Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Mommy Competition and Disbelief
Why is it that as Mother's we feel the need to question everything that another mother says? If a Mother says she co sleeps... it is questioned. If she breastfeeds to 4.. or only breastfeeds a few weeks either way it is questioned. If she cloth diapers it is questioned.. if she doesn't it is questioned. But the questions that get me the most is when other mothers think you are lying about when your child hit a milestone. I have been writing this blog since Bug was 9 weeks and yes there has not been a lot of it about his milestones but believe me I can go back through my FB over the last 3 years and write down exact dates of when he hit every bloody milestone... and even often am asked for video proof and when I give it... still the snarky comments and the questions. "Really he did that???" "He looks a lot older than 9 months" "He was talking when???" The funny thing is among most of my friends with kids Bug's age he really was not ahead of anyone on anything. He hit milestones right around when all my other friend's with 3 yr olds hit theirs. Still there is so much competition. I do not understand this.... what reason would I have to lie. Does his walking at 9 months make me a better mother than you? NO! Does his talking at 7 months make me a better mother than you? NO! So why would I lie. I kept very careful track of his milestones for one very specific reason... he is my first and only child. Bug was almost 10 lbs at birth and already had the attention and dexterity of a 2 month old baby. Honestly I think this accounts for his hitting most milestones a tiny bit earlier than some kids. He just was already well done at birth. Bug was a big kid. He hit almost 16 lbs at his 2 months check up and almost 18 lbs at his 4 months one. By 3 months old he wore a size 12 months, by 5 months old he wore a size 18 months and by 9 months old he was between a 24 months and a 2t and wore a size 6 shoe. Now at just under 3 yrs old he is 40.5 inches tall, wears a 4-5 and a size 10-11 shoe. He is the size of the average 5/6 yr old. I truly do think that is why he advanced so fast.
So why is there this attitude of competition and disbelief this need to question absolutely everything other mothers say simply because maybe your child did not hit those stages at that point. Why do we judge other mothers for being too progressive, not progressive enough, too green not green enough, too this, too that.... I for one am done!!! My child is 3. 90% of the mother's I get this from all have children under 18 months. I get it. I used to be you.. caring about every little moment of every day wondering when that next milestone would get reached... when they would smile, when they would laugh, when they would eat, if they would get enough to eat. Then they learn to reason. Really reason... and speak at a level of reasoning. Suddenly the milestones you are more focused on are learning to write, read, count, add, subtract, be kind, share, play well with others. You have so much to teach them you can't be worried about at what stage and when. You now have to make sure they are learning to be truly good people. It is stressful enough trying to really raise a child (not a baby.. you care for a baby you raise a child) without having other mothers tell you they think you are lying or attacking you because you didn't use natural food dyes once.. or because you did or did not do something as perfect as they did. I can tell you when Bug was born I had almost 0 support, teaching, training, or knowledge. I learned everything from books and websites.. there were no chat rooms or groups or fb clubs... I had no one to ask for advice. That is part of why I started this blog. I wanted to be able to give other women the help I never got. I have spent 3 years now sharing my journey, offering advice, promoting green products and WAHM's and otherwise celebrating being a Green Mommy. One thing this blog has never been about, nor have I myself been about, is judging Moms. I may disagree with them or argue back if they attack the things I believe in but I do not disbelieve them or judge them.. because we are all doing the same job.. and let me tell you.. it isn't always easy.