That sentence scared me like nothing else in pregnancy ever had. What does it even mean, to be a good mother? How does one qualify what a good mother looks like, sounds like? And if some mothers are good mothers, that means there are bad mothers - and what if I was secretly one of them? What if I was selfish sometimes and wanted to go to the bathroom without my kid in there with me, what if I wanted to leave my baby with his daddy and escape to the coffee shop sometimes, does that make me a bad mommy?
|Is this what a bad Mommy looks like?|
What if I put my sleeping baby down in a swing, does that make me a bad mommy? What if cloth diapers just don't work for us overnight - now am I a bad mommy?
It's all just too much to think about, defining who is and who isn't a bad mommy. I can only focus on what I choose to do because it feels right to me.
It feels right to put my sleeping baby in a swing, where he will be rocked and loved while I breathe and sip the cold coffee I made for myself hours earlier. It feels right to put him in a disposable diaper so that neither of us are waking every hour for a diaper change. It feels right to take time to re-charge every so often, to remind myself that I am just "I" - not always a "We."
It feels right to breastfeed my baby, but if that didn't work for us the way it has so far, it would feel right to make sure my baby was fed and happy - no matter what I had to do to accomplish that task.
In 2008 I had the chance to be a part of a community where nobody is judged for any choice that they happen to make, as long as it is respectful to others. I felt absolutely freed from the world's negativity. I vowed that I would return to my life and work harder than ever before to make sure nobody I ever encountered felt judged for any choice they make (as long as it was respectful towards others). I've slipped up more than once, but I still continue forward with this mission, especially now that becoming a mommy has opened up a gorgeously diverse group of women for me.
But as I get to know these mothers, as I move forward as a mother myself... I'm realising that I never stopped judging myself. I never stopped and allowed myself to simply make the best choices that I can. I haven't let myself believe that it's okay not to be an absolutely perfect mother.
Or that maybe I get to be the one who decides what perfect means for my family. I think it is time to move forward, to let go. I think it's time for freedom.