Wednesday, June 12, 2013


My intent was to write about
our weekend camping trip.

The fishing and sunshine
and stolen moments
with my guys.

Our first trip
as a foursome.

And while it is
something to be shared,
if you follow me on Instagram
you pretty much saw it,
and what's really on my mind
is this:

I want to talk about fear culture
and how it can dominate
us moms.

Heavy huh?


But I think it's important,
because by the end of 2013
10 women I know
in varying degrees of closeness
will have become moms.

Some for the first time,
some for the second
and some for the 4th.

And I want to talk about it,


As a mom of two boys
and a woman feverish for a third,
I can tell you that after 9 years
of being a mom
the only thing I know for certain
is that mothering is not by the book.
Like ever.

Like you can
eat all of your veggies
and take all of your prenatals
and exercise every day
they say to do
and still end up
gaining 65 lbs.
with a kid with asthma
(Hi James!)
or 85 lbs.
with a kid with epilepsy
(Hi Lucas!).

Because one kid will
refuse to be potty trained
and poop his pants
until he's three
and the other
will climb onto the toilet
at two years old
and pretty much train himself.

One will walk at 8 months
and the other at 1 year
and they will
speak, sleep and lose their teeth
whenever the hell they want.

When I was pregnant with Lucas
I spent hours in Barnes & Noble
trying to find the directions
on how to be an unwed and single
20 year old new mom.

There weren't any.

And hey someone please write a book
that isn't filled with advice and suggestions
for the "husband" or "dad-to-be"
because FYI publishers,
sometimes there isn't one.

I'm a bit rant-y today.
No sleep.

But I digress.

I read new books
and classics
Happiest Baby on the Block,
What to Expect When Your Expecting,
and whatever was the most well-rated text
(in 2004 and then 2008)
on Amazon and BabyCenter and Google.

I read and
I searched
I message boarded
for hours.

Because in today's digital age
the information is so accesible.


I read breastfeeding
would be a nightmare.
Chapter upon chapter
dedicated to how impossible it would be
and what to do with the impossibility.

"How will I feed my babyyyyyy?!?!?!"

"No formula everrrrrrrr or you're a terrible mom!!!!"

"Don't introduce the bottle!  Nipple confusion!

And while I do not doubt
that women everywhere
have a difficult time,
I made a decision for myself 
that humans had been nursing their young
for centuries,
I'll figure it out god dammit.

And yes
Lucas was improperly latched
for the first few days.

And yes it hurt like hell.

And yes
he lost a few ounces by his first check up,

The books said
not to let the baby
sleep on its stomach,
but mine wouldn't sleep otherwise
so I guiltily allowed
for that rule to be broken.

They said no blankets,
but one night at 3am
while I sobbed and changed
my pee soaked newborn
for the 3rd time,
my mom
made the executive decision
to cover the baby
and guess what?

He was finally warm enough
to sleep and not pee.


Going against the expert opinions
is such a pitfall
for moms new and old
because there are far greater forms
of fear and guilt
than the fear and guilt
of a new mother.

We want to do it right
and that desire
puts us up against ourselves
and often,
our fellow mamas.

For me
and for better
and for worse,
I've done it all.

ate Gerber
but I steamed and pureed
for James.

was nursed for 8 months,
my milk never really came in
for James.

Both were supplemented with formula.

loved the pacifier,
hated it,
and for the record,
the non-pacifier kid
is the one with
the crooked bottom teeth.

was in the Baby Bjorn,
I wore in a wrap,
both of them co-slept.

I staggered immunizations
even though some of the autism links
had been convincingly refuted
by the time James was born.

Last night whilst perusing Facebook
I came across a year old article
about our preferred brand
of baby/kid bath products.

Both of my boys have sensitive skin
to the point of forming scaly patches
on their arms and trunk.

A few years ago I worked
as the personal assistant
of one of the green
"mommy bloggers".

She was (and still is)
a lawyer and writer
and master of
detoxifying and greening
your home, life and self.

She is very active on Twitter,
calls out companies
for their shameful green washing,
and was responsible for a MASSIVE
recall on a glassware giveaway
from McDonalds.

This woman means business
and I trust her opinions.

So when Lucas' ped
suggested steroids for the eczema
I asked her what she thought,
and she told me to try the natural route,
which I gladly did,
and she also suggested
a line of bath products she stood behind,
a product I have trusted for years,
a product I recently gifted
to a new mom-to-be friend of mine.

A product that has
all but cured
the boys of any skin ailments,
and a product that has
apparently been under fire.

It appears that as they grew
(once online only, they are now at Target)
they may have begun
to compromise some of their values.

It sucks and I'm bummed
but I'm also going to do some research
before I turn my back on them completely.

Because nothing is cut and dry
in a straightforward forever sense
and all the articles and research
just can't compete with my instinct.

The information
becomes a mire
if you let it
so I try not to let it.

I try to sail by my instinct first
and always.

Because that's what mothering
has come down to for me.


And they've led me right and astray
and every dizzying direction.

But they're mine and I trust them.

And if there is any shard of advice
I'm willing to pass on
it's that.

Trust. Your. Instincts.

And let other women trust theirs.

Mom on ladies!

Mom. On.

Oh and here's a picture
of our preschool graduate:

1 comment:

  1. Two Things:

    1. Please write a book. For realz. The world, us MOMS, need you to write a book. For us.

    2. Mom on!

    Okay, Three Things:

    3. You rock.