Sleep? Remind Me Again What That Is – Mommy Blogger

Debbie Favell – Mommy Blogger

Sleep.
A small, simple yet beautiful word.

5 little letters that describe something all living things do. All living things, it seems except for my children and consequently my husband and myself.

The Oxford English Dictionary define sleep as “a condition of the body and mind which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed and consciousness practically suspended”.

Yeah right!

Do you remember those heady days of carefree weekends spent laying in bed until lunchtime? With restful dream filled nights? I think I do, but for me they were probably in the same era as back combed hair, fingerless gloves and leg warmers!

Realty now involves my children applying a tag team approach to who can wake mum and dad up the most at night.
The chorus of “I can’t sleep”, “can I have a drink please”, “he’s humming/singing/talking/reading/breathing too loudly and it’s disturbing me”, “I need a wee” and “wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” (thats the 18 month old, but sometimes me as well) is the nightly occurrence within my house. We have three boys, aged 9, 7 and 18 months.

Having moved to Canada and Saskatoon from England only in March, we expected some disruption to sleep patterns. Excitement, jet lag and new routines were all discussed by my husband and myself, we gave each other knowing looks the first week or so when it seemed that the sleep fairy had passed our house by.

Fast forward to now, we have had teething, baby constipation, colds, missing England, new school worries and a million other reasons why the nights have been long and punctuated by children wanting conversations, reassurance or the warmth of climbing into Mummy and daddy bed.

We have employed so many tactics to try to regain this prized night time shared family
unconsciousness.
Warm baths – tick
Bed time stories – tick
Subtly lit rooms – tick
Brightly lit rooms – tick
Rooms so dark you need night vision goggles to find your way in and out – tick
Lavender pillow spray – tick
Children sleep meditation apps – tick
Bribery – tick
The consequence of this is two old haggard looking adults operating on autopilot. Sleep deprivation has created a constant brain fog. The exercise of walking into a room and forgetting the purpose of the trip is a daily event, as is the loosing the point of a conversation or forgetting a word mid sentence, I made coffee the other morning, and as I watched the coffee dripping out onto the kitchen work top I slowly realized I was still holding the mug that I had forgotten to put under the flow.

However, yesterday after a weekend of the boys going swimming, us walking around downtown Saskatoon in the beautiful sunshine eating ice cream and a dinner that provided full tummies, we all slept.
And I mean really slept.
How amazing.

The boys awoke this morning all cheerful and smiling, there was no moaning or them being asked 50 times to brush their. teeth or comb their hair and although I actually overslept slightly I felt like (a somewhat older) Snow White with birds singing and the urge to high five everyone we met on the school run.

Now, I am under no illusion that this will happen again tonight, but it has restored my faith, and recharged y batteries enough to tackle today and to dare to dream that we could do this again…..hopefully before the boys are old enough for High school.

Winging It – Mommy Blogger

Tamara Kaminski. I grew up in Cottage Country, Manitoba and moved to Saskatchewan in 2014 with a busy Corporate Marketing career. Here in beautiful SK, I met my redneck dream guy! We’ve been married for 2 years and our awesome Son is 1. I waited a long time for my dream family, and absolutely love our busy, crazy, fun life with our Son and 2 pups.

When I was pregnant, we had it all figured out, or so we thought. I had a busy career in Marketing, we finished up renos inside our house before our Son’s arrival and we would add onto our house in a couple of years. Do you ever have one of those out loud conversations with someone or with yourself where you say, “If you had told me one year ago that this is what I would be doing today, I would have thought you were nuts!” That’s precisely the current season of life I am in, I’m going to call this, the “winging it” stage.

As I was trying to figure out what to call this blog post, I was pushing myself to quickly finish painting a section on the outside of our house while the baby napped, trying to figure out in my head how much time I would need to get myself cleaned up and have a healthy lunch ready as soon as he woke up, trying to plan out how we could possibly paint the whole house during nap times, wondering when that basket of clean laundry would get put away, what do I pull out to make for supper, did we brush our teeth?…and you all understand, the list goes on. My head was spinning and me, the planner and organizer, I just had to accept that it’s time to wing it.

