"Am I doing something wrong?" I half-seriously asked my mama as my 8-month-old sat watching Daniel Tiger eating puffs.
I thought because I follow a lot of moms on social media, and I've seen the way they do things. The posts they make. The homemade baby food. The no TV until two, or no TV at all. Babies sleeping through the night, and in their own rooms since day one.
And that, my friend, is not us.
Puffs, Daniel Tiger and "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" covered by her daddy playing on constant repeat. This short list of three things is the only things that soothe my upset baby, other than a bottle and being held by mama and daddy.
Yes. I let my child watch TV before two. I give my child food that wasn't prepared in my own kitchen. I let my child listen to music other than the traditional suggested classical compositions of Ludwig Van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I bottle feed, and I often times do pick her up when she starts to cry.
You may disagree with my mama decisions, and that's okay.
I am right, and so are you. I know what's best for my child, and you know what's best for yours.
Just because we choose to do things differently, doesn't make one of us better than the other.
"Mom shaming" happens quickly when we think that our way is the only way, the best way, and there can be absolutely no other. Instead of taking the time to think that every mama has a reason for her choices, we’re quick to think, if she doesn't do it our way, she's wrong.
It’s so easy for us to think that somebody else’s choices and decisions are wrong, but we don’t really know the whole story.
Daniel Tiger, puffs, and Jesus songs. I have my reasons for all of these things.
Daniel Tiger has great lessons to teach, it's not mindless, rude or crude. Puffs teach her coordination. She absolutely loves music, and her father and I believe in God and want to share that with her.
I have my reasons for the things I choose, and you have or will have your reasons for yours.
Parenting styles, TV, diapering, sleep methods, sleep training, discipline, medicines, treatments, toys, music, vitamins, clothes, food, detergents. You name it, there is way more than one way to do it.
I want what's best for my child. I would never cause her harm. I want her to feel loved and nurtured. To grow up to be smart, loving, loyal, and independent.
If I had to guess, you want that too, mama. Don't you?
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to this whole mom thing, and there is no cookie cutter mama.
We all come from different backgrounds, from different cultures. We have all had different experiences that have influenced the way we think, and the way we see things and ultimately, the choices that we make.
Our backgrounds are all different, so our choices are going to be different.
Just because my choices aren't the same as yours, doesn't mean I’m a bad mama and don’t want the absolute best for her.
I'm right, and so are you. I know what's best for my child, and you know what's best for yours.
We love our babes, and we are striving daily to be the best mamas we can be for them. Living in a world of constant decision making and choices. Knowing each one will impact them in some way. A way we hope is for the better, and for the good. In a way that we hope will make them a good person.
Before we even hold them in our arms for the first time, we are preparing for them. We do research, we read books, we think about the decisions we’re going to make.
It’s not easy being a mama. Especially in a social media saturated society. But we need to be a team. We need to support each other.
“Mom shaming” doesn’t have to be a thing. We can be the mamas that end it.
We don't have to agree with each other's choices, but can we just agree to stop mom shaming?
Because I can be right, and so can you.