Happy Monday! I hope you guys had a great weekend soaking up all kinds of Fall fun! It’s still really hot here so I’ll live vicariously through those of you who are enjoying cozy fires at home and changing leaves. We took Coco along with us on our date night Friday and it was such a special night. Four is a really great age. She can enjoy a later dinner, have real conversations (most are hilarious) and is past the age where she needs a change of scenery or a “walk to explore” at restaurants. We try to do a few things with just Coco each week since Griffin is at an age where he needs a lot of attention. Two is nothing less than wild, that’s for sure.
Current #MOMLIFE Favorites
Speaking of Griffin, he’s 14 months and I haven’t done an update on him in forever! He is toddling around the house, pulling up and getting into just about everything. This age comes with it’s fair share of challenges that are new to Austin and I. Coco wasn’t much of a mover so we really have to be on it with the baby-proofing. You just can’t take your eyes off of our little guy! We struggled to find a baby gate that worked for our staircase which is extra wide. After trying (and failing) at installing several gates on our own, we decided to have one custom built. We are thrilled with not only how it looks, but how it functions as well. If you’re in Southern California, Rustic Renovations was an amazing company to work with and we highly recommend them! I just love how curious he is in this photo…plotting his next escape for sure.
Our weekend rounded out in a not so fun way. Coco woke up Sunday with a fever and a cough. I get so much anxiety when my kids get sick. Am I the only one? At the end of the day, it’s HARD to be a parent! Which brings me to my next point- Mom Judgement. It happens to all of us. Nobody is safe. Mom Judgement usually comes in a pretty package. It’s not like anyone is outright about it…nope. Judgement is slipped into snide side comments or said in a “joking manner”. Of course! So if you were to call out the person passing judgement, it could easily be waved off as…”I was joking!”….or “I’m just giving you a hard time”.
That’s around the point where I feel like Sensitive Sally. Which maybe I am. Or maybe I try to generally not be a jerk and expect the same from others. Am I perfect? Absolutely NOT and I’ve definitely judged other people for things. But I really cannot recall one instance in my life where I’ve actually said something to another mother, about a choice that they’ve made, that could be interpreted as mean or judgmental. Everyone makes different choices in how they raise, feed, discipline, diaper, play and educate their children. And for the most part, I believe that everyone is trying to do what is best for their kids. I find that those comments typically happen when I’m doing something different than what would be considered “the norm”.
On insta-stories, I chatted about my experience with breast feeding Coco until she was 2.5. People had their fair share of issues with that. They outright would tell me I needed to stop- multiple times from multiple people. For the record, I’ve never told anyone to stop giving their child a bottle of formula. Nursing Coco for so long meant that I was home to put her to bed 99% of the time for 2.5 years. People went bananas over this one! We rarely left Coco with a sitter. And the only time we’ve left her over night was when we had Griffin. I was told this wasn’t “healthy for my marriage.” I was told we were “too scheduled” and “not spontaneous enough.” Someone even suggested that Coco didn’t walk until she was 16.5 months because we held her too much. I’ll never forget the way my pediatrician looked at me when I asked her if that was possible. She literally laughed out loud and said that would go down in the books as one of the most ridiculous things she’s ever heard in her medical career.
The thing is…hearing these things bred a level of insecurity in me that I’ve never felt before. I questioned all of my choices even though they felt right in my heart and for my family. I was constantly apologizing for my decisions. Each time I left a party or girls night early to go home to my family or arrived late because I wanted to put my kids to bed, I was embarrassed and apologized. Each time I said no to plans to spend time with my family, I apologized or made excuses. Everyone says, “You do YOU.” In fact, that phrase is overused now. Yet, many times, when I did me, I felt judged. Or heard about what was said the next day…word still travels fast in your 30’s. In the years since I’ve had Coco, I’ve done a lot of work on myself. It’s been a transitional time in my life on so many levels. But what I’m learning is that it’s ok to do things my way. I can’t say that I don’t care about what others think…because I do. Probably too much. But I’m working on letting these little comments (that feel really big and hurtful at the time) bounce off of me. I’ve set boundaries with people and distanced myself from those that I don’t jive with. I value the people in my life that support me. That’s not to say we always agree- but we have conversations and work through things. They challenge me and my decisions and I can feel that it comes from a place of love.
They’ve been there like so many of you who wrote to me last week saying that you felt judged because you breast fed and didn’t bottle feed. That you kept a strict schedule. That you chose to put your child in daycare. That you chose to work and not stay home. That you chose to stay home with your baby and quit your job. That you feed your children fast food. People made rude comments to you in the parking lot of the grocery store when your child was screaming. When your child didn’t have socks on and it was chilly. They were critical of your parenting on the airplane. They told you your daughter was too old for a pacifier. Too young for solids. That your infant needed solids because they were too skinny. That your teen was getting heavy. I mean…I’m exhausted.
Today, as women, we are bombarded with messages about lifting one another up. About support. Empowerment. Kindness. Love. Sounds great. But are we actually doing that in real life? The golden rule applies here…treat others as you want to be treated. It’s so simple! Be kind. Aka, don’t be an asshole. And be confident in your own choices. I’m going to continue to work on both. My Soul Cycle instructor had a quote on her Instagram page that seems fitting here:
The hardest step she ever took was to blindly trust in who she was.
Thank you so much to all that shared your experiences with me on Insta Stories last week. I appreciate you so much and as always, thank you for following along. xo