I just started at a new part time job completely different than anything I’ve done before, but it works with the childcare we have and I can be home for most of the day. For privacy of the company, lets just say I drive a big yellow truck to transport the most precious cargo somewhere they have to go everyday. When a little girl asked me if I always wanted to drive a big yellow truck, I told her the truth. No I didn’t, but I think learning a new skill is really cool and any new challenge is an opportunity.

The truth is, most of the time I feel this way and as my Brother says, I see the world through rose coloured glasses. But I also have my moments where I feel, defeated and I’m just really annoyed at the curveballs life can throw us. I never expected to be laid off while on mat leave, we can’t add onto the house anytime soon now, but I know we’ll be okay because we always find a way. But my goodness, sometimes, throw me a bone.

I don’t have the answers of how to handle this stage of life, even when I have a list 20 items on it for the day, I just have to embrace that the list can wait. Instead, I get down on the floor and crawl around with our little man, play outside, watch a cartoon, read books, dance and so on.

When the time comes when he powers down for a nap, we have our quiet, cuddle, nursing time and I carry him up to his crib. I switch on his fan and a lullaby toy, sometimes he’s awake and I’ll rub his head, and he peacefully rolls his head to the side so I walk out of his room to the stairs…and then run, because, it’s go time to get everything done!

I assure myself I’m not the only one who runs around like a chicken with their head cut off, and if it looks in the outside that I may have it all together, I guarantee you, that is false.

We do our best, and right now, my best includes winging it. And that’s okay.

He’s Turning One – Mommy Blogger

My name is Erin McCrea. I’m a Momma, a pet Momma, and a writer. I had my first baby at age 35 in May of 2016. Becoming a mom was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, and I have loved every moment of it. I blog at  http://erinisawriter.blogspot.ca/, but haven’t done a lot since Anthony arrived. It’s my goal to be a consistent Writing Mom by the time his birthday arrives. I’m shy, caring, weird, bossy, and I try to be happy every day. My baby helps with that.

I don’t know how this happened, but I have somehow been a Mom for a year. My little man turns one on May 18th. (I’m writing this right before his birthday, but it will be posted the day after he turns one.)

             A year ago today, I was preparing myself for motherhood. I was trying to convince myself that it wouldn’t be as scary as I thought. (It’s always going to be a little bit scary). I was trying to convince myself that I would be a good Mom.

He was born two days later. I was induced because of gestational diabetes, and after about 17-20 hours of labour I was taken in for an emergency c-section. My son was born at 7:24 pm. He was put into my shaky arms shortly after.

It wasn’t until we were in our  hospital room (home for the next few days), and the nurse said good night that I realized I had NO idea what I was doing. Luckily she came back to help with crying babies and feeding.

As I write this, I am amazed that I made it through an entire year, with little to no knowledge of babies or children. Google is a modern mothers best friend. Or my best friend. The only advice I remember from the nurses before we left the hospital was to make sure his penis was pointed down or he’d soak through the diaper. It’s actually really good advice.

            Although, I still had a lot of fear and worry about how I’d be as a momma, to be perfectly honest, in the first two months, I was too exhausted to really be concerned. It was basically one hour at a time. Sleep, eat, and possibly play. That was our life. My brain didn’t really give me time to worry about whether I was already screwing up or not. 

Somehow, I did it. I made it through 12 months of parenting, and at some point, I became more confident with my parenting skills.

My little boy knows he can come to me when he’s hurt, he knows he can snuggle with me when he’s sad, he knows I’ll laugh with him when he’s happy. 12 months later, and I’m completely happy with the past year.

I’m ridiculously happy with it, but I’m also trying to figure out how it happened so quickly. It feels like just yesterday we were trying to get him to nurse. Or just yesterday was the first time he peed on us while trying to change him. It feels like just yesterday we were celebrating his first smile, his first laughs, the first time he rolled over.

All of these milestones add up to a year of Anthony. Luckily for me, there are so many more to look forward to. (More milestones and more years.)

I’ve never been one of those women who believed she was born to be a mother, and I also believe if I wasn’t a mom, I’d still be pretty happy. I’d still know how to love.

That being said, I’m happy I got to be Anthony’s Mom. I’m glad I had this absolutely amazing year. I’m glad my adventures will include a handsome little man.

