At 31 weeks pregnant, I feel it’s time to stop all the hustle and bustle that has taken over my mind, and really settle into focusing on preparing for baby number two. I mean, if not now, when? I’m kind of at the “do your business or get off the pot” moment.
So, like any expectant mother who’s being harassed about what she still needs/wants for the baby, and doesn’t know because she has yet to actually think about it, I sat down to create a registry online.
Oh, let the baby dreaming begin!
Except, what happened as I scrolled through the many options of everything and came face to face with my own unique reality of what’s important and what isn’t, I was as accosted by feelings of shame as much as I was by pictures of baby gadgets I hadn’t realized existed.
I may be dating myself here…but the last time I delivered, I was in a different decade of life. My daughter is proof that a lot can change in six years, but I wasn’t prepared for what had changed.
It wasn’t the gadgets. It wasn’t the carseats. It wasn’t the new trendy brand of carriers.
It was the level of scrutiny I felt my registry would be under!
As I clicked on disposable diapers and Desitin cream…I nearly unclicked them. Not because I wouldn’t be needing and using them, but because I was slightly nervous for anyone to know that I would be willing to slather un-organic, non-all natural, not-homemade-infused-with-oils cancer cream on my precious baby’s skin and then wrap it up in one big environment exceptionally not friendly poop bag.
Literally. I wavered between what I actually wanted for my child– a cream I’ve used before and know to work miracles– and what others would want for my child… and I almost just took it off the registry all together so that I could buy it in some back ally in the dead of night, where no one would see me or know that I had it. Of course, I’d then have to transfer it into a non GMO, earth approved, biodegradable container… but I’d cross that bridge when I got to it.
Oh Lord, it is not about the gadgets that have changed. It’s about the level of horror that moms feel free to express to one another when confronted with a totally different way of approaching motherhood.
I feel paralyzed in selecting a breast pump. Which one is the right one? Which one will help me to fit in when I’m gathered amongst moms on the playground discussing our lack of lives and our love for mechanical boob suckers? You know what pump I used with my first daughter? Yea, I don’t either. Because it didn’t matter. I used one that extracted milk from my breasts, milk that she would never end of drinking because she refused to accept a bottle. And guess what? I stopped nursing at 7 months (something I at one time was applauded for but now I reckon I have predisposed her to a life of chronic illness because she wasn’t still latched at three years), and she also hated formula. Can you blame the girl? Who would want formula after spending their whole lives drinking life giving liquid gold? So what’s a mom to do after a couple of months of struggling to feed her daughter half breast milk half formula from a sippy cup? She got milk. At nine months. Real live cow milk.
By the grace of God she is still alive, though I expect not to be for long considering the propensity for a mob of angry moms to show up on my lawn with torches after letting that cat out of the bag.
When my daughter was born, Baby Bjorn was all the rage. I mean, if you weren’t Bjorning, what were you doing with your life? So we bought one. Expensive. And guess who didn’t want anything to do with being carried by way of anything that wasn’t constructed entirely of my arms? So here we have this carrier, that’s six years old and brand new, but now I’m not even sure it’s legal to use. Because lately, all I hear about is that if your baby’s legs are not supported from thigh to ankle, if they can’t sit, stand, crawl, or build sand castles in the carrier, then it is detrimental to their health and you should probably not be allowed to have the child in the first place.
And what about baby wearing? With wraps? What if the sling is made from plastic and not bamboo? What if the fabric isn’t 100% cotton but, God forbid, has man made threads woven throughout? Plus, once you get the dang thing, what if you don’t wrap it just right? Like, right enough to be safe for baby but not right enough for nosy lady passing you in the grocery aisle who can’t help but to stop and demonstrate the properest proper way, and bless your heart, she just couldn’t stand the thought that maybe you were endangering your baby with your total lack of competence.
You’re irresponsible if you don’t sleep with your baby. You’re irresponsible if you do.
I was thrilled when I sleep trained my four month old with the cry it out method. But now I’m told I’ve probably ruined her for life and barricaded her inherent heart strings from being able to receive love or feel worthy of attention and care.
I. Can’t. Do. This.
No, that’s not it.
I. Won’t. Do. This.
I will not bow down to societies new obsession of crushing individuality from new mothers. I will not allow culture to critique how I raise my child, and what “dangers” I choose to expose her to, when I refuse to allow culture to influence anything else in my life, anyways. I will not pick up the burden of pleasing the masses, the new trendy crunchy oily perfect masses, when I am, in the year 2018 at 32 years old, patting myself on the back for routinely cooking for my family…something I have to be intentional about and focused on in order to get done. I will not accept every article that is thrust in front of my face as truth, I will not apologize for trying my best to do my best even if my best doesn’t come close to someone else’s best, I will not explain my choice of butt cream or boob cream or ice cream or giving ice cream made from cow’s milk to my not yet one year old to anyone who does not have my permission or God’s authority to speak into my life.
I won’t do this.
I will, however, weigh the pros and cons of every choice I make against the needs of my family, and move forward with the peace that comes from my ability to accept that I am not perfect and I am not the world’s best mom and if God wanted either from me He would have created me that way. As it stands, He created me to need alone time in order to function properly. He created me to spend much of my time writing, creating, and exploring myself in a way that would lend my compassion and encouragement to others. He created me to desire a purpose outside of the home as much as one amongst my family. So either He was cool with my serving my family in the way that my individual self can, or He plans to extend the length of hours in a day so that I can be me and also have time to learn how to be the best mom on the entire planet.
Some moms are crafty but aren’t taking enough time to nurture their marriages.
Some moms can cook like nobody’s business but skip time meditating on God’s word in order to do so.
Some moms can recite all of the safety guidelines and survey results of every child accessory across the globe, but lack the insight to know that striving steals some of the joy of being.
And some moms wake up, love up, Jesus up, and give the rest to God… with or without the above qualities.
That’s what I’m going to do. Wake up. Love up. Jesus up. And give the rest to God.
Also, I’m going to craft a few hilarious one liners to combat any nosy people in the grocery store aisles, because… mommin’ ain’t easy!
*** Please note: I have nothing against “trendy crunchy oily perfect” moms… I would never tell you not to parent that way. I just ask that the favor is returned! ***