Motherhood is difficult. Parenthood is hard, but I can only speak from the Mama perspective. This shit is hard. And we Moms seem to love to make it harder on ourselves, dividing ourselves into camps, working vs. stay at home, breast feeding vs. formula, cloth diapers vs. disposables, attachment parenting vs. schedules… the list goes on and on and on.
I could probably write a thousand words detailing the groups we Moms split off into. And probably write a thousand more words about how we fight between these groups, and amongst ourselves. Motherhood seems to have become one giant fight to the top, for Mom of the Year.
Let’s be honest, there aren’t any awards. At 3 in the morning, when you’re changing a blow-out diaper and your baby is screaming, at 7 am when your oldest peels your eyelids back and reminds you of the park trip you planned today, at 9 pm, when your pre-teen reminds you of the project they have due first thing inthe morning; there are no awards. There is only work, more work, and hard work. There is only a slog through laundry and feedings and middle of the night wakings, bad dreams, skinned knees, too much candy and not enough good food.
Here’s where I stand…
I’m for a baby in a clean diaper. If that’s a cloth diaper, good for you, remember to use something on babies skin before you put the diaper on. If that’s a disposable, good for you, I’ve got a ton of coupons laying around if you need one.
I’m for a baby with a full belly. If that’s a formula fed baby, good for you, again I’ve got coupons I’ll share. (Only the Enfamil ones. The Good Start ones are all mine.) If that’s a breast fed baby, good for you, remember to use nipple cream before your tatas get chapped and uncomfortable.
I’m for a baby who sleeps. If that is in a carrier, good for you. I’ve got two, and they get heavy use. If that is in a swing, that’s good, ours gets a lot of use too. If that’s in a crib, or on your bed, in your arms, or in the car seat, good for you.
I’m for babies, and kids, who are stimulated and educated. If that means you pack your kids off to school, good for you. Lunchables are a God-send when you’re scrambling to get a lunch packed. If that means you homeschool, good for you, you don’t have to worry about staying in your pajama pants while at the drop-off line.
I’m for stay at home Mamas, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, this is work. The hardest part for me is not being able to separate, having nothing for myself, that is just mine. It is so easy to lose your identity. But I’m also for working Mamas. You see, I need you. I need you to show my girls that there is more than one way to raise a family, that you can work and raise happy kids. So if you’re home, good for you, and if you work, good for you.
I’m for the Pinterest Mama, who finds something to do, and does it perfect. Who has a home decorated with painted Mason jars and ideas you’ve found. I’m for the non-Pinterest Mama too, who can’t work a glue gun, and don’t like to crochet. You do you.
I’m for a happy Mama. If that means you don’t co-sleep, or do; if that means you breastfeed until baby is older, or went straight to bottles, or some combination of in-between, good for you. If that means you have a live-in nanny, a sitter, or ship your kids off to daycare, Nanas, or the zoo (kidding!!), or whatever you need to do to stay healthy and sane, good for you.
I’m for Mamas who finally take time to get their toes done or hair cut, or who curl up with a book and read long into the night, whatever you do for a break.
I’m for a happy, healthy family. I’m for a family that plays together, eats together, lives together. I’m for walks in the park, muddy puddle stomping, flower picking, cotton candy eating trips to the carnival, face painting, beach trips, amusement park rides, baseball games, dance recitals, and all the other stuff we do with our families. I’m all for family time, however you define it.
I’m for each family making the absolute best decisions they can, for each other, all the time. I’m for parents who put their all into parenting, even when they’re tired and need a break. I’m for Mamas who have mastered the 5-minute shower, who know Good Night Moon backwards and forwards, who run multiple schedules at once.
I’m for every Mama, out there doing the best she can with what she’s got, worrying about her kids, trying to make it through the tough times and trying to savor the sweet moments. I’m for the Mamas who have given up everything, only to find new things. I’m for the Mamas who sees her imperfections, but remembers her strengths. I’m for every Mama.*
I’m for every Mama.
Happy Mother’s Day.
*Provided what you’re doing is safe and healthy.