I know how lucky I am, and I’m so grateful to have this unique and wonderful little boy in my life.

I’m trying not to be sad that he’s going to be a year. I’d rather look forward to everything to come, but it’s hard not to look back at the year and wonder where it all went. Time is going so quickly, and I’m ready for it to slow down.

I’m also ready for more laughs, more giggles, more adventures, and more milestones. I can’t wait to see him take his first steps, learn more words (he’s got Momma and Dada figured out). I also can’t wait for him to be potty trained. However, that’s yet another thing I know NOTHING about. My best friend google will be right next to me through it all, I’m sure.

Although I still know nothing about what’s to come, I have learned that trusting my instincts is so important. Trusting that I am a good Mom, and I am doing a good job is also important.

It’s been one of the best years of my life, and I wouldn’t change any of it. My partner and I have learned so much, and still, a year later, we find ourselves looking at our baby in awe. We made him. We made it through the year. We love this crazy kid with all our hearts.

I’m so full of gratitude lately. It’s been quite the year, and I’m ready for the next one.

 

 

It Takes a Village – Mommy Blogger

I am a wife and a mother to a beautiful baby boy. I am an avid animal lover, with an extreme affection for rescue dogs. I have a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology and a love for studying early childhood development. However, most of what I know I have thrown out the window since becoming a mom (haha). I have worked as a behaviour therapist for Autistic children and as a research coordinator. Running is my therapy, Country Music is my jam, my dogs make me happy, my family and friends mean everything to me, and my son makes my life complete.

It takes a village to raise a child. As cliché as it sounds it is the truth! It takes a village to support you and your child, to help educate, parent and love your child, to help keep you and your child safe and healthy. If you don’t have that immediate “village” around you to help, it can cause a sense of isolation, anxiety, and make parenting that much more challenging.

My husband and I moved to Saskatoon two years ago, before we had a child. At that time, I was excited about our new journey. We loved the city of Saskatoon, and with it being only a couple of hours from Regina – where my family is from – or Wynyard – where my husband’s family is from – it didn’t seem like that big of a move. Then we had a baby…

I am not the type of person to ask for help or let my emotions show. I have always dealt with things internally, got through many challenging times on my own, and have been independent. So when it came time to bring our baby home I handled things the same way.

Becoming a first time Mom and taking care of a tiny little human is like nothing you can ever plan for – emotionally, mentally, and physically – or handle on your own. My husband and I brought our bundle of joy home and were beyond excited! I tried to make it appear like I had it together, like I knew what I was doing, but really I had no clue and it caused immense anxiety.

The first few weeks were the hardest. With our families living hours away, with only my sister-in-law to readily help us, it was overwhelming. I remember my sister telling me that my parents thought I didn’t need help because they thought I had it under control and was doing well. Of course they did because every time I would talk to them I explicitly said I was fine, and that everything was going well. I always wore a smile on my face and never let anyone see the tears or hear the anxiety. I was putting on a façade so it was my own fault that I wasn’t getting the help. I know that if I would have asked for help, both of our families would have been there in a second to, but I didn’t ask so I didn’t receive. I guess I didn’t want to appear like I couldn’t handle the job of being a Mother or make it seem like I wasn’t happy to have this beautiful baby boy because neither could be further from the truth!

My poor husband bared the brunt of my anxiety, stress, frustration, and crying, all because I didn’t ask for help! He would come home from work and I would be in tears because I was overwhelmed, needed a break, had not eaten all day, hadn’t showered, barely went to the bathroom or put my child down. He tried his best to understand what I was feeling and helped out as much as he could. During the evenings he would take our son so that I could have a break, but it wasn’t the nights that were bad, it was the long days alone and the feeling I had of isolation. I wouldn’t leave the house during the day because I was too anxious to, and it was just a hassle and hard to do on my own with all the things that a baby needed. All my friends were in Regina, or living in a different province, I had no adult social time or a release of any kind. I didn’t tell anyone about how I was feeling, I just kept acting like everything was great! Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t horrible all the time. I truly love being a mom, and my son’s smile truly makes everything better, and now that he is 10 months old I no longer feel this way.

