Oh how we judge each other. Is it better to breastfeed or bottle feed? Do you feed your child all organic foods? Stay at home or work? The list goes on and on and on and on and frankly it gets very tiring.
I didn’t really take any offense to the Time magazine cover. I mean, I don’t have the desire to be breastfeeding an older child but who gives a crap if someone else does. It isn’t up to us to decide. As mothers, we should never ever feel guilty about our choices with our kids as long as those choices are what works for your family.
I was a bottle feeder. I had total intentions of breastfeeding my first born child but then I was put to sleep for a c-section and didn’t get to see her for the first time until over 12 hours later. Then I was pretty sure that c-section was going to kill me so the very last thing I felt like I could do was breathe much less feed my baby. I know what you are saying….what a wimp. Then a wimp I am! It was my very first ever time being a patient and in a hospital. There was no time in my situation for a spinal so when I awoke from my surgery, I felt every single nerve that had been sliced through to get to my baby girl safely. When my son came along I totally entertained the idea yet again of breastfeeding but he landed in the NICU for 5 days. Even still I was being pressured by his NICU Dr. to pump for him but you know what, I didn’t want to. I had just suffered through a horrific two year process that started with trying for 6 months to get pregnant, being pregnant, birthing and burying that sweet boy, healing, getting pregnant again, being pregnant and on bed rest for 17 weeks and it had all ended with yet another c-section with a baby in the NICU. So excuse me if I know my body, my emotions and my parenting skills and made the best choice for me and my family not based on what some Dr. that has never birthed or breastfed a baby told me.
Extreme parenting is in ALL OF US!!! No matter what you say, we all have our own version of extreme. I bottle-fed, didn’t make my own baby food, only co-slept when I thought I was going to die from sleep exhaustion, I used store bought diapers and I don’t regret one single bit of it. But my extreme comes out in other ways. My kids had to stay on a schedule and Lord help your soul if you (my husband) caused my schedule to get off course. I insisted that even though my babies didn’t leave the house most days, they had to (and still do) take a bath every single night. The most extreme (my entire family would agree) parenting that I had was my sudden fear of germs. Don’t touch my kid or me and all will be right in my world. Well I should say that my little boy who can’t keep his hands off of stuff has broke me of this to some extent but that germ sickness is still deep down inside of me.
So Time magazine, Yes I am Mom enough. I was mom enough to go through three pregnancies. I was mom enough to birth them. I was mom enough to survive the death of a precious boy that I still try to mother even from very far away. I was mom enough for my kids to survive their first year of life. I have been mom enough to get one child to 9 ½ and the other to 4 1/2 and guess what….so far they still like me. I don’t think my kids have suffered in anyway b/c they wore store bought diapers or sleep in their own beds. But for those of you that do any form of extreme parenting (which is every single one of us in some way or another) you are awesome. Every parent that takes care of their own child, teaches them, loves them, clothes them, feeds them and raises them…..No matter how you do it, you are AWESOME and don’t let any Dr., friend, judgmental woman, Time magazine or mother-in-law tell you any different!!!