Monday, June 13, 2011

Real Momma's Don't Lable Themselves

Sometimes a momma just can't win. She isn't mainstream enough and gets judged harshly for her beliefs in breast feeding, cloth diapering, or her position on various sleep training techniques. So she calls herself crunchy, or natural, or green.  Then one day she isn't natural enough because in she doesn't fall in line with a group who feels they have a divine right to judge mainstream mothers. She finds herself  either to attached for the mainstream or not attached enough for the natural crunch.  Yesterday I found out I was not pro-breastfeeding enough. OMG, can you imagine somebody saying such a thing to me? TO ME??????? No, really STOP laughing, I am perfectly serious. :P It's a case of not being enough for one group and being to much for another and it really gave me pause and got me thinking.

 Every mother no matter what style of parenting she attempts to adhere to is going to eventually HAVE to make it her own and adapt it to her lifestyle, personal set of beliefs, and unique needs. Otherwise they risk falling into the trap of becoming a slave not to their children but to the idea of *insert parenting label here* It's ridiculous. Simply put you have to be comfortable in your own skin. Nobody can tell you how to do that or what you should be comfortable with. Some things you will see or hear and think OMG, that's ridiculous! Other things will intrigue you, some may even inspire you. Be inspired if you will, but FUCK the label. Don't aspire to parent your children the way another mother you know does, or the way your family wishes you would, or the way a book/blog/forum tells you that you should. Do what is in your child's best interest and do it the best way you can.

For the situation from yesterday, it is not necessarily in your baby's best interest to nurse in public, it doesn't harm or help either way. In fact it doesn't matter at all how or where your baby nurses. The important thing is that they are receiving mother's milk. Duh! Applaud THAT not where they are nursing, and don't get pissy when somebody expresses their own (very well informed) belief on the subject either. I believe in live and let live and try your best not to bother or negatively impact others. What I choose to do with my own personal life and my own son does not have anything at all to do with you. If you don't like some of my parenting choices well bite me.... if you dare. Open yourself up to engage in debates in a way that allows you to be free from emotion and accepting of differing view points. You never know, if you stop being preaching and judgmental for two whole seconds you might just learn something. I don't have to agree with what you do and you don't have to agree with what I do. That's fine.  A real momma does it her way so long as her way isn't going to harm her child. A real momma doesn't allow herself to be labeled nor does she limit herself with a label. News flash, I don't know if you've noticed or not but I haven't seen anyone walking around sporting 1st place ribbons or gold medals for natural birth, home births, attachment parenting, cloth diapering, or even public breastfeeding. Yet some mothers continue to try and put their ideal up on a pedestal and are quick to judge or speak down to other mothers who can't or don't want to measure up. They call these ideals "brave" as in "the brave who will nurse their children anytime anywhere and at any age". K, you go ahead and do your thing in a shopping cart at a WalMart, but don't expect me to follow suit just because you are "brave" and you think I am not. Bold and brave are not the same thing by the way, and I'll let you examine that for yourself. I have a sense of modesty, excuse me for that, and don't feel like whipping the girls out in the middle of a shopping trip if I don't have to and expose more of my body and needed to complete the task. Nursing is perfectly acceptable and natural act. Public nudity... well maybe not so much and the woman in the photo being discussed was in my opinionated opinion slightly over exposed. I can understand how she ended up as a boob on the people of WalMart  website. I didn't say it was right to make fun of her I just said I can understand how it happened that she was there and why some of the comments where what they were. Sorry, if you get your panties in a twist over that. Grow up. I thought it was less than appropriate from my point of view which speaks to what I would personally be comfortable doing, not judging somebody else for the difference in their own personal comfort level. I am supportive of a mother's right to nurse in public, just because I don't exercise that right the same way this woman did doesn't make me less than somebody else who does. I pretty much always nursed Nicholas in a car, or other private-ish place and the same applied for pumping. I was also most comfortable if I was almost completely covered though I never actually used a nursing cover. I simply didn't expose more of myself than was absolutely necessary.  Everyone is entitled to express their opinion. Go for it in fact.  Don't be so surprised though when there is more than one opinion on your chosen subject. You need to be tolerant of that fact.

My whole point is this; I am not an attachment parent, though I believe in, often promote, and apply the concepts of attachment parenting to my personal life. I am not a baby wearer though I have and still do wear my son when it is mutually desired. I also use a stroller *gasp*. I am not a green or crunchy mother either. My own person style is green in color but you have to remember just how many shades of green there are.  I adapt as many green living concepts into my daily life as I am able to at this time. Some people go a lot further than I am even willing to go and I am glad for them, but they still aren't getting a cookie from me for it. I relate well to many "crunchy" mothers but I won't call myself that either and it isn't just because I can't stand that particular term (makes me think of dirty underwear - sorry ladies, I obviously don't understand where that came from). Apparently as with being green there are different textures of crunch. I find myself often not crunchy enough. So who am I as a parent? I am a REAL MOMMA! I do my own research, ask my own questions, tell my own stories, and I make my own choices because I have a mind of my OWN. This is the only label I will accept and I hope others can follow suit or keep their lips zipped. Don't be what anyone else wants you to be, I certainly won't.  Just be real and most importantly own your reality! Forget everyone else and their opinions. Glean what real knowledge you can from them, be open to ideas, engage in friendly debate on occasion, but do it on your own terms and decide for yourself what is best. Always reserve judgment of a situation or idea until you are completely education on ALL sides of the debate on it. I won't buy into a label unless it's Prada, Armani, or Versace. If you choose to then so be it but judge others for not measuring up at your own risk. You might just find YOURSELF the one who doesn't measure up to somebody else. After all, there is always a bigger fish.... and beware Real Mommas WON'T take your bullshit.


  1. Well said!
    I think the term crunchy is because granola is crunchy and natural healing environmentally friendly hippy people are said to eat lots of granola......Just another way we stereotype.

  2. Lol- This is funny! I never comment on stuff but I have to tell you that many women go out of their way to make their choices outrageously noticed. Real moms don't criticize other people period! Real moms don't have time to critique other peoples' parenting. Way to go for speaking out! Women who whip their boobs out in public lack a little consideration for others. Seriously! In many societies the natural way is very acceptable including walking around without shirts and bras. However, in America, we have "hooter hiders", blankets, and capes. While these moms are doing what is best for their child, they have forgotten the fact that not everyone is comfortable with this. I am not a mom yet, but I hope that I will remember my child and I aren't the only people walking the earth. I agree with you LeighAnne, Real Moms use their BRAINS!! -that's all:)

    -Your sister