Sunday, June 10, 2012
Impressed by Mama's...
OK - I lied. I'll do 2 posts today because this one really struck me as important (and I honestly had to get it out of my head before it drives me nuts!).
I am not easily impressed - not at all. You can take me to a 5 Star restaurant and feed me a $100 dinner (per plate) and I'll be thinking, "Well, this is nice. I don't have to do my own dishes, but I can cook my own Filet Mignon just as well, and make my own sauteed mushrooms or asparagus and make my own nice salad for far less money - and it will be healthier too." And since I happen to make a great apple pie (and my wife makes to die for Shoo-Fly pie) dessert is covered as well. I have lots of other examples of how I am not easily impressed, but I'll leave it at the food example. So what does impress me? Moms.
Why do moms impress me you may wonder? Well for lots of reasons actually. We grow babies on the inside and we can grow them on the outside (most of us anyway). Personally I think the fact that we can grow miniature humans is awesome! The fact that we do it knowing we will be sleep deprived for at least a year or more and that those mini-humans will make us nuts off and on...well that just adds to my being impressed.
How about the single mom? Single moms are amazing. They have everything on their shoulders - no help from a partner - and yet, they still do it. I have been a single mom - my kids survived. It wasn't easy. So all you single moms - keep doing the best you can because I know it isn't easy. But it can be done. And don't forget to ask for the help you need. I know that isn't easy...but do it - because you'll find it when you least expect it - like I have.
How about married moms? They are also amazing. They may be at home moms (which society does not appreciate or value - which pisses me off) doing everything in the home - the child rearing, the cooking, the cleaning, the grocery shopping, the bill paying - everything. And if they are homeschooling moms - well add to the above a ton of extra work educating your kids. Having also been an at home mom, who also homeschooled, I certainly did NOT sit on my ass (like some people think at home moms do all day) - unless I was teaching someone something or taking a much needed break for 5 minutes until one of my boys had the injury of a lifetime and desperately needed lifesaving help (you know, those splinters in the finger and scrapes on the elbow are so traumatic!).
How about the married moms who work outside the home? They have to not only work, and take care of the house, the errands, the bills etc but also have to try to have quality time with their kids after being gone from the 6-10 hours a day 5 days a week. It's not easy! How do I know? Been there done that too. Sigh. Working moms are amazing. They just are. And they too are sold out by society (which pisses me off).
What other moms impress me? Breastfeeding moms. Moms who have difficulties with breastfeeding and yet hang in there and do what they can to find the right help and make breastfeeding work. Yeah, I know how that is too because my 2nd son is the reason I am a Lactation Consultant. (for those details go to my website www.breastfeedingnetwork.net) It is NOT easy by any means to struggle the way many moms do with breastfeeding. They get told all sorts of stupid shit from people who should know better and don't. They are not referred out to quality LC care by their Drs often enough (if at all). Rather, they are told to just give a bottle of formula because, you know, it's just as good as breastmilk. And yet these moms struggle and work and figure it out.
You know what kind of moms also impress me most in some ways? The ones who struggle with breastfeeding and yet know when it is time to call it quits. That is about the hardest thing a mom who desperately wants to breastfeed can do. No - I didn't do that - I was lucky - my mother told me I could never succeed at breastfeeding and should give up, which made me work even harder just to prove her wrong. However, if I had to go through what I did with that boy again, I just don't know that I could do it. I'd like to think I could - but honestly: It was HELL and frankly, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. There is a point in time when it is OK to say "I'm done with this." We as moms must take into consideration so many things - and I'd rather have a mom who has done everything she could decide that she is done rather than keep going making herself insane and never enjoying her baby and being a mom . Breastfeeding is great - but sometimes we need to know it's OK to stop.
And lastly - step-moms. I really don't know what it is like to be a step-mom. I should ask my wife about that. She (knowingly!) entered into a relationship with a single mother with 2 teenage boys at home. Ok - teenagers can be scary enough as it is with all their hormones, and growth spurts and trying to be an adult while still being a kid. Coming into a family and finding a place has got to be a challenge. I salute the step-moms who take on this challenge. It is not an easy one - and I have a tremendous amount of respect for those of you who take it on.
Mom need to, in my opinion, come together and support each other in where they are at. Even if they are doing things differently - the at home mom, the single mom, the working mom, the lesbian mom, the moms who breastfeed, the moms who do not (or worse, cannot) breastfeed. We need to NOT allow society to judge us or tell us what we should and should not be doing. Why are we allowing society to pit us against each other? Why do we allow the 'mommy wars' to happen? I don't get it myself - do you?
I am impressed by Moms. We work our asses off - we love our kids. We do our best. It's that simple. Ladies - you are amazing! And don't you forget it...