We moms are parenting in some amazing times. Advancements in almost every aspect of our lives are making so many things easier on us, from access to health information to simply sharing precious photos of your little one to far away family and friends. I am probably an over-sharer when it comes to pictures (I JUST CAN’T HELP THAT LITTLE DUDE IS SO PHOTOGENIC!) but I’m most thankful to being able to connect with other moms through social media that may see things the way I do, or may be able to offer answers without judgement.
Well, hopefully without judgement. ‘Mom Shaming’ is real, people. And it’s downright awful. It seems like instead of being open minded to different parenting style, so many moms put down other moms for their choices that differ from their own. There are so many hot-button issues: breastfeeding, bottle feeding, cosleeping, vaccines, discipline, disposable or cloth diapers, etc. No mom should ever feel like they’re not doing something right, as long as both you and your children are happy and well cared for. I can tell you first hand that while some of my methods are unconventional (we don’t keep Little Dude on a strict schedule, we cosleep, I let him watch plenty of TV, etc), our way definitely works for us and I hope whatever way you choose, no matter how traditional, works for you, too.
One thing I DO think ALL moms CAN agree on: we are constantly questioning ourselves, every decision we make on behalf of our children, and whether or not we’re doing what we’re supposed to. Obviously, as moms we know what we’re expecting of our kids-first crawl, then walk, then eat on their own, then talk, then use the potty by themselves, and so on and so forth. But what if your child doesn’t do things that way? I’ve got news for you: all those advancements I mentioned also make it so easy for moms to compare their child to other children they know. And I, for one, am completely guilty of it.
My son is smart. I know this, I’m sure of it, and it’s not something I worry about. He’s funny, charming and so full of this sweet personality that I’m almost afraid he’ll burst. But regardless of how smart I know he is, I see my friends’ kids, some younger than my son, speaking in understandable words and sentences, and suddenly I’m a flurry of anxiety, stressing about why my amazing child isn’t talking like that yet. Next comes me second guessing every move I’ve made thus far, convincing myself that it’s my fault and that yes, he should definitely be talking. And oh no! Is that another friend’s daughter, already fully potty trained at 13 months?! I must be failing because I’m still in diaper mayhem over here! It’s almost feels like ‘Mom Shaming’, except I’m doing it to myself.
I have confidence in my son and know he will fully talk when he’s ready (he DOES talk, by the way. Just not big words in real sentences, yet!) and know that the love I feel from him when he wraps his arms around me is what really makes me a great mom, not his abilities or his milestones. But I hope that if you’re a mom reading this and you’re having doubts because you compared your child to another, you realize you’re not alone, and your child is no less great because he or she isn’t doing the same things as other children.
I vow to live with a heart full of peace and happiness, and vow to pass that on to my son. All of us moms deserve nothing but a celebration in our honor, so keep positive energy around you and I’m sure your child will do plenty of truly amazing things.
Silly momma & little dude