On being a mom

On being a mom

I am sure by now you have heard of the Time article going around the internet. Tons of bloggers have blogged about the article already. The front cover of Time shows a mother breastfeeding her four-year-old child with a caption that says, “Are You Mom Enough?” Now I haven’t read the article but it sure is offending a lot of people. From my understanding, the article is about Attachment Parenting and Mommy wars.

Before I became a mom I did temp work. I usually sat, answered phones, did some data entry and was able to read when I didn’t have anything to do. I started reading a lot about mothering, children, parenting, and childbirth. I started to feel very drawn to Attachment Parenting. I loved the idea of it. It seemed to fit my personality very well. I had a ton of ideas of how I was going to raise my children. I felt very strongly about them and wasn’t going to parent any other way. I joined online forums with other people who were parenting that way.

In September 2004, I gave birth to my first son. That was when reality hit!

You can plan, you can say you are going to do x, y and z but when a baby comes, you parent. You do what is best for your child.

You do what is best for your family and sometimes that doesn’t fit in a parenting camp.  I took some time away from those online forums and books and started figuring how the best way to parent my own son. Not the child I had planned on having but the child that I actually had. There is a big difference between the two.

Here I was a new mom trying to figure everything out. I wanted to be that Attachment Parent. And I was in some ways. With all three boys, we co-slept until about 4-5 months. It was a sweet time in my life and I will always cherish the memories of co-sleeping. It was also the only way I made it through the first few months. I breastfed all three of them too. One for 17 months, one for 9 and one for 7. I wanted to breastfeed all of them for about 18 months. That was always my personal comfort level. It didn’t happen. Life happened instead. And although my ideal was 18 months, I am still happy with how long I did breastfeed them.

18 Months Old18 Months OldI never felt comfortable letting a baby CIO. I never wanted that to be a part of my parenting and I was able to stick to that. All three of my boys starting sleeping through the night by about 9 months of age. That worked for us.

I had slings and different carriers I wore some of the time. I usually didn’t wear them at home, just when we were out. Baby J probably got worn the most because I literally needed two free hands with the other two.

I have had two natural births and 1 epidural birth. If I gave birth again I would probably go naturally.

I love my stroller! Love it. It’s funny because before I had my oldest I thought I would wear him in a sling all the time and barely use a stroller, but you know what? I loved it from the beginning.

I vaccinate my children.

I used cloth with #2 but haven’t been able to get into it with #3.

So now here I am, a mother of 7.5 years and I don’t have a parenting title anymore.

I could say that I lean towards Attachment parenting but I really don’t like parenting labels. I have friends who parent similar to me and friends who don’t. As my children get older, the baby stuff becomes less and less important. I have my views and beliefs, other people have theirs. I have my ideals and then I have my reality.

As a newly pregnant woman reading all about pregnancy I never in a million years thought I would be going through any step of this without my husband right by my side. I never pictured long nights alone. But that was what my reality was and I had to adjust. And I think with any mom, you have to adjust. Some of the things you say before parenthood stick and others don’t.

And when it comes down to it, I may have ways of parenting that I think are best but most Mothers out there are doing what they think is best too. And most children are going to turn out alright.

I just want to be the best mom I can be to my three boys and not worry what all the other mothers are doing.

What have you changed your mind about since you became a parent?

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “On being a mom”

  1. Great post, Julie! I think we all make plans when we’re pregnant to be a certain type of parent, and then when the baby comes, reality happens! I wanted an all-natural birth with no interventions…HA! That didn’t happen. I wanted to breastfeed. That didn’t happen. While there have been some disappointments along the way, I know that I’m honestly doing the best I can. As long as the baby is happy and healthy, that’s all that really matters to me 🙂

    • So true! It really does crack me up when I think of all the things I said I was going to do before I had my first. Even as my kids get older I find I have to adjust to the reality of our lives vs my ideals.

  2. I’ve come to learn every parent is different. There is no “wrong” way to parent, but there is ways to be a bad parent. I love how different the mom community is but I wish the media would stop trying to push mommy wars. I think as long as the mom makes informative choices, I’m okay with that. 🙂

    • So true! There are bad parents but it seems like the things we moms beat ourselves up over are not what would make someone a bad parent.

  3. Great post! I think that parents should stick to whatever parenting philosophy works for them! You’re a wonderful mother, Julie, and you’re right, we’re all just trying to figure it out!

  4. You have a well written post about being a mommy. I think most of us go into it with things we want to do. Some work, some don’t. I have come to realize that all kids are so different. What works with one, doesn’t work with the next. Each family needs to make decisions based on what works for their family, not what everyone else does. I just try to parent with love, consistancy, and godliness.

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