I know this mom who circumsized her son. She didn’t do any research, she didn’t know anything about the procedure, her husband was circumsized, so she just did it.
I know this mom who absolutely refused to have her newborn circumcised. She had heard so many awful things about the procedure, and knew that she didn’t want her brand-new baby to experience any pain, so she and her husband decided that it wouldn’t be done, ever.
I know this mom that lets her kids snack on junk-food. Treats like fruit gummies and goldfish that are really nothing more than processed trash. Juice and ice-cream and cookies? Sure, why not.
I know this mom that only feeds her kids whole foods, like fruit and veggies. Her kids eat hard boiled eggs as snacks. They don’t ever get junk, and they never ask for it.
I know this mom that absolutely SWEARS she will never let her babies sleep in bed with her. She believes with all her heart that kids belong in their own beds, and once you let them in bed with you, you’ll never get them out again.
I know this mom that has a family bed. All of her children sleep with her and her husband every single night. They have no plans to end their sleeping arrangement any time soon.
I know this mom that says she’s only going to breastfeed until her baby is 6 months old, because that will probably be good enough.
I know this mom that is going to allow her baby to self-wean, because she doesn’t want to encourage the ending of their nursing relationship, be it 3, 4 or 5 years down the road.
I know this mom that allowed her doctor to induce her at 39 weeks pregnant with NO medical indication, because she was tired of being pregnant, and trusted her doctor to do the very best thing for her. She didn’t bother to do any research or learn otherwise, she just decided to “go with the flow” because it sounded good.
I know this mom that birthed her child at home, in her bathroom, because she swears that the medical system is designed to fail moms and she didn’t want the risk of an unwanted intervention.
I know this mom that puts sunscreen on her kids every single time that they go outside, and keeps slathering it on every few hours, without thought of chemicals or parabens or any of that creepy stuff found in name brand products.
I know this mom that doesn’t EVER use sunscreen on her kids. They wear hats and shirts, and limit outdoor time to mornings and evenings.
I know this mom that yells at her kids ALL THE TIME. She gets irritated at the smallest things, and I swear her kids dont even react unless she is yelling.
I know this mom that spanks. When she gets frustrated, she raises her hand, and doesn’t have the self control to stop her arm from striking. She says she feels guilty afterwards, but she continues to hit.
I know this mom that doesn’t ever hit her kids. She doesn’t even yell. She says that she whispers, and counts to ten when she’s frustrated, uses time outs, and has to remind herself that her children aren’t trying to frustrate her. She says she surprises herself with her self-control sometimes. She seems to have endless patience.
I know this mom that vaccinates her children. On schedule. Multiple vaccines, all given at the same time, with no thought towards the risk or consequences.
I know this mom that doesn’t vaccinate her children. At all. They haven’t had any of the recommended shots, and aren’t planning on getting any in the future.
I know this mom that listens to and does everything her pediatrician tells her. She doesn’t always agree with her doc, but she does what she’s told anyways.
I know this mom that sticks to her guns, and follows her guts. ESPECIALLY when she disagrees with something a professional has told her. She will get a second opinion faster than you can blink an eye, and has no problem researching all of her options before deciding what to do. Even if her peditrician disagrees.
Ladies. I know this mom. You know this mom.
All of these moms are me. Each one of these moms is the mother that I was at some point on my mothering journey. I have grown, and learned, and changed. I have done things I swore I would NEVER do, and not done things I thought were essential to parenting. I have been gently guided and instructed by trusted and loved friends. I have seen and heard and challenged myself. And what’s the point of all this?
The point is, even if you disagree with what another mother chooses, even if you don’t support what she’s doing, even if you think she is flat out wrong.. you should love and support her anyways. Gently guide. Give encouragment. Model better behavior. Because she is just at a different place in her mothering journey. Because this journey is HARD. Because we ALL need love and support.
And there is enough to give that we should never run out. Ever.