Advocacy vs. Condemnation

Today I was asked a very good question that I think needs to be addressed here.  I started this blog and the adjoining FB page, “The Cautious Mom” about 5 months ago now.  If it were a baby, this page and it’s creative ideas, plans and what it can become are barely 20 weeks gestation right now and it’s squirming, wiggly self is barely able to be felt by the world outside.

 5 months gestation 

This page and it’s ideas are still being formed and developed, and as it is, some things are still a mystery… but the core values of what this page represents should NEVER be one of those unknown, enigmatic ideas.

The question I was asked, was “if you’re a stay at home mom, tandem nursing a 2 year old and an 11 month old looking into home school for your toddler while struggling for money because you don’t want to leave them at a day care, but you sit online and say you support moms who use formula or have to work… how is that possible?  How can you really be in support of these things when you believe there are better ways and you, yourself, do things totally opposite?

Good question.  Harsh, but good.  Well, here’s the deal mamas…

The Cautious Mom represents, celebrates and provides sustenance for the intuition we all have to do the right thing for our babies.  We are flooded with information online and yet, we STARVE for real, sustaining truth.  We know it’s there… floating like the illusive white whale in an ocean of nonsense.  We crave it like an insane ship’s captain because we KNOW its real, that place of peaceful parenting where we can sit content that we did the right thing… we need it like a drug.  Our hormones and our protective mother instincts demand it.

As the moderator for this blog, the Facebook page “The Cautious Mom” and the sister page, “The Cautious Kitchen”, I am an advocate for healthy pregnancy, healthy mom, healthy home, physically, mentally, holistically.  I fight for a parent’s right to know how to make good choices for their families by giving everyone here as much good info as possible.  Whether the topic is health and fitness, disease prevention, exposure to creative opportunities, play and communication, infant and child psychology, food and breast milk, extended nursing, sleep habits and understanding what is in our food, cosmetics and body products, all these and many more topics need to be explored.  There are literally MILLIONS of things that we could do or eat or buy that could inadvertently hurt our children simply because we don’t know any better.  Ignorance is a disease.  The Cautious Mom seeks to provide some balance to the world of ignorance by providing fact.  That’s what we do here.  That’s ALL we do here.  The reality is, sometimes in order to have a truly healthy family, you have to break the rules.  There are variables that change the absolutes on a daily basis.  Yes, breast milk is better than formula.  If you can’t breastfeed, does that mean you starve your baby? No, of course not. You use the best formula you can find, or you opt for a milk bank if you are into that idea.  Yes, being at home with your babies is best.  If you need to work because you’re a single mom, does that mean you’re a bad parent if you have to put your child into daycare? No, of course not. You do the best you can, finding the best care possible while you earn money to raise your family.  See, it’s not all black and white. Parenting is many, many shades of gray and every other color in the known spectrum.  To say there is only one, right way is like saying you’re only allowed to use one color crayon your whole life because all other colors are evil.  It’s just plain stupid.

This is NOT a page to bash anyone’s choices or life struggles.  This is NOT a page to condone the sanctimommy monsters and their nasty attitudes of self-righteousness.  This is NOT a place to condemn someone’s decisions.  This is a place to compassionately provide information so we can ALL do better.  It’s not about what you did when you didn’t know… it’s about doing all you can once you do.  I’ve said this before, but I’ll restate it just to be clear- Once you know something, you can’t un-know it. You cannot unlearn something and you are burdened with that knowledge forever.  You can choose to ignore it, but you will never un-learn it.  You can pretend it doesn’t matter, but you can never say you weren’t aware.  This leaves a heavy burden of truth on the shoulders of every parent to continually do the right thing, whether we like it or not.  This is why I think it’s so important to truly know what you’re getting into by having children before you consider pregnancy.  Unless you are going to ignore the truth, the fact is pregnancy, birth, raising a family and continually doing the right thing is really hard.  Anyone who tells you it’s all “beautiful, magical and just comes naturally” is absolutely, 100% full of crap.  Not just regular crap, a big steaming 2 week old diaper left in the back seat of the car in California in August kind of crap.  They’re lying, they forgot or they’re one of those people who chose to put themselves first and their babies took a backseat to their comfort.  That’s all there is to it.

So, yeah.  Parenting is hard.  Finding good information that provides truth while not bashing parents for making choices that work for their families is hard.  We want to support people in their decisions because we already know as parents NO decision is ever really easy anymore.  Finding the information to make the best decision should be.

So just to clear this up once and for all… Do I have opinions? Sure, of course I do.  I make my decisions based on the facts I find and yeah, I have opinions on those facts and I absolutely do get frustrated when people ignore the facts to make life easier instead of pushing through to do the right thing for their family. Do I judge those people? No.  No really.  I mean, seriously – what’s the point? Maybe I don’t have all the information. Maybe there are FACTS that I’m unaware of.  It’s none of my business what someone else does with their babies.  All I can do is provide facts and hope for the best for someone’s family.  Compassion and love changes people.  Shaking a finger at someone for doing things differently than you does no one any service, least of all those babies you deserve the very best.  It only alienates you from others and builds a wall between you and whatever message you are trying to teach.

Do I believe everyone should do things the way I do? No.  The facts I find and live by are facts that work for me and they’re hard to live by, trust me.  Ultimately, my life is not your life.  I had a clone once in school… someone who no matter what I did, did the same thing.  It was creepy and strange and that is NOT what I am looking to recreate here. LOL That being said, if you find something better, I do hope you’ll share it with me, share it here on this page or the FB page and open up my, and every other mama’s eyes to a new truth that we can take with us in our bag of tricks and do better by knowing better.

We can change our minds here and that’s the most important part.  We are inclusive not exclusive. We advocate- we do not condemn. We seek knowledge, we don’t shun the truth because it’s a drag.  We don’t ignore people in need, we help them.  This is not a “mean girls” club.  This is a “smart girls” club.  We are Hermione not Stacey Dash.  

I hope that clears things up.

Love and light, mamas ❤

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