My name is Amanda Braschuk. I’ve been married to my amazing husband Paul for 5 years, together for 8. He works away from home which can make life a little crazy when I’m parenting solo. My daughter Zoey is 2.5 years old, she is the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever seen. My son Asher is one, he is incredibly handsome and really mischievous. I also have two dogs who think they are human, which is only fair because in this house fur babies are family too!
I’m a stay at home mom and very thankful for a husband who works extremely hard allowing me this time with our children. Before kids I worked in the service industry for 17 years. I am friendly, enjoy meeting new people and I love talking (too much if you ask Paul). These characteristics kept me in the industry so long because it was constantly engaging. I also worked in accounting, timekeeping and administrative positions.
I love reading, music and Mother Nature. I am a daydreamer with an overactive imagination. I’m rather scared of everything. My kids have made me stronger and they have made me brave. If I can grow a human and conquer labour & delivery – what is left to fear? I’ve never written publically before but for years I have written poetry and kept journals – to myself. I’m looking forward to sharing motherhood/parenting adventures with everyone.
I had countless fears as a first time Mom. Would the baby be born healthy? Would I be able to breastfeed? Would the dog be okay with the baby? Can I do this on my own having a partner working away from us 6 months of the year? The list goes on and on. It’s scary. In my almost three years of Motherhood I have learned this, it takes a village. I am not saying you need multiple caregivers for the wellbeing of your child. I’m suggesting you need a network & would urge you to build your fortress strong.
As mothers our strength and support is often found through other moms. Be it our own moms, relatives, friends, coworkers ….Mothers. If I’m being honest, other moms scare me. Our society has created a stigma on what a perfect mother needs to be. It is stressful reaching out to a new mom friend & making a play date. What if I offer a juice box, do they let their kid drink juice? Will they judge me if I do? I was going to making mac and cheese for lunch, are they okay if it’s not organic? If I feed my baby a bottle of formula am I condemned because I don’t breastfeed? I discipline with spanking, will she still be my friend? We have to stop this judgment of ourselves and others. We worry what others will think about how we parent & we worry we might be doing it wrong because so-and-so does it this way and her child is younger than mine but speaks 25 more words. Enough.
In addition to anticipating judgement of our parenting, I’ve noticed myself and others having a perpetual need to constantly defend our choices. Yes I give my kid juice but only on special occasions and it is 100% juice….I gave my baby formula but I tried really hard to breastfeed…I will let her play on my phone but never for long and only if I really need a few minutes to myself…He watches television but I ensure it’s only educational programming. The ridiculous part is we don’t owe anyone an explanation regarding our decisions. Providing our main priority is the health and safety of our children, why do we feel compelled to justify how we are raising them? I could guarantee the doubts & concerns you stress upon are precisely what the mom you recently met is worrying over as well. But…but…but…but. Enough.
When I think about my friends who are mothers, ideals we have in common and those we differ on significantly, ultimately our objective is the same. We are doing the best we know how. We learn from one another and while we don’t always agree on parental methods, we all love our children and desire the best for them. We need to enjoy spray park play dates instead of worrying whether we use the best all natural sunscreen. We have to embrace our varying parenting styles rather than fussing over differences. We must be each other’s support rather than hindrance. At the end of the day let us be strong together. This is enough.