Now that she is here, the fear is even stronger. Am I doing this right? Did I feed her enough? Is she going to drown now that I’ve accidentally gotten water in her ears during the bath?
There are billions of articles out there telling us what we mothers are doing wrong, what we are doing right, and scaring us into believing we will never amount to the awesome product that is MOM.
Nowadays it’s: “If You Co-Sleep You Are Better Than Everybody Else,” and: “Why Vaccines are a Product of Evil” and the closely related: “Thou Shalt Not Give Cereal to Newborns.”
But that isn’t even the real twist–the real deals are the comments below, where mothers rip each other to shreds for working and putting children in daycares, for introducing formula, for pumping. I’ve gotten told that I shouldn’t put shoes on my little girl because she doesn’t walk, that I shouldn’t put bows in her hair because it looks ridiculous. The list goes on and on of what we mothers should and shouldn’t do, and therefore the comments get nastier as we tell each other to “get help” and that we “feel sorry for your little man.”
Now, it may seem like this is a bad thing, that we shouldn’t be smashing each other for doing the opposite of what we feel is right–sure, we can all pretend to get along, and sure we should play nice sometimes–but I think that these comments are a product of our motherly instincts. They are a breath of fresh air to me, something to root for. We, as mothers, feel so strongly about our decisions that we must stand up and fight for what we believe in. That, to me, is something believable, something that will never go away.
It is proof, that there are many many people out there who are doing what we do best; mothering.
I don’t care what you do with your own–breastfeed, formula feed, stay on a strict schedule, co-sleep, crib from day one, babywear, work, stay at home. No way, because what I feel we should be worried about, is whether or not we mother.
I’m not going to lie–a particular post had me torn in half this morning. It was the great ol’ argument of breast vs. formula. I didn’t say anything too nasty–aside from some asterisks in the place of potty words–but I was mad. MAD at the formula feeders who jumped in and trashed us breastfeeders for trying to act like we rock. And I was mad. MAD at the breastfeeders who assumed that all formula feeders are a selfish breed. The argument, to me, became who is allowed to act like she is a great mom?
My answer is– you.
We are mothers, and we are proud mothers, and we are strong, iron-clad, dressed-to-kill with our spitup covered t-shirts, yoga pants, un-brushed hair and sore nipples.
We are mothers as we pack our little ones in the car on a cold, snowy day for a doctor’s appointment.
We are mothers as we cuddle, kiss, and speak in baby-ese.
We are mothers as we take our little ones out before six weeks.
We are mothers as we cry because we can’t figure out what she needs.
We are mothers as we smile at his first coo.
Yes. I breastfeed. I babywear. I co-sleep. And I apparently eat granola. But I’m not as proud of those things as I am proud to be a mommy. And I’ll never do anything else in my life as meaningful.
And neither will you.