With Mother’s Day right around the corner I’m sure you’ve caught a glimpse of the offerings in the card aisle, maybe you’ve even read a few of the loving sentiments expressed by the writers at Hallmark. But, I wanted to take this space to remember some truths about being a mom. You know what I mean, the underbelly that we don’t see in movies, and that we avoid talking about with other moms for fear of being judged.
Being a mother is a full time job, whether you stay at home, or have headed back to work…You are never not a mom. Here is the beautiful, and scary thing about this job: Our babies don’t write up a job description before they come out, nor do they sit us down for performance reviews to let us know how our efforts are landing for them. We do the best we can with the tools we have and hope, that in the end, we foster kind, competent human beings.
I’m sure you’ve been told that a schedule is the most important thing in successful parenting. As a mom, I will respectfully agree to disagree. The most valuable tool I have in my arsenal is flexibility. You can read all the books, research all the different carriers, swings, toys…but, in the end, each child is an individual with specific likes, and very clear dislikes. I know you love our tiny human for all of their intricacies, the strange, rare and peculiar things that make them yours.
We too are unique in our likes and dislikes, what will and won’t work for us. And, there will never be a shortage of experts telling you how you should, and shouldn’t do everything from sleeping to feeding and potty training. To them there are rules…But, here’s the thing about great moms, they break the rules.
So, what rules have I broken? Well, choosing to be vaccine free with my little one would be at the top of my list, but that just seemed a little too obvious for this crowd.
Here are some that you may not have expected. I ask that you read with an open mind, and start asking yourself where you would like more freedom in your parenting.
The Top Five Are…(in no particular order)
- My son does not spend every moment of our time in the car safely strapped into his carseat. I know, I know…but, on long car rides, when it seems like the screaming will NEVER end, I have been guilty of slipping into the back seat and nursing him into a quiet, peaceful sleep before cinching him back into his seat.
- When it comes to lullaby music we tried the Mozart and Bach, but nothing seems to work quite like the Beastie Boys. In fact, if we crank up No Sleep till Brooklyn, it’s almost a guarantee that my little one will be asleep before the songs end.
- I love dogs. I love my dog, Jane, and she happens to be a pit bull. So, when I brought my tiny baby home from the hospital, I was not sure how I would handle the 55 pound bouncing, muscular beast that was waiting for us at the front door. We took our time with introductions, but now one of Jane’s favorite daily activities is licking my son’s feet while he squeals with glee and tries to catch her tail.
- Teething is no joke. I’ve tried using a variety of natural products with varied degrees of relief, until my mother shared her mother’s recipe for success. Whiskey. No, I don’t get my son drunk, but, a little rub of whiskey across the gums and an fussy baby become a happy one in under 60 seconds.
- I didn’t introduce solids between 4-6 months…and I still have a very chubby, healthy, happy baby. It’s not that I didn’t try, I bought the local, organic produce, the free range meats, did the pureeing, added a little breast milk to ease in the new tastes and textures…and he was game to paint his face and body, but was a no go on putting it in his mouth. So, I waited until he was ready and it’s all good.
I know that we’ve all had days when we feel more like the wicked stepmother than the doting caretaker we strive to be…but on this day, Mother’s Day, take a moment and celebrate how far you’ve come, how hard you’ve worked, how much you truly are as a mom, and take a moment to break some rules!
To celebrate the amazing, rule breaking mom that you are I encourage you to email me with your best rule defying story at DrRachel@fitmamapdx.com. Don’t worry, what you share with me remains confidential, unless I have your permission to share. Us mamas have to stick together.
xo, Dr. Rachel
P.S. This month, I am offering all of Donna’s subscribers my One-Page Wellness Plan for only $99. That’s a savings of $50! All you need to do is sign up in the month of May and let me know you are connected to Donna.