For so many reasons not having family or friends around is difficult when you have a child. In the early weeks, it would have been so nice to have family around to make a meal for me, or clean up the piling dishes, or simply to allow me to take a nap. As for now, if we have something to go to, without advance notice to arrange for a family member to come to Saskatoon, my husband and I cannot go together because one of us has to stay home with our son. Yes, we could get a babysitter, but I have yet to find one I trust and my son still does not take a bottle. If I just need a break, I don’t have the luxury of dropping our child off at Grandma and Grandpa’s. If I have an appointment to go to, I have to bring our son along which results in a screaming baby who just wants to be held but Mom can’t hold him when a Doctor is examining her! My sister-in-law does help us out a TON, but I hate asking her all the time to watch him because she is our only person here in Saskatoon and I don’t want to wear out my “Aunty Babysitting card”.

I know a lot of people go through the same things I went through, feel the same way, and don’t have family or friends around for support. I know I am not the only one. Yes, if you have a spouse, they are there to help you parent as well, but they too need a break at times! For all those single-parents or parents of multiples who don’t have a support system, I applaud you, and hope that you reach out to a Mom and Baby group to help build a support system or find someone you trust that can look after your little’s so you can have a break. Those who have family and friends around to help in raising your child, don’t take them for granted!

It takes a village to raise a child. It takes family to help you through the challenging times, to help shower your child with love, and instill good values. It takes friends to be there to support you, to be a social outlet, and to help get you out of an isolated house. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can’t do it alone. We all need help at times.

Happy Mommying,

Marissa

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day!

For all you do and all you are, Happy Mother’s Day!

In honour of Mother’s Day here is a look back at a photo series we did in 2015 – words of mommy wisdom for new and soon to be moms!

Happy Mothers Day to All the Amazing Mothers and Women in my Life

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the fabulous Moms who have attended one of our classes, events or parties and to the moms who haven’t had the opportunity to join us yet. I absolutely love getting to meet you all! Your continued support and words of encouragement mean so much to me.

Being director of Mommy Connections Saskatoon I have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful mothers and women in the Saskatoon area. We are so fortunate to have so many strong, knowledgeable women in our community who love supporting and working with families in Saskatoon. These women are amazing at what they do and I’m so fortunate to have met and worked with them all. Although all these women may not be mothers (many of them are) they are amazing women in our community.

The wonderful Kerry from Kerry’s Photography who attends all of our class to take beautiful mom/dad and child photos. These are amazing keepsakes for the parents to look back on and are always much appreciated.

 Lindsay-Simply Baby Wearing. Haylie-Warman Physiotherapy and Wellness. Jana, Sabrina, Dr. Rikki and Dr Willow-Lead Pilates, Catherine-Strong Mom Fitness. Crystal-Okami Martial Arts, Kaylee and Aidan-K and K Swim School, Andrea-Train for Life, Kelly and Yuki-Move N Soar, Amanda-FitBump, Kari, Johanna, Rosie and Laura-Kindermusik, Lindsay-Fully Flowing Oil, Christie-Heritage Education Funds, Chelsea-Vitae Doula Service, Chantel-Palisades Chiropractic, Kaitlyn-Optic Eye Clinic, Tessa-Cake Face, Stacey-Market Mall Chiropractic and Saskatoon Booty Barre, Sarah-Sarah James Fitness, Andrea-Pave Fitness, Jamie-Stretch the Truth Yoga, Ashley-Flight Functional Fitness, Kayla-InBalance Chiropractic, Lisa-The Natural Path, Tanya-Little Hands and Me, Laura and Lisa-Warman Eyecare, Karmen-Santosha Yoga and Wellness, Darla-Postpartum Darla, Adrienne-the Bradley Birth Method, Amanda-SleepWell Baby, Sylvia-Singing with Sylvia, Karla-the Hula Hoopster, Michelle-Ignite Danceworks Inc, Jana-Cindy and Jana, Skye-Visions Salon and Spa and Taylor-freelance hair stylist.

I couldn’t run our programs without our wonderful facilitators. These ladies are amazing moms and I’m so fortunate to have them on the Mommy Connections Saskatoon team!

