This article (and cover) from Time magazine rubbed me the wrong way. I have no problem with attachment parenting. I think moms who are able to breast feed as often as the baby desires and wear their babies full-time and co-sleep are pretty selfless people. It wasn't the choice we made, and I think that's fine too. My issue with the article and the title was the underlying message. "Are You Mom Enough"?? Really?
I think that parenting is enough of a struggle already. I love (almost) every second with Paxton. Being a stay-at-home-mom is definitely the best job I've ever had, but there are times when it's tough: at two in the morning his second night home when he was screaming inconsolably and we didn't know why; after his bad reaction to the rotavirus shot when he cried inconsolably for ten days straight; at seven months when we thought we gave him Children's Benadryl instead of the infant formula and had to call poison control; our second time calling poison control when he broke a snow globe and drank some of the water; the time we almost called poison control when he put a piece of potpourri in his mouth but ended up finding out it was harmless online; and our most recent poison control scare when he ate a quarter tube of Orajel...plus all the times you're not sure if he's eating enough or too much or what he's supposed to be eating at all, or what kind of poop is normal, or what his third diaper rash in a month means and you can't find anything on google or mommy blogs and feel like you've already reached your quota of calling your mom and the pediatrician. We've had so many moments where we just look at each other and can't believe that the hospital really let us take this kid home with no instruction manual, and we've only been at it for a year. I don't know what we're going to do when discipline enters the equation.
As a parent, you're responsible for making every decision for your kid, and sure there are baby books and other resources, but I think every mom has a nugget of insecurity at her core. We don't really know what we're doing. When Jared and I made the decision to move to formula, I cried a lot. I felt like a failure. I just knew I was setting him up to be sick all the time and to not be as smart as other kids. Now I know that breast feeding wasn't right for him. He was hungry and I wasn't producing what he needed to be full. Part of the reason I felt so guilty was all of the smug moms out there writing about how breast feeding is the only way to go. I have seen the research, and I know that formula isn't as good as breast milk, but to be made to feel like I'm doing an injustice for my child is wrong. I love him more than I ever imagined and I know him better than anyone else, and I made the decision out of love. I think that's what matters. Whatever decision a parent makes is right, as long as it's made with love. And I think that's what being "mom enough" means. Moms need to stop judging other moms and focus on supporting each other. There are so many bigger problems in the world than formula and daycare and babies put in swings instead of a Moby wrap. Let's all agree that when loving your kid is your parenting priority, you are "mom enough".
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