Oh, how I LOVE True Confessions! I just did some recently, but as we are coming off the heels of Moms 4 Moms day, I’d like to lighten my load even more. I loved Tara’s post last week about her journey to judgment free parenting and could relate to so much of it (especially the strong opinions about daycare ~ I do believe I once told a friend that putting kids in daycare was a form of abuse. *cringe, oops, and sorry ’bout that!*). Like Tara, I also had parenting IN THE BAG before I became a parent. I knew exactly what to do and how to do it and what’s wrong with these people who don’t get it? I’d like to smack my pre-parent and first-time-parent persona upside the head right now, but I also have sympathy for her for two reasons: 1.) Pre-parent people just have no freakin’ clue. It’s not their fault. You CAN’T have a clue until you’re in it. 2.) As a first time parent I was doing things very differently than other people and in order to make me feel good about my choices I had to disparage other choices. Am I proud of this? No. But it was part of my journey. I’m no better than anyone who judges other parents ~ I’m just a reformed judger. And being a reformed judger is a MUCH more comfortable place to be. I now realize we are all doing our best with the info we have, and we all want the best for our kids. Period.
So, putting my former judgey Mama behind me, let me openly apologize for the following:
* The time I was at a friend-of-a-friend’s house gathering up some maternity and baby clothes. She had a 10 month old baby and a 5 year old. In order to keep the 5 year old happy she kept playing and replaying a video for him over and over and over. Man! I had so much judgment about that! I was going to be TV-free when my baby came and I would NEVER let him watch the same thing over and over and over. She must not have had enough control over her children, I thought. Ugh, have repeatedly eaten my words about this and have apologized to her in my head over and over through the years.
* Being such a birth-judger. When I was researching unassisted childbirth, most of the reading materials talked about how unsafe it was for babies to be born in the hospital. Unsafe because the doctors and staff don’t necessarily have the best interests of the women and babies. I would sort of get mad at every woman who didn’t do the research on this thinking they didn’t care enough (*le sigh*). While I still believe that the hospital is NOT the best place to have a child, I no longer judge the women who choose to do this. We all need to give birth where we feel safest, and many feel safest in the hospital. I fully support women giving birth wherever and however they need to. However, I still think most doctors care more about liability and policies than Mothers and babies. My opinion on that won’t change until they change.
* Hubby and I used to have such contempt over families with strollers when we were in restaurants or stores and they would just plow through or run us over. Hubby used to complain how they felt so entitled and I whole-heartedly agreed. While I have never used a stroller (because I used to judge those too), I don’t make allowances for people without kids to go first or to cut. When you’re a parent, it’s in-and-out with no time to spare. Other parents get this. Those who are not parents yet will get this someday.
* Yup, I used to judge strollers and people that would carry their baby in car-seats. Nowadays I don’t judge them but I still wouldn’t want to use them because wearing my babies in slings or pouches is just SO MUCH EASIER!
* With my first son we practiced “elimination communication” where I would read his signs of when he had to go to the bathroom and put him over the toilet. He was going poo in the toilet regularly by the time he was 4 months old. Boy, was I the BEST Mama in the world or what? I admit that I loved to brag about this. I tried it half-heartedly with my 2nd and 3rd sons and then gave up, because I just didn’t have the energy.
* I did really, really judge Mamas who would let their kids cry it out. Like my above daycare confession, I likened it to child abuse. It wasn’t until I went to a Christmas party at our own Katie Schunk’s house that I was witness to the magic that can happen when you follow this tactic. She had put her little angel down in his crib at 7:00pm, he laid down without a peep, fell right to sleep and she knew she didn’t have to worry about him until morning. WTF???!!!! That didn’t happen in my house like….EVER! In one fell swoop I stopped judging moms who did the CIO method and instead became insanely jealous of them.
Whew! That feels good to get off my chest! Being part of CTWorkingmoms has been such a good experience for me as I let the last vestiges of my inner judge go (oh, did I mention that I also used to judge Mamas who work until I became friends with the awesome ones here and saw that they actually might have a better balance than me? *Oy vey!*).
Here’s to celebrating Motherhood in ALL forms and in every way that it’s done. Every choice we make is the best one for our family. Everyone is doing what is right in their hearts, no matter how different it may look. We are all doing GREAT. Thank you for being a part of this wonderful community and Sisterhood. The Mother in me, honors the Mother in you.
Happy Magical Monday. ♥