Friday, May 11, 2012

"Are You Mom Enough?"




















When I saw the front cover of Time Magazine yesterday, I immediately felt uneasy. If you don't know what I'm talking about, click here.

I'm not interested in debating the importance of nursing here... I just won't go there.... because I was the one who didn't nurse my baby. I had absolutely no choice in the matter, really, and I can blame it all on an overproduction of milk and inverted nipples. Nice. After 6 weeks of the most horrendous experience of my life (okay maybe not the most horrendous, but it comes in a very close second) and after trying everything under the sun to make it work, I was given the specific order to stop nursing by my OBGYN. My body literally could not perform the task of breast feeding.

I was devastated. This is NOT how it was supposed to be.

I felt like a failure; the world's worst mother. But it didn't take long for me to realize that there was no point in stressing and stewing and feeling guilty over something that I had no power over. I couldn't nurse my son, so what? And so one day, I put all the guilt aside and moved on in my role as a mother, leaving my idea of 'how it should be' behind, and instead focused on 'how it was going to be from now on'.

So this post is not about whether or not you breast-fed and/or for how long you chose to do so. I think that is a very personal and individual matter for each woman, depending on what works best for her and her child. And I don't even want to touch the controversial picture shown on the cover either.

But what I do want to address is the tasteless combination and presentation of the 4 words posed in question form of: "Are You Mom Enough?"


HUH!?

What exactly does "Mom Enough" mean?

Are we really this desperate as a people to start yet another ridiculous mommy-war over who is doing it the so-called 'right way'? Why the need to create such a great divide among mothers? Aren't we all trying to do the same thing; raise happy and healthy children? And if we're all yearning for the same end result, why does it matter which road we take to get there?

Situations vary for every single one of us. What might work for one woman may be totally opposite for another. There is no ideal 'brand' of motherhood that is one-size fits all. It just doesn't work that way.

So I'm going to go ahead and answer Time's question of "Are You Mom Enough?"

Well, I didn't nurse my son to the 6 month minimum suggested requirement. I fed him by bottle, using Costco formula because it was the cheapest. He is now being raised in a 'broken home' by a single mom. Sometimes I make little mistakes. Sometimes I make big(ger) mistakes. But since you asked...


YES, I AM MOM ENOUGH because I am doing the very best I can given my personal circumstance! And this very truth is reflected in the happiness, confidence and overall well-being of my son. Period. There is nothing more to discuss on the matter. I am not perfect by any means and I am always striving to be better, but by golly I am enough and no one can convince me otherwise.




















Ladies, I hope that this Mother's Day and always, instead of focusing on all the reasons you might not be "mom enough" in the eyes of so many, I hope that you'll find great pleasure in the many reasons you ARE!

**Tell me all the reasons YOU ARE MOM ENOUGH! Please don't be bashful :)




21 comments:

  1. I just hate how society tries to make moms take sides on all these issues. You're either extreme or not, attachment or CIO, or whatever. There's no balance. Why isn't there more encouragement to just learn from and accept people's choices and respect each other for loving our kids in the ways in which we choose to express our love for them? There's such diversity among the choices that we make as moms, and that means there's so much for us to learn from each other. Why do we have to pick sides or fit into a mold? You hit the nail on the head - being mom enough is about loving your kids a LOT!

    I feel like I'm mom enough because my kids are secure in the love I have for them.

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  2. Great post Jacy. I am enough not because I cook and clean, read to them, Go to the schools often take an interest in their education, know where they are and who they are with and I Stay home with them. My own mother did none of these things. But she was enough too because like you said she did her best. We learn and grow in Motherhood just like everything else in life.I am a much better mother now then when my children were younger, And I am a Awesome Grandma!
    So my Mom struggled when we were small children. And yes she was ridiculed by the other "Better" Moms in the neighborhood. But I'll tell you what my Mother taught me more about empathy, compassion, being non judgmental, honesty, faith, and forgiveness. Then any of those other "better" moms. because my mother had those things! She taught me the the most important life lessons by example. And she was the best mom of Adult children EVER! she was my biggest cheerleader and me and my siblings best friend. So I am enough too. Because I make mistakes. And I know it. and then I just try a little harder the next day. We are all enough if we are taking one day at a time and doing our best.
    I miss my Mom she has been gone for 9 years and I will NEVER stop missing her.

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  3. If being mom enough were only about nursing, i'd def take that route....much easier than the real deal! too bad it's not all that simple right?!!

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  4. I liked this article about the topic http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-belkin/no-i-am-not-mom-enough_b_1507550.html. I really like how she talks about motherhood being a village where we can support each other and learn from each other, then choose our own choices. Nobody's experiences are the same and yet it is so easy to judge someone else or look down on them or say we wouldn't have done it that way because we have a clearly superior idea.

