Friday, January 5, 2018

Could We Squash the Mom Judgement Already?

Not a breastfed baby.
Last year, an Austin mom tore apart my Fed Is Best blog. It’s a topic sure to rile folks up, however, a truck driving into my gut is what I got in the comments.

I believe decisions should be about what works best for you and your family. In between me, my husband, and our daughter, we’ve got a lot of values, personalities, and perspectives to sift through when finding the best route.
I don’t expect each individual to agree, but I do expect respect for our family’s journey. 
This mindset is how I approached my blog about our breastfeeding journey, which quickly became an exclusively pumping journey. Her comments included that not breastfeeding was akin to feeding your child Oreos, dangerous, the bare minimum right above abuse and neglect. The commenter implored mothers to do more than keep their children alive, to help them thrive. With breastfeeding being the only way to achieve such status. In a final stab, the commenter said that she wouldn’t get all emotional like me if she couldn’t breastfeed.

Her words were hurtful as they weren’t about taking a different path but about trashing our path, our journey, our story. We lived that story. It was deeply personal and not only took vulnerability but the willingness to take myself to a place of hurt to write. To have our story and my feelings toward the story be likened to dangerous was enraging, frustrating, and par for the course.

Her words matched the online sentiment when I desperately searched for support during my breastfeeding struggle. Her words echoed what I heard from family, friends, and strangers. While I did have supportive folks in my life, it wasn’t the norm.

My gosh, why not make support the norm? There are days when motherhood feels like a series of battles you can’t win. I’m scolded for feeding my child breastmilk from a bottle while a friend is scolded for breastfeeding in public. There are days when motherhood feels like a competition. Who lost the most weight after baby? Whose child slept through the night first?

Being a mom is a wonderful, but tough job. Your heart is already walking around outside your body. Adding in the emotional energy of being judged by other moms is exhausting. Part of me says, “Shake it off, Court” and the other part of me wants to tell the other mom she’s a jerk. I’ve landed somewhere in between.

When the blog first came out last year,  I regretted sharing my story. The hateful comments opened a healing wound. I don't need to be seeking out hate, there's already plenty out there. But in retrospect I’m glad I shared my story. The more I share the more I can help combat the belief breastfeeding is the only way. The more I can help show there are many ways to tackle the same challenge.

So, I'll keep sharing and I hope you'll share your stories too. If we all did a bit more sharing and supporting, instead of judging others for having a different journey, our world might be a little kinder. And this world could use all the kindness it can get.

If you're struggling with breastfeeding or any other parenting challenge, I'm a great listener! Drop me a line or add a comment below!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Lessons from My Daughter

The new year has always held magic in it to me. It’s a chance for reinvention, for new beginnings. My first kiss with Quinn was on New Year’s Eve nearly a decade ago and my belief in the magic was only magnified after that night.

Lately I’ve found magic isn’t reserved for just the champagne and confetti nights, it’s in my every day. My daughter, Henley, opened my eyes to it. The world is full of wonder to her. She is curious about what things are and how they work. Things I stopped considering decades ago, like what the moon and stars are, why Legos click together, or how airplanes fly.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Let Her Try

A few weeks ago, someone stole a learning moment from Henley. I watched the look on her face and realized this may be the first but it won’t be the last. In a restaurant bathroom, she tried to move a stool under the sink so she could wash her hands. It was all a little clumsy but I was right there and her gears were turning. A woman stepped in. She moved the stool, held Henley, turned on the water, got her a paper towel. All things Henley is capable of doing herself. 

At the end, I asked to Henley, “Do you want to say thank you?”. She did not. (Yes, I believe in manners and teaching gratitude BUT I don’t want her to say things she doesn’t feel.) 

Back at our table I told Quinn the story. While the woman wasn’t helpful, my assumption was she was trying to be. On our way out the door, we walked past the woman and her friends. She loudly remarked, “There’s the little girl I had to help because her mom wouldn’t.” (Inner monologue: “Oh hell, no”.) 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Traveling with a Toddler!

We took our first family vacation in August! After a quick stop in Dallas to see my family and celebrate Henley's 2nd birthday we jetted off to Detroit > Ann Arbor > New Buffalo > Chicago > Dallas! Along the way we visited small towns like the quaint Marshall, Michigan.

I captured some of our adventures in the video below! Hopefully, it shows off how magical it felt. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I've been slacking a bit on my Lovely Little Blog posts but I've been fortunate enough to be sharing some of my musings on parenthood through Austin Moms Blog.

In the past year, I've tackled co-sleeping, not breastfeeding, and raising a kind child. Read 'em all here!

Let me know what you think!

p.s. Austin Moms Blog and The Domain hosted a Storytime with Santa last weekend and we got the featured snap capturing all us including Hen's serious face and our elf, Banjo

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