Last week I finished several eHow baby videos for Mates Media. It certainly wasn’t painful work, I love talking to moms about motherhood, exchanging ideas, and sharing information. I have an insecurity about being online with a blog and videos. Not all moms are as comfortable sharing “what worked for me” and “this is what really reliable research is showing” sort of conversations about parenting. We’re all sensitive about different things. I generally deal with my “sensitivities” pretty bluntly and being wrong about how I’m handling something with Karsten is usually not a super soft spot for me (not that I don’t have my moments...). I’ve worked with so many moms and helped tackle so many issues that it would be incredibly arrogant of me to think that I wouldn’t also have blind spots. I’ve done it for so long that I’m not as sensitive as I think I would be if it were new to me.
This isn’t the normal “new mom” story. I’m insecure because (though I have years of care-taking and educating experience) to be labeled a “parenting expert” feels silly when you only have one child. It also gives an air of importance, one that might try to usurp the authority of the mother. I’m insecure because I know that I’m no expert. I’m not an expert on you, your child, or your family. You are the only expert on your family- you are the “professional”.
I easily retain and categorize information that I find interesting to me but it’s information available to all mothers. Some great resources:
- Dr. Sears (www.askdrsears.com)
- A local lactation consultant (like from the hospital you delivered at)
- WIC (www.fns.usda.gov/wic/)
- Friends/family who have kids that are (overall) well behaved and respectful
- A GOOD and RELAXED family doctor or pediatrician
- For pregnancy and labor I highly recommend Active Birth
The best resource? Educating yourself, deciding what is important to you, and trusting your gut.
I have heard doctors (even good doctors) repeated as saying things like, “You won’t be able to produce enough milk,” “Your baby is too heavy”, and “It’s fine to feed them solids at 4 months.”
You are the greatest advocate, source of nurture, and caregiver your children will know. Loving them well is so much more than a full time job. You are to be the professional and expert on your children. If a doctor, teacher, or family member says something to you that doesn’t seem to make sense it is your job to question, research, and decide what's right.
I’m thankful to be given the opportunity to share videos like these. There’s so much pressure put on moms, from within and without. Partner that with conflicting information from the medical community, family and motherhood becomes much more complicated than it needs to be. The importance of "image" feels to be at an all-time high. Maybe that's just because coveting is no longer aimed at the limited friends and neighbors you come in contact with but is now a global and connected obsession. Don't know what I mean? Visit Pinterest.com. Fearing judgment and not living up to an image is probably the most draining pitfall I see in my own heart and in the lives of so many moms around me.
My prayer for other moms is my prayer for myself: do what’s important and don’t sweat the small stuff. If you do the research, ask the questions, and we come up with different "important issues." Then who cares? Some moms are "co-sleeping" fanatics. I love those moms. Some moms are "get those babies in the crib" moms. I love those moms too. We have different definitions of important and I'm ok with that. It's small stuff.