I keep seeing shirts that say, “Mommin ain’t easy”. And while no, it isn’t easy, it isn’t quite as complicated as we are making it out to be sometimes. Here are a few things I have seen lately that make me think that we might be overthinking motherhood.
Are we perpetuating rape culture by picking up our children without their consent?
I read this article about a mom who always asks permission before picking up her toddler son. She feels that by picking up our children without asking their permission first (and getting a solid yes), that we are perpetuating rape culture. I respect that she wants to end rape culture, but this is seriously pushing it.
Do I even need to explain why this is crazy? Should we allow our children to tell us no and refuse to do what we tell them to because making them do things is encouraging them to become rapists? Let me just say, that if those things created sexual predators, then every single man, woman, and child I know would be one. If we want to stop rape culture, we need to look at what we are allowing into our homes.
And what about when I tell my toddler I am going to steal her kisses? That must be REALLY bad. Am I raising her to be a predator? Or even a victim?
I also pretend to eat her toes. Maybe she will grow up to be a cannibal.
Stop telling your children I Love You
Before I go any further, Jenny at This Tiny Blue House is a wonderful blogger, and I am sure she is an amazing mother. Read her blog. It is great. But this post on why we should stop telling our kids I love you, is what I would consider overthinking it.
Jenny feels like we should tell our children WHY we love them instead of just telling them we love them. Of course, that is a great thing to do, but please moms, don’t overthink things this much.
Tell your kids you love them, tell them why you love them, or tell them both. Whatever works for YOU. Just don’t change the way you express love to your children because one of us mom bloggers told you to. Love your child your own way. You don’t need help from the internet with that.
When moms have to fit into a box
Have you noticed that mom bloggers tend to fit into certain “types” of moms? One mommy blogger never ever uses her smart phone, but spends the entire day gazing into her child’s eyes lovingly, while another mom blogger is a wino and drops F bombs every other sentence to show you that she is “keeping it real”.
Or the super duper crunch mom who feeds her kids whole, organic foods that she cooked overnight from sprouted angel feathers, while another mom brags that her kids are doing just fine living off McDonald’s (okay, that is a stretch because we all know the McDonalds mom has been shamed into wearing black glasses and a hat when she is in the drive thru).
Can’t we be both? Sometimes, I worked so hard on my all organic, whole food meal plan, that on the way home from Whole Foods (where everyone gave me dirty looks for having four kids in the aisle), I need to stop for fast food because I just don’t feel like whipping up my tofu and broccoli yet.
Can’t we get misty eyed rocking the baby one minute because she is so stinking precious, and time is flying by, but then also want to toss her out the window the next morning because it is 4am, and she refuses to sleep?
I named this blog on a great day, but you should know that sometimes I am wise and joyful; sometimes I am not. I promise to never start dropping F bombs, but I can also tell you that there may be times when I am less than overflowing with joy. I am human. You are human. It happens.
When we forget that the most important thing about feeding babies is JUST that we feed them
When we let our newborns dehydrate because there is so much mom shame surrounding formula, we are overthinking it. Fed is best. Period.
I am a huge breastfeeding advocate. I am presently trying to wean an almost two year old. Some of you will judge me because I am still nursing. Others will judge me because I should let her wean on her own. I know adoptive mothers who feel like they have to explain why they are not breastfeeding when they have to bottle-feed in public. Meanwhile, there are breastfeeding moms hiding in a bathroom to nurse because they don’t want to offend anyone.
Let me share a secret- I am a pediatric nurse, so I know what the studies say about breastmilk vs. formula. However, I am adopted, and my birth mom drank, smoked, and did drugs while I was in utero. When I was born, I was formula fed. Now perhaps, I would have been the world’s leading brain surgeon if she hadn’t done those things, but I have done pretty well in life in spite of it. I got good grades, became a nurse, and some days, I am killing it at this whole mom thing.
So, for what it is worth, it is all going to be fine. Feed your baby what YOU want to. Just feed them!
Montessori for newborns
This is a real thing. Montessori is great. Montessori for newborns? Overthinking it.
This is an octahedron mobile. The octahedrons are designed to lay the foundations for future understandings of geometric proportion, relationships, and patterns. They are named for the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato. Babies eat, sleep, poop, and play. I think we can probably leave teaching them geometric proportion for later on.
All the lists of what we should say every day
Here are a few posts I have seen lately that make moms feel like they don’t know how to talk to their own children:
16 Things Your Teen Daughter Needs to Hear You Say
50 Things You Tween Daughter Needs to Hear You Say
10 Compliments Your Kid Needs to Hear
5 Phrases Your Son Wants You to Say
10 Things to Tell Your Teenage Son
Stop Saying You are So Smart
9 Uplifting Things to Say to Your Kids Each and Every Day
36 Positive Things to Say to Your Kids Each Day
Things to Stop Saying to Your Teen
Did you lose count of how many things we should say to our kids each day? Me too! I would have to print out lists and refer to them on the hour.
Here is the truth: some moms may need these lists because perhaps they didn’t come from a positive home. Maybe they aren’t familiar with how to be encouraging, and these posts are wonderful for getting ideas. But we do not need to say anything specific to our kids each and ever day. We do not need to be overthinking it that much.
If you are spending time with your children (without your phone) throughout the day, and you are talking with them as you go about life together, you are already doing a great job.
God tells us that we are to teach our children: talking about the Word when we sit at home, when we walk along the road, when we lie down, and when we get up. He has already instructed us in what to talk to our kids about.
We’ve got this!
Our moms weren’t perfect, but they raised us just fine without all the pressure of being perfect that we have to deal with. They didn’t ruin us by picking us up without permission as toddlers, or forgetting to tell us that we are special every day. There is no need to overthink it.
I’m going to leave you with one of the final scenes from Mom’s Night Out. I think Bones sums it up perfectly!