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All we are saying...

Motherhood is challenging to navigate. There is so much out there on, well, everything.
"You must buy this!"
"If you want your baby to grow up feeling loved, do this..."

"Remember to always speak this way."

"It's the little things that count."

Even on this blog I talk about how I do things and about the products that I have liked with our boys.

But that's what they are: things that I liked.

That doesn't mean that you will like them or that you should parent how I do. It doesn't even mean that you should do things how I do. I'm talking about things that work for me and my family.


Because I like reading about how other people do things. I like talking to other people and finding out about how they solve some of the more difficult challenges of motherhood, how they fix the small and big stuff. I like hearing other people's family schedules. I like knowing that I am not the only one trying to solve a certain problem-- why are shoes always missing when it is time to get in the car? Why do our toddlers throw a fit during mealtimes? Why are organic foods so dang expensive? How is potty training so hard this time around when it went so well the first time around? Am I the only one sick of hearing the same twin comments over and over again and does it really matter who is older?

There is so much mommy judging out there, real and perceived. Sometimes comments that aren't meant to be judgmental at all are taken that way.

For instance, we are a Navy family that has decided to go career. I hear from other military families, "We are finishing this tour and then he's getting out. We don't want to go career and put our kids through all that. It is too hard on them." Those people are not talking about my family. When I hear those comments, they aren't talking about how my husband is going career and looking forward to putting our kids through deployment. No, they are discussing with a fellow military wife their own choices for their own families.

I hear, "I would have waited to have another baby after having twins as well." But they don't know that I had a miscarriage and a molar pregnancy. I'm always surprised at how much this comment hurts. No, they do not know my history and they don't need to, but it always makes me want to share with the world about this baby that did exist, not for them, but for me. It was real and it happened.

Other comments are puzzling and hard to figure out their intended meaning.

"That's great you are breastfeeding. It is so good for the baby." What does this mean? Do I need to fill them in on my breastfeeding history with my three other children? Or the fact that while I believe in benefits of breastfeeding, I think it is ludicrous that you cannot discuss breastfeeding without saying, "Of course I believe in the benefits of breastfeeding!" or giving a reason why you are bottle feeding. Here's what I think, mommas, truly and really: feed your babies how you feel is best. It is no one else's business.

"I'm glad you aren't one of those homeschooling families. You are only homeschooling this year, right?" Hmm. By "those" homeschooling families, do you mean Weird and Unsocialized Homeschoolers? And we've loved homeschooling so far. Not sure how long we will homeschool, but it seems to fit in with my husband's Navy career well. The kids and I love doing it. I'm not sure what the future holds for us, but I'm open to wherever God leads us.

And another hot topic, working inside the home versus working outside the home: "I could never stay home all day. I need to engage my brain/stay busy/do something..." or "I stay home because I want to be there to watch my children grow up..." Sigh. Moms, don't tear each other down. Sometimes those comments are not made at all to be a dig towards anyone else or their choices, current or planned. Yes, I stay at home, and, yes, I have my reasons why I stay at home with my children, but the reasons why I stay at home may not be the reasons why you stay at home. And the reasons why you work outside the home may not be the reasons why other moms work outside the home.

We are all moms and we are all working hard, whether we are working in the home, working outside the home, homeschooling, or getting the kids ready for school outside the home each morning-- public or private. Breastfeeding is hard; pumping is hard; exclusively pumping blows my mind; and bottle feeding... bottle feeding is hard (and expensive and time consuming). Twins are hard. Singletons are hard. New babies are hard. Toddlers are hard. Kindergartners... easier and harder all at once. One child is hard. I've heard going from one to two children is way harder than going from two to three. Three children, hard. Four children, hard. Being a military wife-- hard. I know talking to my civilian friends that it's not easy on the other side of things either. You know, marriage is hard.

There are so many challenges in life. So many hard times that you are brought to your knees and crying out to God to hold you and carry you through. There are so many unexpected speed bumps.

We need to stop judging either. We need to be careful how we phrase things. Yes, it is wonderful I'm breastfeeding this baby; glad it worked out. Yes, the space between our twin toddlers and our newborn has been nice. Sometimes I'm glad they are over three; sometimes I think it would have been easier if they were under three, like the gap between our oldest and our twins. We need to make sure that we aren't wording the choices that work for our family in a way that sounds like we are judging other families. We also  need to make sure that we don't easily take offense. The best thing about life-- our freedom in Christ-- is that we are free to make the choices that God leads us to. We are free to go career Navy, free to get out, free to look at our children and say, "Okay, we need to switch gears. The path we are on is not working for us." We are free to homeschool using a boxed curriculum or piecing it all together. We are free to stay at home or free to work outside the home.

Be friends with who you connect with. Multiple mommas need singleton momma friends. Big families need small family friends. Working mommas need stay at home momma friends. Homeschooling mommas need public school momma friends. Mommas need friends without kids. Make friends with people older and younger than you, who have kids older or younger than yours. Be friends with positive people that lift you up and support you. The best friends you will make are the ones that pray for you and encourage you.

We are all in this together. Give peace a chance.


Great post! I'm guilty of both sides, either taking offense at the reasons other people give or offending people with justifications for my own choices. Mothering is hard and feeling guilty and judged is something we all want to avoid. There are so many choices and there's no way we can choose them all. Doing one thing instead of another doesn't make the other choice wrong. P.S. I have twins too and "which one is the oldest" is a question they get asked a lot! :) #HDYDI
Lauren Tamm said…
I hear ya! Connecting and encouraging other moms is so important. The majority of the time, I think people's comments are well intended, they just come out wrong :(
Kimber said…
Lauren, definitely agree with you! People are often just looking to make a connection and often don't realize how it comes across to others, myself included!

Normaleverydaylife, LOL! My mom is at the hair salon and texted to say a set of triplets just came in to the salon and the hairdresser immediately asked them who is the youngest. I find this question odd because in all my time of "baby stalking" before I had babies, I never asked twin parents that! I just do not see the relevance. :P

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