being a mom · being a parent · first time mom

The Unnatural Mom

That’s me.  I am the unnatural mom in every sense.

Since Blake will soon be 1, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the past year and realizing there were some things that I set out to do differently but that just didn’t work out.  The “natural” trend that’s out right now is infiltrating every part of every thing. Clothing, DIY, foods, cleaning supplies.  I don’t begrudge anyone at all.  You do what you think is right for you and your family.  However, I do feel judged from the other side sometimes. I use the term “unnatural mom” with a light-hearted intention. I mean, what else do I call it?  I didn’t set out to be unnatural in the beginning.  I had a lot of intentions to do so many mommy natural things, but, my mommy habits just point to …well, otherwise.  Despite efforts, fails, and laziness (admittedly), in the overused words of my husband, “it is what it is.”

I ate pretty much what ever foods I wanted when I was pregnant and didn’t go the natural fruits and veggies route. I ate deli meat, all cheeses, and I think I had sushi once without even thinking twice about it.

I never had a desire to do a natural birth. My pain tolerance categorization is negative wimpy.  I was pumped full of so many drugs during labor…and it was glorious to not feel too much of anything.

I only breastfeed for a few weeks. I cried, I bled, Blake cried. He couldn’t latch. It was painful. I couldn’t produce.  I gave up.  I probably could’ve tried harder, but I’m going to be totally honest and admit that the whole breastfeeding thing for me was awful and miserable.  I was already in pain from my post op delivery and I just couldn’t take any more from breastfeeding. Even just after three weeks I was over my body being a slave. I could go on! Enter formula.

Blake wears Target brand, or what ever I can find sales on, diapers. Kudos to those of you who do the cloth diaper thing. My stomach is weak, and the thought was something I couldn’t handle. Cost effective? Absolutely! I think the idea is genius, just not for me.

Michael and I made a decision early on that we would not co-sleep.  Blake slept in a pack ‘n play in our room for 2 months. By 3 months he was upstairs in his crib. By 4 months he was completely sleep trained.  I need my sleep.

I use store bought baby wipes.  Though I try to do my best to buy the best ones on the market.  Usually that means Honest, or 7th Generation wipes.  At an expense of course. (Do I get half credit for this one?) I started out using Pampers or Target brand ones until I read this online article about what’s really in baby wipes and it freaked me out! They say 90-something percent of what you read on the internet isn’t true, so I should’ve read with caution, but my thoughts were scarred. I justify the extra expense by saying Blake’s eczema needs something more natural and gentle.  Right? Right.

Blake is up to date on all of his vaccinations.

I give him Tylenol when he needs it.  He’s on a medicated dosage of Zantac.

He goes to daycare, and I miss him immensely during the day but if there’s one thing that the summer months taught me, it’s that I am just not the stay at home mommy type. Sorry, B. I value my career and the influences I have an opportunity to make.  I believe God placed me specifically to be a teacher and it’s a job I adore. I don’t think this makes me a bad mom. Furthermore, I like that he has the social interaction and isn’t so mommy attached.

My son eats pureed food pouches and jar foods. I tried the homemade thing.  I didn’t mind (well, too much) the work being put into it, but Blake wouldn’t eat it.  I gave him jar food one day and he took right to it!  The same food I had made! I stopped then. I try to buy all organic pouches though. (More half credit?)

I wanted to do Baby Led Weaning. I meant to. Just, um, didn’t.

We did the baby-wearing thing, and were a huge fan.  I know many parents who baby wear their children for years! We stopped because Blake hates it now.  He can’t stand to be pinned in any way and tries to head butt me when he’s in it. Smart cookie, because due to an almost cracked skull (okay, not really, but it sure hurt ME) we retired the carrier.  Thankfully I bought our Ergo Baby second hand and didn’t have to pay full price!

My cleaning products are not all natural, aside from the few bottles of 7th Generation dish detergent, and laundry detergent I have stock piled because there were some amazing sales and loads of coupon offers! I use Pledge, Windex, Lysol, you know, the bad stuff.

My house is totally not baby proof. I had the mind to just teach Blake what to touch and what not to touch.  I thought baby proofing was pretty silly because, surely, all you have to do is instill a little discipline.  Well, the teaching component that must accompany this crazy idea I had is getting exhausting. Toddler proofing begins next week.  I don’t know why I feel this sudden change of heart makes me a little bit more “natural”, but I felt compelled to address this bit here.

One day he will get time out. One day he will get a little pop on the bum for not listening.

So the few plans I had for being natural didn’t work out. I guess the best plan in the beginning is to have no plan. No expectations. I think this could save a lot of mommies, especially new ones, a lot of guilt.  I don’t feel guilt anymore, but it was definitely there in the beginning.  I make light of it here but not being able to breastfeed really got to me because people were surprisingly unsupportive and judgmental.  Why does it have to be like this? A year later my kid seems healthy and is striving. I do what I can, but no one should live with guilt for not following the latest trend. Sometimes I feel like moms can be real bullies. Moms can be the Mean Girls who scoff at you for wearing the jeans that are soooooooo last season.

I read an online blog recently about a “Natural Mom” who rode her natural mom soap box the whole entry and completely squashed the rest of us, as if not being a natural mom meant you weren’t really a mom at all.  It was awful.  I should post a link, but I’ll be nice.  No reason to do so.  It made me angry, and sad, and had me asking why judge at all? I understand people feel very convicted about certain things, but being opinionated and derogatory is demoralizing. Especially to new moms who may come across it.

Matthew 7:1 says ““Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged…”

In a few years the next big thing will come along, and who knows, may be the pendulum will swing. And I’ll be writing a post raving about how I did it right, instead of “wrong” in the eyes of so many.

To all of you natural moms out there, I say, you’re awesome! Keep on doing what you’re doing!

To the unnatural moms I say, you’re awesome! Keep on doing what you’re doing!

We all have the same agenda in the end. Love, love, love those babies!

Look! It’s a pic of me baby wearing.  See, it really did happen. 🙂

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