    Feeling inadequate as a mother is a tool Satan uses to get us discouraged and want to give up. It's so easy to see that when I look at others, but then I can turn around and let myself be really vulnerable to this. It is something I need to work on. I wasn't close with my mom growing up and still am not and I really struggle with the balance between nurturer and disciplinarian. I want my daughter to love me and (one day) appreciate the job I tried to do as her mom.

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    1. Thank yo for this link Bec! It's great ;)

      I, too, struggle with the balance between nurturer and disciplinarian... but it sounds like you're doing a really, really good job!

      Welcome to my blog! I'm so glad you found yourself here and commented! I just checked out your blog and see that you just started... I'm eager to get to know you better! I hope you'll add yourself as a follower and stick around! I love new friends!

      XO

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  5. Awesome, Jacy ! I seriously love this post ! I am MOM ENOUGH ! I am mom enough because my kids choose me over their friends. I am mom enough because I savor the moments I get to experience as I watch them learn and grow. We don't have a a lot, but we make the most from everyday moments like making dinner together and lots of tickle fights to singing at bedtime and letting them express themselves as much as possible (even if it means letting my daughter wear bright yellow shirts & green pants together). And more than anything - I am mom enough because I want to be better everyday and I want my children to be better individuals than me.

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    1. Thank you for this comment S and WELCOME here! I read your blog a few days ago and I really like it! I'm sorry you're in this club... but I think you'll find writing to be SO therapeutic! It was for me anyway :)

      Yes, you ARE mom enough... thank you for sharing this!

      If you haven't already... add yourself as a follower and stay in touch... we are all in this together... cheesy as it sounds... :)

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  6. You are a great mom!! There are so many ways to be a mom. I am an advocate for breastfeeding but I also understand that it doesn't work for everyone. I am tired of everyone pushing each other into these black and white, good and bad camps. We all are doing our best and we need to support each other in that, not tear each other down. So glad you're my friend!!

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  7. I am mom enough, I breastfeed painfully (inverted but determained that was the only way) finally formed to enjoy at 6 months of fourth child . I didn't feel good enough until my mom died of cancer and her last words to me were, "I am so proud of you, go take care of your family. " I since have received another precious child to our family and could not breastfeed her because milk-allergy. I am so glad motherhood is not based on breastfeeding.

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  8. Heather! WELCOME here :) I'm so glad you found me and even more that you commented... I love what your mother said to you... I'm sorry of her loss... but her words spoke truth. What a lovely reminder.

    Well my fellow invertee... lol... I'm in awe of your strength to keep feeding even though the obstacle... but I, too, am happy my job as a mom isn't based on my ability to nurse... :)

    I really hope you'll continue to follow and comment here. Join the community! I'm excited to get to know you better!

    Thank you again!

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  9. I am mom enough because my children adore me and I adore them. The end.

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  10. P.s. He is a beautiful baby!

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  11. I looove this post. I love your whole blog really. Confession: a friend of mine sent me to your blog a little while ago and I loved reading your dating stories..I can so relate!,, glad we found each other!

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    1. Thanks Brooke! Sooo you're one of the lurkers... :) Glad you confessed! haha!

      Stoked to get to know you better! :)

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  12. I blogged about the same article! Great blog Jacy! I couldn't agree more. Happy Mother's day P.S your little boy is a doll:)

    Shannon

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  13. The Time cover was a blatant ploy to create controversy and sell magazines. Absolutely shameful.

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    1. And by shameful, I mean shame on Time for trying to divide and judge moms in the name of selling their stupid magazines.

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  14. Even though my son has yet to grace us with his presence, I know I'll be mom enough when I do exactly what you said...doing the best that I can in my given circumstance. Mom's have enough pressure without feeling like they have to conform to a specific mold. My mom gave a talk in church yesterday, and shared this quote that I love: "There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children....What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else." -Elder M. Russell Ballard

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  15. LOVE this post! I, too, had a difficult time trying to breastfeed and did all I felt I could even to the point that I have scars from my efforts and ended up exclusively pumping for 6 months before stoping for my sanity. In a society where you must not care enough about your baby if you're not breastfeeding (the way it sometimes feels) it is hard to be the mom who's using formula. I learned, however, that I just had to feel proud of all I did trying to do what I could for my kids and be thankful that I live in a time when there is such a thing as formula. I wish we as mothers could focus less on what's "wrong or right" and more on just supporting eachother. Hooray for this!

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  16. Ok, Jacy, now you're just freaking me out. I know when I sent you that email, I said I felt connected to you. Then, as I was sifting through your blog posts, I found this one. I posted ALMOST THIS EXACT SAME THING about that Time magazine cover. Loved your post. My struggles breastfeeding with both of my children were exactly the same as what you described.

    You can read my post or not. No biggie. Just thought it was funny we posted something so similiar. http://suzescorner.blogspot.com/2012/05/mommy-wars-or-mommy-support-systems.html

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