The mommy wars, the shaming…they can be fierce.
I was shocked when I first became a mother to learn that instead of supporting each other we are often judging and shaming one another. That is one of the main reasons Harmony and I started buddhiBaby. We wanted to create a community where it was safe to ask questions, to share stories and be accepted wherever you are on your journey. After all, we are ALL trying to do our best.
It is confusing becoming a parent for the first time. When I started to do some research I was completely overwhelmed. Are you going to practice attachment parenting? Are you going to co-sleep? Make sure you don’t co-sleep because you could roll over and smother your baby…the list is endless.
Eventually I turned to my yoga practice and a concept I had learned about during a yoga philosophy course –Buddhi. Our instructor described it as this, “It is like a mirror that has become dusty over time, through the many practices of yoga we can clear away the dust until we can see our true reflection.” The mirror is our intuition, our true self but it is clouded. We must remember how to clear away what doesn’t serve us so we can learn to trust our intuition again.
In that moment I immediately knew that was the key. The key to life really. No one way works for everybody. Learn to trust your intuition and let that guide your life. A raw diet might work awesome for you. For me it makes my stomach hurt and I have a hard time digesting the food. I decided one day to just listen to my body instead of all the information out there telling me how great a raw diet is. A few years after my revelation I had an allergy test and it turns out *I AM* allergic to many raw foods and my body can only properly digest them if they are cooked!! Intuition is a powerful thing. But I digress…
I try to trust my intuition but it is not always easy.
I try to remember that I am me and I don’t need to be like anyone else.
But I forget.
Since I was a little kid I have loved having an organized, clean space. It just makes me feel great. And if my space is cluttered or messy I have a hard time focusing. When I was in University I would often have to leave my little basement suite to go study at the library or a coffee shop. If my place was dirty and I didn’t have time to clean I would just have to get out because I would look around and see all the things that needed to get done and like the clutter in my physical space I too felt cluttered in my head space.
Fast forward many years to having children.
Of course my house is not always clean, but I still feel incredibly happy and at peace when my surroundings are uncluttered.
My son knows that he can play with his toys, but when he is done and before he moves on to something else he must put away the toys he has been playing with. We also don’t keep many toys out at once. His toys are divided into three bins and we rotate them every few weeks or months. This works for us for several reasons: there are less toys for him to make a mess with, he can see all the toys he has to play with and perhaps most importantly he actually plays with the toys he has. I found when we had all the toys out it was almost too overwhelming and he wouldn’t really play with anything.
The other day I was with some mommy friends and we were talking about having a clean house. One friend commented she would rather play with her kids than worry about having a clean house. And for a few hours I felt really bad about myself.
Have I become too wrapped up in having a clean house?
Have I been sacrificing time with my kids to make sure my house is clean?
Later that night when I had time to reflect and to try to listen to my intuition it hit me.
No I have not been sacrificing time with my kids. For me, if the house is a mess I am not 100% present with them. So I keep the house tidy and that way when we play I can give them my undivided attention. But that is just ME and that’s okay. Some moms would rather play now and clean later and that is perfect too.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO BE THE TYPE OF MOTHER YOU WANT TO BE.
Don’t worry about how everyone else is doing it. Try not to compare yourself to other moms. Some moms are amazing cooks, others are incredibly creative, others can DIY anything. I am willing to bet you are pretty amazing too. In fact I know it to be true. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t truly care for your children. You are incredible mama and don’t forget it.
Whether you bottle feed or breast feed, cloth diaper or use disposables or combination of the two, whether you co-sleep or not. Whether you stay home with your kids or work full time, have never spent a night away from your kids or send them to Grandma and Grandpas all the time. Whatever it is PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE give yourself permission to be the type of mother you want to be. Trust yourself. Trust what you know is right for you and your family.
I can’t help but wonder, if we start judging ourselves less as mothers perhaps we will stop feeling the need to judge other mothers too.