And of course Happy Mothers Day to my wonderful Mother. She is one of my biggest supports – from watching my daughters, helping me out at classes/event, giving me words of encouragement and basically anything else I ask of her!

 

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there! You are doing an amazing job!

 

 

 

Moms – We Can Be Our Own Biggest Critic

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to work on a great project with 8 amazing moms.

We live in a world with so much information that we often find ourselves second guessing or doubting ourselves and/or fearing judgement. What is best for our child? Are we doing things correctly? What are other people (family, friends, the stranger at the mall) going to think? Are we being the best mom we can be to our child? We can be our biggest critic.

Sometimes all these fears can hold us back. They can stop us from doing things. They can cause us to become stressed out about certain situations.We can end up feeling like a bad mother.

But your child doesn’t care if you go to a structured class or play games at home, they just want to spend time with you. They don’t care if you didn’t shave your legs, they love swimming with you. They don’t care if you haven’t showered in a week, your snuggles and hugs still feel the same.

You are one of the most important people in your child’s life.

We need to remind ourselves – “you are a good mom”  – this can feel good to say but it also feels great to hear, and sometimes we don’t hear it enough. Tell your friends, your family, the moms at the park struggling to get her child off the swings to go home or the mom who shows up late to the activity because their child wouldn’t put their shoes on – “you are a good mom” – I’m sure she would appreciate it and needs to hear it.

When we share our strengths and weaknesses, our hope and fears, no matter our parenting style we can come together as one community of moms. I know for me sharing my mommy struggles with other moms and having them say it has happened to them helps me not feel so defeated. I’m not alone. Someone else is going through the same thing. What are they doing to try and solve the problem? Sharing ideas and advice and giving each other words of encouragement in this crazy parenting journey.

For all you do and all you are, Happy Mother’s Day.

 

Where Did All My Friends Go – Mommy Blogger

My name is Christina Hnatiuk. I am a new mom of a 6 month old baby boy, Marshall. I am married to a wonderful man, we will have been together for 5 years, married for two. I work full time in Human Resources and part time as a Ukrainian dance instructor. I love to try new things, especially new restaurants and food. In my free time, which is hardly ever, I love to bake, specializing in cheesecakes. This is my first time writing a blog but I am looking forward to sharing my adventures in parenting with everyone!

I have had many wonderful people in my life that I have had the opportunity to call friends. Many I have grown apart from, but they will always play a part in shaping who I am today. In recent years, I have been lucky enough to have a close-knit group of friends who have always been there for me. We have all travelled around the world, sometimes apart for months, but we are always able to come back together like no time had passed. Most my friends are in a drastically different place in life than me. At one point, we were all going to university, single, and having tons of fun. But in the blink of an eye, I had moved, got married, and now have a baby. Now more than ever I need my friends to remind me of who I am, as sometimes in motherhood we get a bit lost in the dirty diapers and sleep deprivation. The problem is, the people who were always there when I needed them have disappeared.

I knew getting married and starting a family would change my life completely. I knew that my single friends would probably want to spend time with other single people. I guess I thought they’d still be there for the odd get together or night in though. In my 5 seconds of free time, I’ll log onto some kind of social media and see them all living their lives with other friends, other single ladies, other girls not tied down to a kid and husband and it hurts. Sometimes it makes me long for the days when I could pick up a bottle of wine and see where the night took us. But those days are gone.

I’ll admit that with working a full -time job, teaching dance twice a week, raising a kid, taking care of a husband and dog, and attempting to keep a household running, I don’t have the best record for calling my friends to hang out. Not to mention my husband works away for 6 months of the year, so I also have to plan everything around the availability of grandparents for babysitting. No spontaneity here. I do try though, and I do want to spend time with my friends.

Many people have told me that once you have kids it’s just easier to move on and find friends with kids. Honestly, I suck at making new friends. I’m not as outgoing as I used to be and I get uncomfortable in some situations. I’m comfortable with my current friends, they get me, or they used to. So now I’m in this weird limbo, where I feel alone and lonely. I know my friends still love me, and when we do see each other it’s great. But those times are becoming so far and few between that I feel we are pulling apart and are just going to end up acquaintances who email occasionally.

