Thursday, October 18, 2018

Mom Guilt- Fake News

Mom Guilt.

This is not a new phenomenon- my own Mom shares stories of the guilt she has felt, and just like the guilt I have felt- it isn't warranted.
The difference is we now have this double-edged sword called "social media".
We get to see and experience what everyone and their *literal* Mother do during pregnancy, birth, post-partum, newborn days, toddler days, school days and beyond.
We have an up close and personal view (sometimes too personal) about what methods are used for conception, birthing, and placenta care (yeah, this wasn't a thing when I had babies but holy hot topic now)
We know how and why someone feeds their baby, how they sleep at night and what their thoughts are on crying it out and vaccines (by the way, I am pro both).

On one hand this is great, we get to see a multitude of options and learn there is more than one way of doing this mothering thing.
On the other hand, these methods are presented as if they are the best, the only way and the smartest way.
"If you loved your child as much as I did, you would do XY and Z and I have read so many articles supporting my right way, because the internet is never wrong and the source was good so I am right and if you are not doing it my way you are wrong and you don't love your child."

Fake News.

If you don't breastfeed your child will get sick all the time, it's hard but you should do it.
You should work outside the home so your children know what it means to be a confident and independent woman.
You should  co-sleep because of your baby needs you.
You should not vaccine because it is a conspiracy.
You should carry your child 24/7 because that's what people in other countries do.

More fake news.

The truth?
You should do what is best for you and your child.
You will also find out that what is best for one child may look different when you have another child. You may find that you try one way and it doesn't work so you try another way.
You may have ideas about how you want to raise your child but it changes when you are in the thick of it.

It is okay to do your own thing as a Mom. We all love our children- even Mom's who aren't capable of safely parenting their children for a season or forever...LOVE their children.
 We all want the very best for our kids.
The very best for my family will look different than the very best for your family and that needs to be okay.

With my kids 10, 7 and 7....I am out of the "new Mom" phase, and for those of you who also fit that category I am talking to you now....

You and I need to speak truth and encouragement to new Moms because it is HARD.
New Moms are trying to figure out this thing on the fly, just like we did.
They don't need jaded Mom's to say things like "You'll miss it" when kids don't sleep because that is a lie. You will NOT miss not sleeping all night long.
Please don't say "Just wait until they get to ____ age", that doesn't help.
New Moms don't need to hear how to do things, they just need to know they are doing a good job.
If you're asked advice, couch it in "this worked for me but it may not work for you" otherwise- keep your mouth closed and just be there.
Be there to listen, to say "You are doing great" and that is it.

Guilt by definition means "feelings of deserving blame especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy."

Ew. Yuck. Ouch. No.
I reject the notion that you or I as a Mom deserve any sort of blame.
I reject the notion that you or I are inadequate for this job.
You need to reject that too.
You have everything you need to do this Mothering thing well, and you have the option to use the tools and resources you need to seek out help in the areas you feel you lack in- that is your call.

If you need to step away from social media because it leaves you feeling inadequate- DO IT.
If you need to hide a few "friends" because they consistently bring you discouragement- DO IT.

We get to decide which voices we listen to, who has input in our lives and who we trust.
Be careful with it, be wise and be YOU.

You are a good Mom.
You are doing the best you can with what you have and every season is a challenge- but you are up for the task.
You do you and we will do us and let's raise a tribe of humans that lift one another up for the differences that exist because they saw it modeled by their Mama's.


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