It’s 2:25 am and I almost snapped a selfie that involved a bottle, my baby, and half of my face (the good side, of course). Then I stopped myself.
“I do NOT feel like having people judge the fact that we have to formula feed most of Aria’s diet due to my body’s lack of being a milk factory,” I told myself.
As soon as I hit the home button on my phone, I remembered how I really felt.
“Not like what we care about them anyway. Right, Aria?”
And with that, Aria fist pumped and took the bottle like a champ. Well, she’s two-months-old and fist pumps are still in the reflex stage. But, solidarity, sister.
As she finished her bottle and curled up to take her position on my shoulder for burping, she gave me the shyest smile. This girl had no idea that by being born, she completely changed me and how I react to the world.
Since becoming a mom, I’ve entered a phase. A phase of nope-you-do-not-want-to-try-me-today, and did-I-ask-for-your-opinion. I shall call it a bold motherhood.
Before becoming a mom, I felt like I needed to justify even the most minute actions that I took. From working out, to eating organic foods, to even living in our neighborhood, I felt that I was constantly being judged for my decisions. For some time, I dreaded sharing our parenting decisions because I’ve seen far too many Facebook comments that were simply vicious. I’ve read words that tear people to shreds, and even witnessed conversations between acquaintances turn into Mommy Competitions. Yet, now as a mom, I’m a new kind of bold. What once bothered me doesn’t.
If you see that I cloth diaper and want to make me feel bad about the extra laundry I do, then fine.
If you see that I give my daughter formula while I’m out shopping and want to tell me that “breast is best”, then fine.
If you see that I choose to wear my daughter in our fabulous carrier instead of my arms and it bothers you because it’s not old school, then fine.
If you see that my baby’s hair is as wild as her heart and try to tell me that I need to put lotion on it, then fine
While I will say that it’s all fine, you must also realize something else: I have the right to defend my parenting choices and I also have the right to not indulge in your negativity. I have the right to politely nod and smile, and I also have the right to tell you exactly how I feel because you’re raining on my parade. The beauty of it all is that you can continue making decisions that fit your family’s lifestyle, and I can continue making decisions that fit ours. You can continue living your bold motherhood, and I can continue living mine. Even if it includes sunglasses on a cloudy day.