End Mama Segregation and Unify Kindness.
I’m so saddened listening to mamas attacking mamas! It is like a great big Mama War. It’s wildly inappropriate. I hear them fighting about breast feeding vs formula, hold the baby always vs the Ferber Method, processed food vs organic, home birth vs hospital, epidural vs natural, miscarriage vs living children, TV vs no TV . . . the divisions go on and on. We separate ourselves for no reason at all. Living isn’t about being right.
We all make choices for our babies and ourselves, and that is okay. Just because you are on one side of the fence and someone else is on the other side, doesn’t give you the right to be mean.
Breast Feeding vs. Formula. I was fortunate enough to be able to breast feed my son, so I did. The NICU doctors recommend it and my body was able. It wasn’t easy and it doesn’t make me any better than any other mom. There is nothing graceful about milk soaked shirts and pumping in a bathroom that someone just pooped or sore nipples and sleepless nights, but it was worth it. That was my path.
I have an amazing friend who’s baby couldn’t get enough milk from her breast to stay healthy and grow, so she pumps, but doesn’t breast feed. They supplement with formula when necessary. I have another friend who chose formula because that felt right to her and her busy working lifestyle. And another that couldn’t breast feed due to a double mastectomy.
But do you know what all the moms and situations I have described have in common . . . healthy babies. That’s all that matters. Some people can’t breast feed, some chose not to, and others do breastfeed, some for three months some for 24 months or longer. We all do what is right for our babies and I am here to tell you no matter which side of this war you stand on, it is okay. You are enough.
How Long is too Long to Breast Feed? But wait, how long is too short? I was judged for how long I breastfed my son, the NICU told me to do it for 24 months, which I had every intention of doing, but after a hideously depressing moment where I discovered my freezer fried and all my breast milk was ruined. Yes I said all … all 12 GALLONS. Yes you read that right. I was a holsetine cow . . . Now back to the story, I had already started to ween my son and I off breastfeeding and after losing that milk I had stored up to make it the last four months I only made it 20 months of the recommended 24, but for some reason those 20 months of breastfeeding, freaked people out. I don’t care why, but they judged me for it. And all I did was do what the doctors told me to. It hurt, I felt defensive and angry. I have friends that breast fed two month and switched to formula, they were judged because they didn’t feed long enough by some mom’s idea of perfection. The important part is fed, happy and healthy, not perfect.
Self Soothe vs. Snuggles. I always ran to my baby and picked him up when he cried and held him and comforted him, for me that was what felt right. He won’t be a baby or a toddler or a little boy forever, so I loved every moment I got to hold him. It brought me joy and gave him comfort.
I also have a friend who was firm on the Ferber Method of sleep training. I envy her getting sleep when I was awake surfing Facebook all night as I snuggled my baby and breastfed him back to sleep. But, once again, we both have healthy children. So there is nothing to fight about.
Home Birth vs. Hospital Birth, its a choice . . . and sometimes not even a choice. In my case I had to be in the hospital, I was desperately sick and my son was an emergency c-section ten weeks early. I thought I would be a no epidural kinda girl, but I ended up drugged and with staples in my stomache.
I have a very good friend who gave birth to all her children at home in a water birth with a midwife and she loved every sweet moment of it. It truly doesn’t matter as long as the safety of you and your baby are in mind. Just follow your heart.
Working Mama vs. Stay at Home Mama. Still the same ladies. You aren’t more of a mom because you bust your butt at work or home or mix of the two. It is hard work being a mom, no matter which path you take and for some reason we as women like to make it harder on each other, when we could be bonding tighter and seeing each other with love. We all do what we have to and what brings us balance and comfort.
Mama is a Title for Life. I have heard mamas say that other women aren’t real mothers because they miscarried or their child died. Let me be the first in line to correct you. The elite status of mom does not ever get removed. If you carried a babe in your womb for even a short time, you are a mother and no one else has a right to take that from you.
Kindness is the only way we survive life, so spread love not judgement. Compassion not hate.
We mamas, are bonded together in the eternal sisterhood of being the beginning of life. We are the goddesses of birth. The protectors of life. We are all one. It doesn’t matter if your Christian or Muslim, organic or processed, home birth or hospital, those are all choices. They don’t separate us from what we all truly are, we are the protectors of children. So take a moment to give kindness to all the mamas in your life, including yourself, we all need a little encouragement sometimes. Pay it forward ladies.