Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tickets to the Mom Show

When I was 17 I worked in a kids toy store. For whatever reason, I remember the owner asking me a strange question, "Who do you think drives the most recklessly through this shopping center?" Before I could respond, she told me, "Mom's." It's ten years later and I still remember that somehow relevant training question.
Now, I'm the Mom and I think every day about decisions I make. I think about who will judge me, what will I be ok with, how do I want to parent? Thinking about how to parent is a lot like thinking about how to fix the world: I can't do it all but I can make a choice each day to love. If I think beyond that, it's so overwhelming I shut down.

I've been thinking about all of the areas mothers/parents are judged by each other and others:
Do you breast feed?
Do you immunize your children?
Do you feed them home made organic food?
Do you spank?
Will they go to pre-school?
Do they go to daycare?

Quite frankly, these are personal choices, so why are they such heated topics?

I tried breast feeding but honestly--I hated it! I hated that I was the only one that could fulfill that need for my son. I hated that it took so much time and was so frequent. I wanted my body back but I had a heart I was more than willing to give. It took my pediatrician telling me, "Allegra, I can't tell the difference between breast fed babies and formula fed babies and I've been doing this a long time. If you are miserable, your son is going to feel that. I support you in what you need to do." I stopped the very day he gave me the OK. He told me, women will have things to say about it, but he didn't. I needed that. I am not the woman to breast feed and I'm no less a mom for feeling that way.

I do immunize my son. I both trust my pediatrician entirely and also don't see why I wouldn't. I believe in immunizing him (with vaccines that have been tested an used widely and those that are recommended by my pediatrician...seems I love that guy,huh?!). If he had health conditions that required me to wait, I would. Again, I trust my doctor, period. I'm a Western Medicine mom who's more than open to natural remedies--I'd prefer them--but in the end I will be birthing my children in a hospital and giving them shots.
I tried making my own baby food. Oh how naive I was as a new mom, but I did it. I boiled and pureed and then guess what, he got older and only wanted cheese. Would I love for him to eat veggies or chicken? Of course, but he doesn't. And I panick! But I don't let my toddler drink black coffee (I've seen it), I don't let him eat candy (unless Daddy sneaks him half of an Andes mint or I want to see his face light up over a cookie), and I try to get him to eat new things and that's the best I can do.

We do spank. We spank out of love, with explanation, and NEVER in anger. Discipline is appropriate when it is from love and out of love and in our home, we spank. I know some cock their eyebrows to that. This is just what we do in our home and very infrequently.

Yes, our son will go to pre-school and he will go to college. I was raised in a family that said, after high school you go to college, no if's, and's, or but's. Maybe he'll go to a trade school but we are preparing financially & guidance wise to send him to a 4-year college.

Yes, my son goes to daycare. He has two parents that love him immensely--so much so that we have to provide for him. My husband's position doesn't offer benefits, mine does. To provide for my family, I work 30 hours a week and am able to give us health care so when a tooth goes through a lip or he breaks a leg, we don't hesitate to take him to the doctor.
I am a good Mom. I love my son. Every single day, I love and care for my son. These are my parenting choices and there will always be the pressures of books, shows, radio, peers, elders who think what I do should be different. I will always be open to discussions but I am not open to ridicule or judgment and I try to extend that same grace to others. At the end of the day, we are all linked as parents by our innate desire to L O V E and in the end, isn't that all that matters?


  1. P R E A C H!!!!!

    twins on so many things.

    I never breast fed. Such sweet memories my husband has feeding our daughter in the middle of the night. I loved not worrying about what I ate, and if my milk had the proper vitamins. OH! And I like my boobs to be for my husband. There I said it. sigh.......I don't understand the judgement against people like me. I don't judge you FOR breast feeding...... :)

    oh I could go on. but it's your blog..not mine. I LOVE YOU SO!

  2. Wow!

    I am so glad to be following your blog. I haven't left comments the way I should.

    This post rocks!!! LOVE IT!

  3. Love is all that matters and you are a great Mamm who loves your little Midge a ton. I can definitly read that. Love that's it. All the rest is judgy crap. I was and am in that same judging boat but opposite to you...questioned and judged for nursing to long (till 2) judged for missing vaccinations (fear based, sickie kid and lazy mom) and judged for being too soft (no spankings) Ya know it's all crap. We all do our best, we all do what we think works for us and our kids but above all we Love deeply and that's really all that matters. :) I still love stopping by your blog for a dose of honesty and reality. Thanks for that.

  4. Praise to you on your parenting. I hate it when people ask but then don't like the answer given, what did they expect, the same views as them I guess. You can't please everyone, just yourself and your family.
    You make the right choices at the time for your family and you don't need to explain why! Kuddos!


  5. I agree, and daily thank God that we live in a country where we can still freely make our OWN parenting choices. It doesn't matter what you decide to do with your children, there will always be that one (or 29th) person who either has something snarky to say about it, or can do a humongo eye-roll in your general direction. To each his own, and we should all revel in the fact we have the freedom to say such a thing!

  6. AMEN SISTER!!! Love this post, mostly because I can say me to me too me to me too!!! LOVE U~

  7. My position has always been (since having children) to figure out what works best for you, your child and your family. I could relate to so, so many things you are doing or have done. It's amazing how many people are happy to tell you you are wrong or doing it wrong because they did it differently. Parenting is HARD!!! We do the best we can with what God has given us and love our children. Thank you for your post!

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    Flea Market Style is available at Bachman's, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, grocery stores and other newsstands.

  9. Well said! It is hard enough being a parent and having to make so many decisions that effect our children's lives without having to worry about defending ourselves against other peoples views! Why can't people be more supporting and just agree to disagree? As long as you are making the best decisions for you and your family then who cares what anyone else thinks! Kudos to you!

  10. I still can't believe people judge other moms/parents on their parenting styles... what works for their families. Great post... it's all about LOVE and you are raising a very LOVED BOY. What a blessing you are to him and everyone. My husband and I had to make a huge school decision Tuesday night after a school meeting.... i have felt such worry over it... for so many reasons... my childrens future, what our friends will think... teachers etc.... and it came out to my husband and i forgetting everything else and whats best for our children... and once i did that i felt such relief.
    Thank you for always sharing who you are Love YOU,

  11. Hi there,

    I love your authenticity. I've visited just a few times as I've seen you on several other blogrolls that I follow. I've added you to my list too...from the few posts I've seen I think it's safe to say you are 'my people' :)


  12. I click here and a click there and I came across your blog! What a blessing. I love this post, thanks for sharing and being so real! Wonderful stuff!