An Open Letter To All Moms

Dear Moms,

There is something I need to tell you.  And it’s kind of important.  So go ahead and change that diaper, get the toddler a snack, grab your coffee and come back.  I’ll wait.  I promise.

Ok, you ready? Here it is.  YOU are amazing.  YOU are wonderful. Please do not let others tell you otherwise.  Our media keeps trying to spin these mommy wars and put us against each other. It is time to stop feeling shame for how you fed your baby, how you diapered your baby, how you potty trained your baby, (and on and on). YOU did the best you could.  You used the tools and information you had at the time and you made the best decision for your family. Can I tell you something?  That is enough. Please don’t feel guilty because you’ve learned more since then. We all have.  It’s ok.

Don’t lash out when someone tells you that we now know better.  They’re not bashing you (and if they really are, they’re not worth your time or worry).  They’re trying to help someone else.  Moms do not look at their choices for their family and choose the one that is the worst option.  We don’t purposely make unsafe decisions for our children.  We all make decisions that we feel are best for our families based on the information we have.

Learn more about this parenting journey and what is best (or normal) for babies. Make changes and grow.  Then share that knowledge.  Don’t judge, don’t look down on others, but offer information.

You’ve heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child.  It takes a village to provide information for a mother.  Think about that.

When you have your first baby, what information do you know?  What you’ve learned from watching others.  What if we actually shared our experiences and our research with compassion for others?  How would that change our conversations?

Moms – STOP letting the media and companies try to turn us against each other.  Lets support each other, no matter what choices we have made in the past.  Lets embrace our differences, respect the new moms we want to help educate, and grow. We all deserve more than these battles.  When we can stop fighting about choices we’ve made and the things we learned in the process and we start sharing these things to SUPPORT others, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with.  Imagine the change we can be for our children if we can teach them this skill.  We’ve got this moms.  Let’s put down the World’s Best Mom sash and the pitchfork and let’s support each other.

Are you with me?

Are You Mom Enough?

Are You Mom Enough?

I’ve seen that line all around the internet today, and I have to say, it makes me upset.  I’m sure by now you’ve seen the newest cover of Time Magazine and you’ve heard lots of commentary on their piece on Attachement Parenting, Bill & Martha Sears, and the cover photo of a mom breastfeeding her toddler.

I’ll be clear by saying that the parenting mechanisms that work for my family may not be what works best for yours, and I fully accept that.  I don’t expect every family to fit the same mold.  What I do expect is that we can respect each other.

I know many moms who make choices that are different from mine, and they do it with the intention of doing the best that they can for their child and what works for their family.  Telling ANY mom that she isn’t ‘mom enough’ is an awful thing.

This is where the ‘Mommy Wars’ start and why they continue.  Because we allow sensationalist headlines to take a hold of us.  We allow the media to say that if you don’t breastfeed your three year old you’re not mom enough (for the record, both of my girls nursed beyond their 3rd birthday, but I won’t judge you if yours didn’t).

Listen moms, you ARE mom enough, and you don’t need Time Magazine or anyone else to tell you that.  You need to trust your instincts, you need to research the things that are important to you, and you need to do the best you can with the information and resources available to you.  For every single one of us that means different things, and that’s ok.  You do what’s best for your family, and I’ll do what’s best for mine.  Let’s stop judging one another for doing things differently and let’s make sure we don’t allow the ‘Mommy Wars’ to continue.  Let’s support each other and help each other.  THAT shows that you’re ‘mom enough.’

When are you going to stop breastfeeding?

When are you going to stop breastfeeding?

Isn’t that the million dollar question?  How many times do moms get asked how long they are going to breastfeed?  I got asked SO many times with my first.  When I chose to follow the WHO guidelines, and let her stop when she was ready, I certainly was on the receiving end of quite a few comments.

Are we setting moms up to fail?  I think some people ask out of a genuine curiosity.  And some people think it’s crazy that you’re STILL breastfeeding your 3 month old/6 month old/13 month old/2 yr old. Do all of these comments get to moms?  Do moms stop breastfeeding before they really WANT to because they feel pressure from others?

I was saddened when I saw this Today Show clip with Kourtney Kardashian.  She says, “I think I stopped early because my sisters were like ‘OK, it’s time, it’s time….I miss it, I loved it.”

Why do we let other people dictate our parenting decisions? At what point does society start to encourage moms to do what they feel is best for their baby instead of pressure them to make the baby grow up faster?  It all makes me so sad.

I’m thankful that Kourtney and Mason had the 14 months of breastfeeding that they did, it’s a great start in life.  I’m sad that all of us fall prey to the pressures of society and have motherhood regrets.

It’s time for us to surround ourselves with supportive people who will encourage us and build us up.

Where do you find your support and community to allow you to make the decisions you feel are best for your family?