It ends now.

“Mommy wars” and “Mommy guilt” are very real. While in some ways they are two separate things they play into each other quite nicely.

I’ve spent the last 6.5 months with this amazing little being. The biggest surprise, I tell people, is how naturally it has all come. I thought I would feel so much worry and panic and I don’t. That’s not saying there aren’t moments, but overall, I feel like we’ve got things under control. The worry really sets in when I worry about the recommendations of others and whether or not I am doing “enough”. Am I doing the right things with feeding him? Am I talking to him enough and in the correct way? We don’t read to him enough. (sidenote: props to all you parents who read nightly to your babies. Gus won’t be still and just tries to eat the books.) Am I ruining his life by working? He loves other people – does that mean I am doing something wrong that he is not more attached to us?

But you know what? I’m done with that. I’m over it. It ends now. Many people have kids and do things the way I do them or “better” or “worse” and very few of the kids turn out to be serial killers so it is probably fine. I’m wasting too much time with the worry and most of it comes from outside sources that plant doubt that I am enough. They may not mean to, sure, but my own insecurities let that doubt creep in when there is no place for it in my life.

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how I can support new moms. I had no idea what it meant to be a new mom and it’s a little like being hit by a train. On top of that, our support has been very minimal. We have a few friends that are super helpful and are so grateful for that but I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if we lived closer to our families. Yesterday, our friend B came over and took Gus for a walk for an hour or so while I cleaned and Lesley mowed the lawn (Lesley’s mom is coming to visit on Friday for a week so things are a little frantic). While I hated not having him with us for the small amount of time we get after work it was amazing to be able to get a few things done. I can only imagine what my life would be like if Grandma came for an hour every week so we could do this. My house would be so clean! Things like this, and the isolation that no one tells new moms about yet seems to haunt us all, the terribleness that is early breastfeeding, the sleepless nights, the worry over everything – it’s made me want to support moms.

There was this mantra before I had kids: You wouldn’t know because you’re not a mom. Now it’s still there but changed: You wouldn’t know because you have one child. You wouldn’t know because you haven’t been a mom long enough. I’m done hearing this. I am enough. My family is enough. YOU are enough and so is your family. Sure, our experiences are different. Sure, I have this one boy and you have a two littles in your arms. Sure, there’s two of us doing this parenting thing and you’re doing it on your own. Sure, Gus is hitting some milestones a bit ahead of your kiddo. Whatever. In this little community, this little corner of the internet, we’re hear to support each other. I’m here to support you. Your family. Your life. Your children in your arms and your children yet to be. This stuff is hard and we’re figuring it out.

I don’t know what supporting moms will mean. For now, I started volunteering an hour a week with an organization locally that supports new moms. I’m trying to be careful about how my words are perceived by others. I’m trying to make sure that while I do things one way, I support you doing them another. (I am pretty judgmental so that one is an effort some times. 🙂 ) I’m loving my kid. I’m loving my family. I’m doing everything I can to encourage others to do the same.

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Posted on April 16, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I really apprciate all the support you provided Cade and I. I always feel like I can ask you if I have a question 🙂

  2. Well said, friend. Love this. Thanks for the support!

  3. You’re the best. Thanks for the thought and care and passion you put into the world and this post. I definitely feel supported by you in an awesome long distance way. Thank you!

  4. This is great! Thank you for putting it out there. This little blog world has helped me out more than I ever would of suspected when I started it.

  5. Very well said! I’m learning that following my intuition about my own child/family/our path is the best for me and Evelyn. It’s sometimes hard to ignore what others are doing, what they have, the WAY they do things, etc… and not compare. Building up other moms instead of comparing/judging is definitely the way to go. You rock!

  6. Well said! I really appreciate you sharing this.

  7. Gus always looks so happy in pictures. You are doing it right.

  8. This is an awesome post. And not that you need my validation, but FWIW…

    You are the best mama there is for G and the exact mama that he needs (or whatever your mom title is, but you get my point). And Lesley too. You two, you’ve got this thing. That kid is loved, that kid has all of his needs taken care of, that kid is doing just fine – better than just fine, he is thriving. And so are the two of you. And if he does become a serial killer, I bet anything he’ll be the very best. You know, the kind who serial kills other serial killers, or something Towanda! like that.

    If we wind up in Eugene, we will be happy to take G for a walk so Lesley can mow the lawn. Yours, ours, whatever. And if you need to be judgey, bring it on. I’m pretty used to it by now, thanks to my mom who loves us and our kids to death – and is so awesome in so many ways – but hates our parenting, and isn’t shy about vocalizing her never-ending opinions.

  9. It’s not easy being a new mom…and I think all of us have had our fair share of worry/stress/joy/craziness…having support is so important, especially when you feel that you are about to lose it, or making wrong choices. This post is awesome! Glad we’re friends….

  10. I have been feeling similarly and am really looking into becoming a doula and/or lactation consultant. I loved being able to help our friends who just had a baby and have had some struggles with breastfeeding and having a newborn in general. Props to you for reaching out to help others, that really is awesome.

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