I'm the mom on Facebook everyone loves to hate. I'm an over-sharer, and that's landed me in some pretty hot water.
- I'm the mom who supports fellow breastfeeding moms when they reach out for help.
- I'm the mom who has both kids wearing cloth diapers.
- I'm the mom who cosleeps with her children.
- I'm the mom who grows her own organic vegetables to feed her toddler and to make her baby homemade baby food.
- I'm the mom walking through the grocery store with a baby in an ergonomic baby carrier.
- I'm the mom pushing the grocery cart loaded full of organics and healthy snacks for her kids.
- I'm the mom who shared her story of her natural birth and quick labor on Facebook.
- I'm the mom who loses nearly all her baby weight within weeks of delivery and has no stretch marks on her belly.
- I'm the mom who constantly shares pictures of me working out with my babies.
- I'm the mom who openly thanks God for various blessings in my life, especially my family.
I am apparently the hippie-crunchy-granola mom who has been accusing of shaming other moms simple because of my lifestyle. Yes, I am the mom everyone loves to hate. You cringe at my posts on social media. You judge me when I walk by. You complain to your other mom friends about me. You even post passive aggressive Facebook statuses about me. I see them; I'm not blind or ignorant.
Here's the thing, while you are busy judging my lifestyle, you are forgetting that you too are a mother who has to make difficult decisions in order to raise your family in a way that meets your needs. You're forgetting that people are probably judging you too.
If only you could explain yourself... Luckily, I can.
- Now that I finally have a baby who breastfeeds well, I support other moms who need help with breastfeeding. I'm not a formula shamer, not in the slightest. My son was supplemented with formula since birth and after I threw in the towel as an exclusive pumper at six months, my son was fully on formula until his first birthday. We couldn't get the breastfeeding thing down so I did what worked for us: formula feeding. My daughter happens to be completely opposite of her brother and breastfeeds like a champ, but it hasn't been without struggle. We've had issues with mastitis and thrush, but I pushed through this time around. Not because I proclaim that breast is best but because I simply cannot afford formula with two babies so close together in age. It's NOT in the budget, and it's not for many other moms as well, so I help them when they ask.
- I have two kids in cloth diapers because, well, let's cut to the chase. Have you paid my bill at Target for a months worth of diapers for TWO kids? No? Ok. Now you know why I use cloth diapers.
- Cosleeping. Whatever the research says, I frankly don't care. We didn't set out to cosleep; the cribs, bassinets and toddler beds in my house are evidence of that. But when you go back to work just six weeks after your first child is born, who is also a terrible sleeper and only sleeps well when in your bed, you do what you have to do for your sanity. You can judge me all you want, but my children have never been rolled on or suffocated in blankets. We all sleep pretty well too on most nights.
- I grow my own food, because I have the land to do it, it's cheap and it's convenient. I can run outside and grab a tomato to slice up for sandwiches or make an entire salad from my backyard. It cuts down the grocery bill enormously and I can preserve food for the winter. I like knowing there are no chemicals in my food either. That's right, I get scoffed at because I have a freaking garden with food in it.
- Yes, I baby wear and I use a ridiculously expensive ergonomic carrier. Why? Because it's comfy (I've tried the cheaper carriers and the personally hurt my back) and it helps when juggling two children under two. It's not because of bonding or whatever else baby wearing is acclaimed to do. It's just a way for me to keep my kids in tow while out shopping.
- That being said, while at the grocery store, yes, you will see a ton of healthy food in my cart. I'm simply trying to prevent disease in my family as best as possible. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis--you name it, I've watch loved ones suffer from it. Trying to prevent it is nothing to feel sorry for. And on that note, my family's diet isn't perfect -- that's nearly impossible for us. Dig a little deeper on my cart and you'll find the bakery cookies and the frozen pizza for busy nights. We do the best we can.
- I've had a drugged up labor complete with an epidural and I've had a fast, all-natural labor. Both ways worked for me for my two very different labors. I've felt higher than a kite while on pain killers, cracking jokes as I pushed out my son and I've had my head buried into a pillow screaming bloody murder while feeling every ounce of pain from that hellish burning ring of fire because there was simply NO time for intervention. I've shared both stories publicly and yes, I am extremely proud of my natural birth. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and I'm not afraid to tell you that. But I wasn't being brave having a natural birth. The bravest thing I've ever done is have a needle shoved into my spine while in the middle of a horrific contraction when I needed, yes needed, the epidural with my first labor. You do what you have to do.
- It's genetics. What can I say? I can't help that I lose my pregnancy weight quickly with zero marks on my skin. I don't judge moms for their tiger stripes and you shouldn't judge me for my lack of them. Quite frankly, I have no physical reminders that my body grew and housed two beautiful babies, but you might. That's a pretty cool reminder to see everyday, and I'll never have that.
- I'm into fitness and living healthy and I don't care what you think about it. I do it because here is a history of disease in my family. I do it because I have suffered from various health problems including postpartum depression. Healthy living brought me back to enjoying my life and my babies. It makes me feel better physically and gives me the energy I need to survive my crazy days--and I take no shame in sharing that with the world because perhaps some other mother might need that inspiration to do it for herself.
- And finally, yes I do share my blessings openly #soblessed. I share them because I've learned to appreciate little things and thank God for them. It's just me and relationship with God, and it works for me. People often consider this humble bragging, but it's simply not. I do proclaim to the world my thankfulness for various things: my children who are true miracles as a PCOS fighter, the food on my plate because there were times when I couldn't afford much food, the new clothes and toys I get to buy my children because nearly everything my son had during his first year of life was secondhand, etc. etc. etc. So take these #soblessed #humblebrag #Godisgood hashtags and get to scrolling if it bothers you.
Perhaps if we understood the reasons why moms do what they do, then maybe we wouldn't be so likely to shame each other so quickly. Perhaps then we would stop pointing fingers and judging moms outside of our own mom circle.
Yeah, you're right. That will happen when hell freezes over. So until I feel that gust of cold air, I'll keep doing what I am doing because it works for my family and (gasp!) I'll keep blogging about it.
And if you do something differently than me, well, then I bet you have a pretty damn good reason. I also bet that you are also a Facebook mom that others love to hate.