursing a 3 (ok, jane is three, he's not three) year old boy. Aside from the fact that I feel for this child for the embarrassment he will suffer through the mocking of his school age years for this INTERNATIONAL HEADLINE COVER, I have no problems with it.

Want to nurse your kid until they're 14... fill you boots. Y'all know my motto and it's - DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!

I was the most perfect mother before I had children. I judged everyone for everything. I said "I will never do that" a thousand times. I have probably broken that promise on every account at least once.

Want to have your kids sleep with you until they're 8... again, fill you boots. Personally, I don't want Jane in the bed with me. I never did. Initially because I was so freakin' scared I'd end up killing her in the middle of the night but, now, because I know I sleep better and so does she, when we have our own beds.

Want to carry your kids around in a sling instead of using a stroller... reach for the stars! I used a sling, I used a snuggly, until my back and shoulder felt like they might fall off then it was stroller time baby.

Here's my thing... if I ain't gonna judge you, you better follow the golden rule.

There's nothing I hate more that judgmental moms. Gimme. a. break. Once you become a mom, you know the primary goals include two things only: survival and happiness. I strive to keep myself and my baby (and sometimes my husband) alive, healthy and happy. That's it. Simple as that. We all have our ways of achieving these things for ourselves and for our children... and what works for you, may make my life hell and vice versa.

My only issue with this article is the title... at all implying that because you're not following certain "rules" or "guidelines" means you aren't "mom enough"... don't. get. this. pregnant. woman. going. The best moms I know use instincts, common sense and, when all else fails, wine (or chocolate!) as a rule book and it appears they kids are turning out just fine and isn't that the goal?

I had an amazing mom. Fun. Flexible. Spontaneous. Stern. Scary. Hilarious. Ridiculous. Fantastic. When I was born, she had to leave me with her mom when I was 6 weeks old for quite a while, due to life's journey, while she got herself and my 18 mth old sister settled enough that she could handle two kids alone. So, for say, the first 6 months of my life, I probably had the opposite of "attachment parenting" with my mom. And, TOOT TOOT, cause I think I turned into a pretty fantastic (1) mom and (2) human being. So, where's the rule book on that one? Someone going to come out saying now that the best way to raise kids is to ship 'um to grammy and grampy's house for 6 months and then pick 'um up, ready to go?

Parenting books should almost be banned because, no matter what, the ultimate result is that you end up convincing yourself you're not doing the right things... could everyone benefit from a little help every now and again? Sure. But guidelines, recommendations and suggestions that make you feel like anything less is "not enough". Blow me.

Here's some pics of my mother's day... you tell me if the fact that I only breastfed for 11 months has had a negative impact on the happiness of my child or the attachment between us.


Angelene said...

Here here! Again, Jen you've got it right. The title of the article is what got my blood going. I don't give two hoots how long people breastfeed their children, but don't make me out to be "less" of a Mom if I only nursed for 13 months. It is not a CONTEST! What about those mothers that tried and couldn't BF? Like my own dear Mama? Are their children unattached to their Mamas? Heck no! They love their Mamas just fine. I am sick of the media putting us on trial against each other. My final point: there would NEVER be a mag cover like that with a Father on it with the same question... Are you Dad enough? That kind of scrutiny would never be put on men, so why is ok to be put on us as women and mothers? Ok... I will shut it now. Let's get together for coffee soon!

And... don't let that negative nancy bug you about your nursery. We tune in to hear your ramblings... if she doesn't like... she can go read something else.


Sarah Parker said...

Well said! I think in many cases, the media tries to start mommy wars because they are often filled with so much drama. This picture has certainly stirred things up -and the claws are out for many! I'm with you though, moms have to do what they have to in order to get through the days.

P.s on a total side note, Taylor Kitsch was on Ellen today... Looking mighty fine.

Lindsay said...

You took the words right out of my head. Thank you for a perfect post! I agree with you on every level :)
We are amazing mommies!