Papel Picado

Papel Picado

Friday, May 8, 2015

Momunity, not Mompetition

She lost her baby weight so quickly.

I breast feed because breast is best.

She dresses her baby so fashionable.

I co-sleep with my child.

Her child is already reading at 3 years old.

I had a scheduled c-section.

We plan to homeschool.

Her child is in so many activities.

She gave birth at home.

Their son has already been accepted to a top state school.

Her daughter is getting married as soon as she graduates college.

I hear each of these statements quite often. Some now more often because I am a mother. Or maybe I have always heard them, but now they have meaning. What I wonder is: when you read each of the above statements, how did it make you feel?

I am going to be completely honest, there are a few up there that if I had read them before having a baby, and I had our perfect life plan, I would have felt different. For example: someone having a scheduled c-section would have made me cringe. Why on EARTH would someone not want to have their child naturally. Shouldn't they fight for their baby to be born naturally? Wow. How naive was I?

The one that really gets to me is the "I breast feed because breast is best." I never never never in 1 million years wanted my child to have formula. NEVER. Theoretical perfect child would also eat all organic and prefer vegetables.

Then life happened. I had a lot of complications during pregnancy. My daughter was born very premature via emergency c-section. As she grew and became stronger, we found out that her eating by mouth was not what was best. As the months of pumping went by, my supply depleted quickly. I proudly pumped for 15 months, but at around 7 months she needed formula to supplement.
I didn't even want to have my child in a hospital and she was in a hospital for 5 months. I am thrilled when my daughter eats anything now. Her favorite food is Lay's potato chips. I also am locked into future planned surgical births due to a second surgery I had after my daughter.

At some point I realized something. Had I delivered my daughter at home, naturally and breastfed until she was five, it would never have made me a better mother. What makes me a good mother is that I make decisions for my daughter with love, and the desire to do what is best for her

I am surrounded by other mothers. Some who (seemingly) haven't had to really make any radical decisions for their child(ren) and some who can't seem to catch a break.  They are all good mothers, and so am I.

I recently read one woman's account of her c-section. She let her audience know that she was, in fact, a very competitive person. That having to have a c-section had nothing to do with the actual experience of giving birth, but more with her wanting to prove she was tough. Her reason for writing the article was because someone referred to her having a c-section as being the easy way out.

Ladies, we have to stop doing this. We need to support each other. To encourage, empower and educate each other. We should never assume the path that someone took was easier or more importantly, the choice they wanted to make.

I once saw an idea shared between artists as a way to come together as a community and help each other grow and thrive. "Community not competition." If you look up #communitynotcompetition on Instagram you see artist after artist collaborating and helping each other out.

The creative in me saw an opportunity: what if we took out the "c" and added an "m"? (Okay maybe I also took out the second "m" in community.) My point is, we need to have MOM UNITY and not this silly "mompetition" going on. To collaborate and help each other out.

No matter how we became mommies; natural birth, adoption, c-section, assisted reproductive technology and so on, each of us have a beautiful story to share and can learn from each other.

#momunity #momunitynotmompetition 

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