I am not a bad mom. This got me thinking in several different directions.
One of the great things about twitter and blogging is seeing all the different parenting styles, what works for some and not for others. It is a great place to find likeminded people, as well as people who have different thoughts and ideas.
The problem with that is it is also easy to inadvertently offend someone. Or to feel bad about decisions you previously felt great about. I am here to say, those decisions I have made do not make me a bad mom.
I am not a bad mom because I practice extended breastfeeding. It does not mean my children do not eat “real” food. It just means, that for us, breast milk continues to be part of their diet for as long as possible. My babies tend to gain weight very slowly. The calories from breast milk help us stay somewhere on the growth charts. Not high, but on them. It works for us. That is all I ever mean by sharing my nursing journey.
I am not a bad mom because I cloth diaper. I tried cloth diapering with my first and felt totally clueless and out of my element…fitted or pre-folds, huh?…so gave up. I didn’t try with my second born, but when Patrice came along, I wanted to give it a go. In my favor, my best friend had all I needed from cloth diapering her daughter, so I didn’t even have to invest in it. So I was excited to try it. Then postpartum depression hit. The anxiety made me feel like I was crawling out of my skin. I loved having my three girls, but could not figure out how to function in this new life. But on those days I felt like a total failure for battling my demons, I felt good about cloth diapering. No, I didn’t think it proved I was a good mom; it just made me smile.
I am not a bad mom because my youngest baby, 12 months, rarely sleeps through the night. She’ll get it sooner or later. And when she does, I will be a little sad. She may very well be my last baby and her sleeping through the night will mean, to me, that my baby is gone.
I am not defined as a good mom or a bad mom by the decisions I make. I am defined as a mom by my children’s love…and on a good day I even get a hug or a kiss to affirm that…other days I just have to hope.