listen loudly, love even louder //
I remember feeling really insecure in middle school. I was not one of those people who skipped past the awkward years. Ha.
Oh no. From the hair, to the glasses, to my clothes: I was awkward. [Looking back now I'm really thankful for those awkward years, I learned a lot because of them. And honestly? I'm still awkward.]
During those awkward years, when girls were mean + gossip was all the rage, I remember thinking
All of these feelings, competition, girls being mean .... it goes away when you become an adult.
And I couldn't wait to get there. I wanted to become an adult: where people were nice, no one was mean and everyone got along.
I turned 18.
I went to college.
Insecurities grew. People were still mean.
I graduated. I moved away.
Still got hurt. Competition remained.
Then? I became a mom.
and it was every feeling and emotion in full gear.
The desire to know why grew in me as I tried to figure out and understand this unspoken competition that everyone seemed to know about ... but no one discussed.
I realized that questions are often asked for affirmation. For example: A disposable diapering mom asks a question to another mom. She realizes this other mom uses cloth diapers, and what she potentially hears is, "I think your way is wrong."
When really? These two choices are simply two different way to catch poop. That is it.
The bottom line is that while I do believe in absolutes, I also believe that there are so many right ways when it comes to parenting. We've placed every little decision into it's only silo. We've given it a name--and someone has made millions off of it. It's silly, and it's not helping.
Yes, some parents do answer questions in a way that is cutting or condescending, but I've learned that mostly? We're all just trying hard to do what's best for our children and half of the time? We're clueless.
Just because I let Harlow come into bed with me in the morning, doesn't mean that I think your way is wrong.
I happen to like my stroller and my wrap, and I support however you roll, too.
Just because I gave birth to Harlow without pain medications does not mean that I am better or stronger than anyone else. Also? I have no idea if I'll even attempt it again.
We like routine and a bit of structure. We use bits and pieces from all sorts of books and advice from my own mother's brain. mostly that. I don't recommend that my friends who are expecting read any "parenting type" books before having their baby [another post for another time...], but I don't think you're wrong if you do. [I did!]
If you ask me about any choices that we've made as a parent: I will probably tell you about cloth diapering, natural birth, etc. with a lot of passion and excitement. But if you ask me about Coconut Robot, or my husband or my family? I'll probably respond with a similar excitement. That's just me. It's who I am and I believe that we should be confident in the choices we make. If you choose a different route: I want to encourage and support you. Also? I want to pick your brain and learn more!
Sure, I doubt myself all. the. time. I ask those I look up to for advice, but ultimately I am Harlow's mommy. I need to stand behind my choices. But I also reserve the right to change my mind at any time.
Okay. I'm wondering if I'm alone in this one: when I became a mom, I couldn't wait until my kids were ... so I didn't have to deal with insecurities about my parenting choices or competition.
bahahaha. ha. haha.
C'mon, Kacia. Here's the truth: we are human and we are going to deal with insecurities for our entire time on this earth. So, next time you're talking with your own mother or your mother in law, remember that they might be hearing the same lie you sometimes hear, as you tell them about your parenting choices:
She's telling me that what I did? ...was wrong.
Remind them that no, it's just different. We're different people, and we're going to make different choices. So instead of ignoring this fact, let's call it out. Let's vocalize our differences, encourage each other, and genuinely ask questions.
I've been learning recently about the power of our voice over the past few weeks. Shame, sadness and bitterness begin to brew when we hide our feelings and what is going on in our lives. We need to speak it. Declare it. Be okay with someone making a different choice.
So right now I'm declaring us all winners in this competition. One big tied-game that will not go into overtime. Let's begin learning from one another.
I want my children to know me as someone who uses my voice to encourage people around me: not tear them down. [I've got a long way to go before I get there, but I'm working on it.]
What do you think? You in? I'll make t-shirts.
Written by Kacia Hosmer