Chances are if you are reading this you are either a mom of the expectant, new, or experienced caliber or you are looking for that perfect gift for a new mom. You are in luck because I am about to show you the holy grail of parenting good for all ages and stages.
As a ‘two year old mom’ I most certainly seen it all and I know exactly all the right things to do at all the right times – I hope you all had a good laugh at that. Most days I don’t even know if I am wearing a clean shirt any more.
At any rate I have learned that our society has a very awkward stance towards moms. The message seems to be there is no ‘right way’ which would imply that there is not really a ‘wrong’ way either. While people will tell you there are an endless number of ways to accomplish the same goal, they will also use that breath to tell you how every parenting decision you are making is out and out wrong.
‘But there is now right way’.
While creating my registry I remember a particular moment that someone asked me what kind of bottles I was registering for. I don’t recall who this person was but I remember thinking that I was a little shocked that they replied the way in which they did to my bottle choice because we weren’t close and I considered that person an outer circle friend. But the response was classic –
‘well you know not all babies respond to bottles the same, the Advent with (insert whatever feature here) are the best’
I really wanted to punch this person in the face. I mean if every child is different there is no way to say that Advent is the best and since my child hadn’t been born yet and they haven’t invented an in utero telepathic baby babble translator yet, it was a little tough to ask my daughter what she wanted me to buy for bottles. The other annoying thing is this – my goals with bottles were different than hers. I wanted to primarily breast feed and to use the bottle only when I couldn’t be there … and so I picked the bottle that my research showed would best support that goal.
But the worst part is how absolutely stupid comments like that make a mom to be feel. Let’s be honest, a new baby (I only have one but I imagine it is the same with each new addition to the family) is a little stressful and scary. There are always so many unknowns and since that child has never before been born in this world no one freaking knows! Mom’s if you haven’t figured it out already that is the huge secret that most other moms don’t readily share – not because we don’t want you to know but because we don’t want to feel like we are failing.
At any rate you are probably wondering about this holy grail situation.
Here it is – every mom needs someone in her corner without question.
For me that person happened to not be a friend but my own mother. With the exception of naming my daughter my own mother has been the one person in the world that I can call when I am crazy pants mommy needs a break bawling my eyes out. When I am beside myself because my beautiful little baby won’t stop crying and when my daughter has just done the most amazing thing ever.
It doesn’t have to be your mom, but since mine was I was lucky enough to have her there from the start. If it is a compliment to her own parenting because she is confident she gave me the right tools or to my own ability and intelligence I don’t know but she is the person who always reminds me that ultimately I know best.
There are so many rules and guidelines out there. A million different products to make your life easier and a thousand different schools of parenting. It is so overwhelming to be responsible for another life as is but to then have everyone putting in their two cents where it is not wanted or needed just makes it worse.
So if you are looking for that perfect gift for the new mom in your life – give her a free pass for a 2 am phone call, a sobbing crazy person rant, or a baby free girls dinner … and by baby free, I mean don’t even mention the baby unless she bring it up first. Write her a little note to tell her ‘you are doing great’ or ‘you know best’.
And if you can manage to be that friend, keep the stink eye and snarky comments at the ready for that opinionated man who just told your best friend she shouldn’t be breast feeding in public, for that pushy person trying to tell your friend that bottle feeding is bad for baby, or any other ‘well intentioned’ person trying to ‘offer friendly advice’. I promise you she will be more grateful for that then she will ever be able to express.
It doesn’t hurt if you throw in a load of her laundry or just turn a blind eye to the pit that has become her house …