So, where do I go from here? I keep pushing to hang out, but what’s the point? No one wants to visit a messy house littered with baby toys and dirty laundry. No one wants to plan 2 weeks in advance to go for a drink so that I can make sure I have a babysitter. I can’t just drop everything to grab that bottle of wine and whip over for some girl talk and gossip. So, where does that leave me? Whose court is the ball in?

People say you change after you get married and have kids. Maybe that’s true, or maybe it other people’s perception of you that changes. I didn’t change, it’s still me under the greasy “haven’t showered in 3 days” hair. Sure, my priorities are a bit different, but I’m still down to drink a bottle of wine with my girlfriends, I just need a week notice. Maybe I just need to be patient and wait till they catch up to me in life, or maybe I need to put more effort in, or maybe I’m imagining things. For now, I’ll keep trying and pushing and hoping they get the memo. Call me, I’ll pick up. I’m still here.

 

 Happy Mother’s Day – Mom to Mom

I had an idea of a small project I wanted to do so I asked a few of the moms in our groups if they wanted to participate and the response I received was phenomenal. Suddenly this little project became so much bigger, the moms brought amazing ideas and energy to the project. It all came together and a few weeks ago and I had the opportunity to spend the morning with 33 amazing moms. Moms of all different backgrounds. Moms with different views. Moms with different beliefs. But when you walked into the hall all you could see was a community, a village of moms all on the same journey. They may all have different parenting styles and beliefs but they all had the common goal of raising happy, loved children.

It seems like the moment you find out you are expecting everything is fair game for everyone’s opinions and judgement. Hospital birth or home birth. Vaginal delivery or c-section. What you do or do not eat. If you exercise or not and the type of exercise you do. Once baby arrives it doesn’t get any better, if anything it gets worse! Breastfeeding or formula feeding. Cloth diapering or disposables. Going back to work or staying home. Screen time or no screen time.

Yes, we all parent different and no we may not always agree on parenting styles but just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean that one way is right and one way is wrong. Every mom has their own reasons for their choices and it’s not up to us or anyone else to judge those reasons. In the end we are all doing what we do because we believe it is the best thing for our child and our family and that is all that matters.

We need to look past our parenting differences and support other moms, because even though we may parent different we all have the same struggles. Whether you feed your kid processed sugar or organic I’m sure there are days where they won’t eat anything. Whether you work outside the home or stay home there are days your children drive you absolutely crazy and you want to give up. Whether your child sleeps with you or in a crib there are nights when they don’t want to sleep at all and you walk around the next day like a zombie fuelled by coffee. The struggles are the same and we all need support.

Being a mom is hard. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done. Let’s stop judging and keep supporting each other in this crazy journey called Motherhood and always remember doing things differently doesn’t mean doing things incorrectly.

  • Jennie Vessey

You can click each picture to enlarge

  

  

“When I found out I was pregnant I was excited, but I was also scared. I was scared I didn’t know what I was doing. I was scared I would mess it up, I was scared I didn’t know how to be a Momma, and I was scared every other women had the Mom instinct that I didn’t get. Once I had my son, it easier to trust my own instincts. I joined Mom and Baby groups, and was AMAZED to see all the great Mommas that didn’t judge. We could all talk about our different parenting styles, learn, and listen without worry of judgement. Everybody does things differently in one way or another, and it helped seeing that, and made me more comfortable in my Mom-role. I was so excited to be in the Mother’s Day project. It’s the perfect way to celebrate being a Mom – with tons of other Moms who support one another and encourage one another. It’s a great feeling to have a support group around me, even if it’s people I didn’t know a year ago, or somebody I just met. Being a Mom, and meeting other new moms has helped me move on from my fears, and look forward to what’s to come. Thanks to all you Mommas!”

– Erin McCrea

 

Photo Credits: Kerry’s Photography – Find her on Facebook and online at: http://www.kerrysphotography.ca/

Explaining Myself – Mommy Blogger

My name is Erin McCrea. I’m a Momma, a pet Momma, and a writer. I had my first baby at age 35 in May of 2016. Becoming a mom was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, and I have loved every moment of it. I blog at  http://erinisawriter.blogspot.ca/, but haven’t done a lot since Anthony arrived. It’s my goal to be a consistent Writing Mom by the time his birthday arrives. I’m shy, caring, weird, bossy, and I try to be happy every day. My baby helps with that.

