Moms share stories. That’s what we do. When we get together, we talk about our kids and our relationships with them. Sometimes our stories are about the sweet moments we witness. Sometimes they’re about our amazement of their new skills. Sometimes we throw our hands up in frustration. He’ll only eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or she won’t go on the potty. As parents, we’re so proud of the fact that we’re able to keep these tiny humans alive day to day that we can’t help but respond with our own stories or advice.
I get excited when I’ve been turned onto a new concept in child rearing. Especially when it’s not mainstream. It might be about the oils I add to the diffuser to aid congestion, the cloth diapers we put on our babies or the elimination of GMOs from their diets. Maybe it’s the paraben free lotions or the homemade soap. No matter what it is, I spend the time researching, listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, reading blogs and ingesting any information I can on the topic. Then it’s like I go on a quest to tell anyone and everyone who will listen about my newfound obsession. It’s my way of reviewing my notes and acing the test.
Except when I get together with my closest mom friends and we’re so consumed with catching up about our families and loving on each other’s babies. I want to tell them what I’ve learned but it doesn’t feel natural anymore. I feel like sharing these obsessions becomes less of me passing on the knowledge that I’ve acquired and more like a judgment on them for not being aware of these methods. Let me be clear, that’s not what I’m doing, but it feels to me like I am.
To tell the truth, I’m equally worried they’ll pass judgment on me for straying from the tried and true methods of mainstream motherhood. Maybe I don’t want to know if they think I’m crazy for making my own baby food or smearing my baby’s bottom with coconut oil instead of diaper cream. Parenting is personal and I would never want anyone to feel that I’ve been judging them for their methods just as I hope I am not being judged.
So while I write this blog, please know that I may be thrilled about something new I have learned and want to shout it to the world, I am never thinking that an alternative way is the wrong way. The more I learn, the more I see that there is a whole community of women out there ready to swap stories and lift each other up. If I share my stories with you, of course, I want to bring you with me. But I will never love you less if you don’t want to.