Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day to Real Moms

The media seems to think there is such a thing as, "mommy wars". So many entities try to get us disagreeing and arguing with one another about who is a "real mom", who is doing it right. But, the truth is, we're all doing our very best, so we're all doing it right.

So, here's a tribute to real moms. The funny thing is, no matter how disparate any of these sentiments are, I actually relate to most of them and have done things so very differently from year to year of this parenting adventure.

My love to all of you wonderful mothers.


Real moms breastfeed their children. Real moms spend an hour each day pumping breastmilk for the babysitter to give their children during the day. Real moms struggle to breastfeed and, for whatever reason, end up lovingly bottle feeding their children. Real moms never even consider breastfeeding and are happy to bottle feed their children, because that's what works best for them.

Real moms carry their children around in a sling all day. Real moms give their children plenty of alone time in their crib. Real moms feed on demand. Real moms try to get their babies on a schedule. Real moms struggle enough with the chaos of their own minds and lives and have no hope of ever getting their children into a routine. Real moms watch supernanny religiously, read parenting books and magazines and work very hard to do everything just right. Real moms laugh cynically each time they see an episode of supernanny, burn most parenting magazines and talk back (LOUDLY) to anyone that tells them that they know better than they do about raising their kids.

Real moms use cloth diapers because they are less expensive, better for the planet and more comfortable for babies. Real moms use disposable diapers because they are more convenient, more effective and just plain easier. Some feel guilty about the effect on the planet, some don't give it a second thought.

Real moms speak in soft voices, always try to get behind their children's eyes and help fulfill their needs. Real moms lose it and scream at their children at the top of their lungs.

Real moms proudly co-sleep with their babies and revel in their closeness and the ability to respond so quickly to them. Real moms put their babies to sleep in a crib, right on schedule and sing to them as they drift to sleep. Real moms let their babies cry it out, hoping to help them learn to sleep on their own and cry themselves to sleep in the next room.

Real moms kiss their kids as they go to their rooms for sleep, then wake up with many children of assorted ages and sizes in her bed.

Real moms stay at home with their children because they can't imagine missing a single moment. Real moms stay home with their children because they would feel guilty about going to work. Real moms run businesses and work at home. Real moms go to work because their families survival depends on their income. Real moms work because they need an identity outside of "mommy" and time away from their children. Real moms feel that making themselves better as individuals makes them better mothers. Real moms work three part-time jobs and go to school full-time, just trying to get by.

Real moms volunteer in their children's classrooms three times a week and know all the names of their children's classmates. Real moms help their kids with their homework, but often forget the name of their children's teachers. Real moms trust that their children's teachers are doing a good job and are glad to send them to school to get a good education. Real moms can't help their children with their homework, because they don't understand it.

Real moms homeschool their children. Real moms kiss their children just before they climb onto the bus to go to public school. Real moms drive for hours each day to send their children to an excellent charter school. Real moms scrimp and save to send their children to private school.

Real moms are always glad to see their children and are happy to always be able to see them. Real moms race to day care because they are so excited to see their children after a hard day's work. Real moms sit in their car outside the day care doors taking deep breaths and building up the courage to go through another night alone. Real moms shudder at the thought of picking their children up from school, knowing they are going to fight the WHOLE WAY HOME.

Real moms LOVE playing with their children, making crafts with their children and filling their children's lives with magic. Real moms sometimes like to do that stuff, and sometimes would rather just send them out to jump on the trampoline.

Real moms are organized, consistent and truly "on top of" things. Real moms spend all day, every day in crisis-management-mode, flying by the seat of their pants and hoping it all works out.

Real moms love thier children fiercely, devotedly, desperately and would do ANYTHING for them, even if sometimes they would like to lock them in a closet.

Real moms do the very best they can.

Real moms know that real moms come in many different shapes and sizes. And we cheer each other on as each mom does the very best she can.

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