Explaining Myself

            I have no idea if other moms do this, but I feel like a good part of my life as a Mom has been explaining my choices. Do I have to? I’m not sure, but I do. I felt if I did something different than another Momma, I should defend myself, or make sure they understood my reasoning. This isn’t to say I thought the other Mom was doing it wrong. It was probably the opposite. I wanted them to know I didn’t just choose something for no reason. I respect their choices, but wanted to make sure they understood mine.

I’ve done this from before my son was born. Before I knew I was going to become a mom. I sometimes need to rationalize the reason I made certain life choices. However, I changed my life many times in my 20s and early 30s, that I stopped explaining my reasons, and just did what I felt was best. I should probably continue that into my life as a mother.

All moms do things different. The second you get pregnant, you hear about how you SHOULD be doing things. Things as little as what sort of crib bedding is needed to the big issues like vaccination. (I vaccinate. No explanation needed.)

I don’t mind telling people why I’ve made the decisions, if they’re curious, or wondering about my thoughts behind it, but if they’re already judging me, nothing I say will change their opinion, and I shouldn’t have to defend myself on something that may not need defending.

Here are some things I’ve felt I need to explain.

I found it started at birth. I chose to have an epidural. I shouldn’t have to explain why. The reason is pretty obvious, but that doesn’t stop me from telling people. In reality, the epidural woke me up. Before I got it, I literally woke up for the pain, and then went back to sleep, and wasn’t able to communicate at all. Contractions took all of my energy. It helped me enjoy my labour (if that’s possible.) I don’t need a reason why, but that’s it.

Next there is the c-section. I think people should be able to say I gave birth. That’s all anybody needs to know. However, it’s good for others to hear birth stories. I was glad to hear stories before I had Anthony. I had a c-section. It was an emergency c-section after 17 hours of labour. But I shouldn’t have to explain that. I shouldn’t have to worry about being judged because of a c-section. I grew a baby for nine months, and brought a little boy into the world. No more explanation should be needed.

Whether or not to circumcise is a huge discussion between a lot of people. I’ve seen the judgment from both sides. Because this is a public blog, I won’t be telling you whether or not my son is circumcised. It’s not fair to him, and it’s nobody’s business. That’s not to say I wasn’t asked, and I chose to explain myself. I don’t think anybody needs to know, but if I choose to answer, no more questions should be asked.

The list of things I thought I should explain to others goes on:

  • The fact that Anthony slept in his crib from day three. I explained this one partially because I felt guilty that co-sleeping wasn’t going to work out. It was the best decision for all of us though.
  • My choice to use cloth diapers instead of disposable. Strangely enough, when people ask why I do this, I still don’t really know. It was what I wanted to do.
  • I had people question the way my son fell asleep in my arms for naps instead of being put down in his crib. He’s sleeping. He’s taking naps. I only get so many of these cuddles. And he’s loved. Nothing else needs to be said.

I’m sure there are so many things that other parents feel the need to explain. Or not. Maybe you are completely confident with your choices. And that’s pretty awesome. I do a lot of things I don’t explain. The things I’ve mentioned are the ones I’ve talked about more than once to friends, family, and acquaintances. They are things that stick in my head as things I need to defend.

The last thing I’ve noticed I’ve felt the need to explain to people is my recent decision to become a stay-at-home-mom. Or, in my case, a stay-at-home-writing-mom. I’ve spent a lot of years working, and I feel like I need to explain my choice. In fact, I wrote an entire blog explaining why I’m staying at home. I shouldn’t have to do that. My decision shouldn’t be judged. By me or anybody else.

I think from now on, I’d like to stop explaining myself. I’d like to be confident that what I’m doing is correct for my family. If somebody doesn’t agree, all the power to them. I’m the only person who can make my choices, and I need to be happy with them.

            I make my decisions for my baby. I want him to be happy, healthy, and I want him to know he’s loved. Those are the reasons I’ve made my choices. That’s the only explanation needed.