I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve fallen prey to being sucked into the blasted Mommy Wars. I’m a pretty straight shooter when it comes to myself so I know it’s because of a huge feeling of total insecurity in the role of mommy. (Granted it was SO exponentially worse about 8 months ago!) Needless to say, it’s pretty shameful. I don’t know if it’s the instant information age that we live in or that fact that I am no doubt a Facebook addict (and as we all know anyone & everyone feels the right to give their opinion in whatever way they deem necessary without care or thought of another’s individual situations & circumstances on FB😉 Regardless of the cause…I got sucked in. Every time I read something about breastfeeding over formula feeding, cloth diapering over disposables, co-sleeping or separate sleep spaces, baby-wearing or not….my mind would spin. I would become OBSESSED with finding out as much information as possible to defend what I was doing with LL. It was exhausting. Tiring. A TRUE WASTE OF TIME!
Something dawned on me the other day. There’s so much more to being a mother than how you feed your child (yeah, formula feeding being demonized was the real kick in the gut for this Momma). I had become obsessed with guilt that I couldn’t breastfeed because that was something I so desperately wanted & expected to be able to do for my daughter. That guilt showed itself in defensiveness (sometimes justified, often times not) and sadness & jealousy. But a dear friend pointed out that how long a mother breastfeeds does not determine how good of a mother she is. Before you jump down my throat hear me out. Feeding your child is ONE, just one, responsibility that a mother has. Food provider is just one role a mommy plays.
For me, being Mommy means I am:
a face washer
a role model
a bundles (yup that’s my name for LL’s tushy) wiper
a boundary enforcer
a tooth brusher
a block stacker
a reflection of Christ’s love
a woman totally reliant on God’s good grace to help me parent the blessing He’s lent to Matt & me.
I can confidently say that I adore the short list above (and every other part I couldn’t think of right now!) and am pretty darn good at it. 🙂 My almost one-year-old (Ahh! How did that happen???) loves me…honest and truly needs me, milk-filled boobies or not. She comes to me when she’s sad, hungry, happy, playful, wanting a story or a smooch, or when she’s ready for snuggles, some songs, and rocking to sleep. She comes to me. That’s an amazing gift that God has given me that I almost squandered away by foolish obsessions. There’s a much needed peace that came with this realization. I was snapped into the present moment…no more looking back. I had wasted so much time dwelling and grieving over what was not that I missed a lot of what was right in front of me. I promise to no longer spend my time wishing for what could have been, for that robs her of a mommy now. I promise not to get bent out of shape when someone tells me formula is crap…for I have a sweet blessing who needs me at this time and in this place. I promise to be present for her sake…God has charged me with that responsibility & privilege. I promise to spend every day trying to show God how grateful I am for His gifts of forgiveness, mercy, grace….and Laura! I promise to think about all the roles I am for LL because of how God has blessed me. May He keep my mindset healthy & focused on what is noble and good!
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.