Thanks to recent changes in the political sphere, we are a nation divided. Very divided, unless you don’t regularly watch the news or scroll through social media feeds.
We’re on different sides of the fence, with different views and ideas how our country should be run. We’re taking jabs at each other in conversation, on status updates, and in the media.
I guess this was to be expected.
But the one place we shouldn’t be divided? The one part of our lives where we should come together and support one another because the rest of what’s happening in the world, in our personal lives, and everywhere in between is hard enough to deal with?
I don’t know about you, but ever since becoming a mother, I have felt a great divide between the moms like me (more on that later), and the moms who did everything different. I have felt the sting and balk of the moms who couldn’t believe I chose to do XYZ with my child, while secretly wanting to dump a bottle of Enfamil over their heads.
I have felt insecure about some of the motherhood lifestyle choices I’ve made thanks to aggressive mommy Facebook groups. By the way, these groups are my version of purgatory, but that’s a different story altogether. I have been told by those friends who love to give unsolicited advice, that if I don’t do things like them, my kid is doomed.
But here’s the thing. I support them. I support their decision to mother as they please, feed their child as they please, avoid certain foods as they see fit, and whip a boob out anywhere they’d like. Maybe I’m more into mommy equality than others, but really, it’s because I know how unpleasant it feels to be judged or labeled.
And this is precisely why, much to the dismay of some of the mamas who have given me an earful about my mommying, I have chosen to join forces with the Eco Baby Expo in South Florida this February.
So, allow me to explain why this non-vegan, non-organic, non-breastfeeding mama has chosen to not only sponsor, but present, at one of the biggest and baddest baby expos for all things earth and baby-conscious.
Equality, ladies. MOMMY equality.
Are you still wondering what I meant by “moms like me”? Allow me to explain.
I am the mom who stopped breastfeeding at six weeks, switched to formula, and stopped stressing myself out. There wasn’t much happening in these here B-cups.
I am the mom who didn’t co-sleep. Ever. Because I was afraid of crushing my child and didn’t like having my sleep disrupted. She made all sorts of unspeakable noises in her sleep, it kept me awake. Wait, why am I justifying myself to you?
I am the mom who pushed her baby around in a stroller, instead of wearing her in a carrier, because, well, this seemed to keep her calmer and I enjoyed it more too.
I am the mom who gave her daughter cereal at 5 months old. Don’t worry, it was organic and from Whole Foods.
I am the mom who put her six-month-old baby in daycare full time while I worked.
I am the mom whose daughter required multiple rounds of antibiotics within a span of three months because of said daycare.
I am the mom, who, brace yourselves, had a c-section. A planned c-section.
Now do you understand what I mean when I say I feel judged? You know you just judged me a little yourself, don’t lie. That’s okay. Judging sucks, but it is a natural reaction to things we don’t fully understand.
So no, I don’t exactly fit in with theme of the EcoBaby Expo, with its tens of speakers and presenters who would probably pass out if they checked out my mommy track record. Which brings me to my point, here, gals: You don’t have to fit in to be great at what you’re doing.
You don’t have to mother like everyone else to be the best mommy to your child.
But for the sake of the greater good of humanity, motherhood, and the peacefulness in your heart, show some mommy equality. Take a step back and understand we’re all just doing what we need to do to survive, keep our babies happy, and go about our lives despite all the rest of the drama out there.
And if you feel the need to judge and impart unsolicited advice anywhere, stick to the political rants on Facebook. It’s much more satisfying anyway.
See you at the Eco Baby Expo!
Michelle Dempsey is the owner and founder of content marketing firm Michelle Dempsey, Very Well-Written, and female networking group, Profemmes. She is also a mommy, a wife, and a proud #girlgang supporter.