I am sorry for the incident that happened at church yesterday. You were walking out of a meeting and passed me and jokingly (also quietly) said something about how Eva T’s legs were positioned properly as I was wearing her, to which I bellowed after you, “Yeah, we don’t do that crotch dangling thing here!!” In hindsight that was not an appropriate thing for me to yell at church, especially when you were already down the hall and surrounded by other people. I had just turned down a donut, so..
Dear youths and parents of youths,
I am sorry for the awkward conversation my hollering may have brought about over your Sunday lunch. Your parents are right when they ask you to think before you speak. It is a lesson I am still learning in “adulthood”. I use air quotes here, because apparently I am just one skipped meal away from adolescent-esque impulsive behavior.
If you have not been a mother over the past 7 years you may be unfamiliar with the term “crotch dangler” and think I was being weirdly tacky. I wasn’t. Well, except for the yelling part. and the not thinking. Anyway, this term refers to a particular way of wearing your baby. The “crotch dangled” baby is being supported by his/her nether region, like when you sit on a swing with your legs hung over the sides. The “properly positioned” baby is worn with the legs supported up to the knees to mimic the feel of sitting in a hammock.
Ok. So there are two different ways to wear a baby then, right?
Apparently not. Some mommies
scroll troll through the web finding instances of crotch dangling babies and vilify the parent using this method. Well, crap. We had a Bjorn with our firstborn. It was THE carrier when he was a baby and I wore him a lot in that thing. So did a ton of other parents. It was one of the top ten must haves according to a parenting mag we read while in my OB’s office. And now it’s one of the most ugly platforms for the mommy wars. I mean, there are facebook pages where moms upload photos of friends and strangers using the “wrong” carrier. Not, bravo for wanting to maintain closeness with your child as you accomplish other things, just boom, bullied by a bunch of strangers who are incensed enough to judge you, but not actually caring enough to have a conversation with you.
I didn’t realize when we announced our first pregnancy that there was a war going on among moms. I didn’t know that as soon as we shared our first sonogram pic, I was drafted. I knew we all had different opinions on stuff, sure. I just didn’t realize we had to choose a side on every little thing and fight to the death (of character, at least).
Some of the mommy war battle grounds:
breast or formula: Ima weigh in a moment, cuz it’s my blog and I can. This one gets duked out before your baby gets here, by EVERYONE. Heck, even strangers feel the need to tell you what you must do. Everyone has an opinion, but only the baby and the mommy should make that decision and there should NEVER be guilt heaped on them for making whatever choice is right for them. Understand this, after a mommy delivers she has a hormonal tidal wave coursing through her veins for at least six weeks. Never make a mommy feel bad for how she nourishes her child. Feeding is essential to life and if you make her feel awful for how she does this you are endangering their bond and you could be setting her up for dealing with post-partum depression. Shame on you, not her.
Working mom or stay-at-home mom: We are all working.
co-sleeping or crib: Gah. if only babies would read their handbook and know where they are “supposed” to sleep at night.
spanking or not: This is a hot button issue. I think we can fail or be awesome with which ever choice is made, provided the situation is handled with love, and not anger. We all need to consider what everyone involved is bringing to the table when it comes to any form of teaching and/or punishment. Still, tossing Oreos along the path you would like to see your kids take remains the most effective parenting tool.
vaccinating or not: I do feel strongly here, but I understand those who feel differently.
(now it’s going to get real dumb…)
To use a bumbo or not: We have one, and use it. Much like we have brains and use them too.
To (gasp) occasionally feed your kids fast food: Guilty
To put chemicals on your child or not: it was TOENAIL POLISH, for crying out loud.
To pierce your daughter’s ears or not: Never. Unless everyone thinks your baby is a boy, despite the fact that you have covered her from head to toe in pink and she is wearing a purple bow as big as her face. Then, yes. Just kidding. Always yes. Or no. Who cares??
What potty training looks like: If you know the answer to this, I will follow you to the ends of the Earth. But, I promise you don’t. Because regardless of your complete and total understanding of everything, despite the fact that you have all the answers, every tiny human we bring into this world is different. And every mommy is different. We shouldn’t teach our kids that bullying is wrong unless you are right. Bullying is always wrong. C’mon mommas! When people think of gentleness and tenderness, they should be thinking of us. Let’s be awesome, and build each other up and grow a generation that watches and does the same.
Muchas smoochas, mommas!