Thursday, May 31, 2012

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What does being MOM enough even mean??

I know many of us noticed the TIMES article about extended breastfeeding and whether or not a woman is MOM enough to handle the “challenge”. I think the last thing the mom community needed was for someone to accuse us of being not MOM enough!

I find that as I get closer to our “due date” there are a lot more people criticizing us about our choices for our baby and our childbirth. Because of my fear of medication and drugs (they make me CRAZY and not in a cute college girl way, more like in a rabid PMSing Tasmanian devil way) and my husband’s far more intense fear of needles anywhere near him (or me!) I decided that I wanted to have a natural childbirth and use The Bradley Method to do so. This inspired me to do A LOT of research into what people, the media, and the medical community stated is BEST for my baby. All in all, I was a bit terrified of all the things people told me that I NEED to do in order to have a baby and I felt a lot of it was either unnecessary or down right ridiculous. What I found most useful was my communication with real mothers. Mothers who have had c-sections, mothers who breastfed, mothers who handled a natural twin birth, mothers who formula-fed…I found one thing in common with all of them: they were DEFINITELY mom enough.

Now I know this may seem a little convoluted on a cloth diaper blog and pulling this back to be relevant may seem like a stretch to you, but to me it isn’t. My research (and I know you ladies and gents love research) has lead me to be much more decisive in my lifestyle choices.

So, why am I cloth diapering? In all honesty, its not cause of the environment – though as I get older I notice I am becoming a lot more hippie-ish than I thought I’d ever be – but it is because I know it’s the best thing I can do for my child and my family.

It will save us money and it will be healthier for my child. I don’t need to tout about the cost savings to most mothers. This one is obvious. However, health-wise it may not be as clear to others. My husband has severe allergies. He has suffered all of his life because for the most part he and his mother didn’t have options for alternative food, clothing, and health goods – they also didn’t have the available information (i.e. the internet) to help them. I, however, have this power, these resources, to make a difference in my husband and child’s life. I can make food free from allergens that is delicious and healthy. I can make my own detergent to ensure that my family doesn’t end up covered in hives at the end of the day. I can deliver my baby, free and safe from interventions, because my body was created to do so and I WANT to do it that way. I CAN cloth diaper, despite the fact that people have these antiquated ideas about the technology behind it and seem to think I am the laziest person ever (despite working since I was 15 years old while going to school full time and graduating college in 4 years while working with disabled children).

So in the end when people approach me and ask me about my choices for childbirth, nutrition, and diapering, I tell them that my goals are to have a natural childbirth without interventions, breastfeed my child as long as I can to promote a healthy immune system, and I will cloth diaper my baby to ensure that his sensitive skin and allergies will be kept at bay. Now some people respond negatively, nay, even bitterly to my choices. Will everything go according to plan? Who knows, I’m not God (however, I am pretty awesome). But in the end it doesn’t matter if everything goes according to plan because in the end I will have had the knowledge to make the best possible choice for my family - And THAT ladies and gents, makes me MOM enough!

My name is Sara, I am 24 and currently 8 months pregnant with my first child. I am married to my best friend and wildly enjoying this path to parenthood. I'm the youngest of 8, I love children, animals, dancing, and the beach. I grew up in a pretty crunchy household and am finally starting to understand the choices my mother made to keep our family happy and healthy.

4 comments:

Sara Rose said...

Hooray for having my blog submission chosen! Thank you very much for this great opportunity to honor ALL moms out there who are trying their best for their families!!

Cameron said...

Just wanted to say that I just had my second child in April naturally at home using the Bradley method and it was a fantastic healthy birth. I had my first naturally as well and I'm here to say a natural birth IS the best thing you can do for your baby AND for you. Good for you for sticking up for what you believe in. Maybe you'll help educate and inspire others who haven't done any research. :)
Cameron in Alabama

Sarah said...

Beautiful!

Sarabel10680 said...

We also used the Bradley Method and had a beautiful, natural childbirth. I had the same experience of people commenting on my choices to cloth diaper, breastfeed and deliver without medication. One person even asked me, "What are you going to do when none of your planning works out?" It was pretty offensive because it was a plan my husband and I highly researched and prepared for. We knew that complications could arise during childbirth and planned accordingly for those situations. We knew that breast feeding wasn't going to be easy and heard many, many stories on failed attempts and problems. However, we knew the interventions and lactation consultants that were available if necessary to allow me to breastfeed our child. We also knew that cloth diapering would be the best choice for us and our daughter for lots of reasons. We had set out to be cloth diapering parents and we are (with absolutely no hurdles to get over - unlike what our critics told us would happen). These are our choices, but that does not make any of the choices that others make in the delivering and raising of their child wrong. It doesn't make any of those parents who take a different path less of a mother or father. I hate that the debate even started because of the TIME picture and article, but I guess it did allow them to sell lots of magazines and have their name splashed all over TV and the internet, which is pretty much all I think they were even going for. Thankfully there is a band of parents and supporters out there who realize that the article and pictures doesn't define what makes us Mom enough. Maybe the next step will be a positive parenting image and positive messaging by a TIME competitor. That is definitely something I look forward to seeing because we need more positive in this world.