Let’s face it. It’s hard being a mom in today’s day in age. Not to diminish previous generations, at all, but this whole Pinterest social media blasted day and age of mothering can be rough. There are a lot of stereotypes that come into play. How a mom should look. Act. Dress. Going even beyond, and that much more damaging, is how a mom should mother. Not only do we come in all shapes and sizes, but we also all tend to our little(s) differently. Not only is that OK, but it should be celebrated!
With that being said, I could not be more excited to introduce my new series on A Life From Scratch: Moms in Focus. I’ve partnered up with the oh so talented photographer, Michele Ryan of Silver Branch Photography, to bring a you a series that focuses on the beauty of mothering in all different shapes and styles. All of these moms have felt judged in one way or another, and this series has been created to shed light on how that can make a mom feel. Let’s even the playing field a bit, shall we? Deep down at the core, we moms are all really just trying to do our best.
Without further ado, I introduce to you another wonderful Mom in Focus: Meet Courtney!
Hi! Tell us a little bit about yourself and three words that describe you as a mom.
My name is Courtney and I am a domestic engineer of three boys, one husband and one hamster! I like to crochet, craft, be outside and takes my kids on adventures. My husband works at a chemical plant and works a lot of hours! I am very independent, so we work well together.
And now tell us about your darling kid(s).
Vincent is 10 and looks like his father and acts like his mom! He has a strong will and is smart as a whip! He is very sociable and likes school so he can be with all his friends. Anthony is 8 and looks like his mom and acts like his dad! A bit quieter, not as social, but very caring and nurturing. He’s always concerned about his fellow classmates and loves to help take care of his baby cousins!
Max is 4 and is very attached to his mom! He is my rainbow baby and a spitfire. He was a very fussy baby and toddler and he earned the nickname, Maxifuss for a reason!
How do you feel your style of mothering is like others?
I feel like there are moms like me who are laid back and kind of roll with the punches and take it a day at a time. Some days they fight so much I don’t know what the heck to do, and I know many moms feel that way! I let my kids play in the mud and just be kids! Some days you just have to set the cleaning aside, choose your battles and let them take the couch cushions off and play
their made up game: fall into the water. Life is too short, enjoy those times!
Since we’re focusing on judgment that moms experience, what have you felt judged for?
I would consider myself a person who practices attachment parenting with a bit of crunchy thrown in: I breastfed, babywore, did cloth diapers, didn’t allow my children to cry a lot, when they cried, I picked them up and never allowed them to cry too
long, or at all! I have often felt judged for that last part.
I lost a baby before Max came along and it was very difficult for me to work through that.
I had Max and then he had to be admitted into the hospital for severe jaundice. I couldn’t breastfeed him or hold him and he was under the lights 24 hours for a day and a half. It was a very stressful time for me and I thought I was going to lose this baby like I had lost my previous baby. After he got out of the hospital I wanted to be near him all the time and never wanted to leave him! But as soon as he was born, he was attached! The doc took him for some tests and they took him off of my chest and he cried! So
he and I were attached to each other since birth! I wore him all over the place because he cried so much and was so fussy and I had two other children to deal with. I would get quite a few comments on how I was attached to him and it was my fault
that he wanted to be by me, and that really hurt me. They didn’t know all the pain I had been through losing a baby and then my baby being in a hospital. Did him wanting me 24 hours annoy me at times? Of course it did, but don’t all kids get on our
nerves at one time or another? There were times I wish some moms could have supported me, instead of saying, “well you made him that way, you deal with it!” It was a very lonely time for me because I couldn’t go anywhere because he cried so
much, and he had to be by me 24 hours a day. So all in all, I have felt the most judged for my attachment parenting and how I nurtured them so much.
How did that make you feel? What was your response to any uncomfortable situations or discussions you’ve been in because of someone judging you (if there have been any)?
It made me feel very alone and not like a good mom. I already have self esteem issues as is, then to hear the hurtful things I did, it didn’t help. My response has always been the same: this is how I parent, you may do it differently and that’s ok. I
tell them they have not been through what I have and this is just the way it is!
What would you like to tell the world about moms and why it’s important not to judge our choices?
Moms need help and support not judgment! A lot of times moms are afraid to go out in public with their kids because of judgment. Myself included. What we need sometimes is someone to kneel down next to us while our kid is throwing a fit in the store and say, “Can I help you?” Or even just saying, hey, I have been there done that! Moms need understanding, no child is perfect, they WILL mess up and do dumb ass stuff, but that is why we are here, to guide them and teach them the right way! I had some core moms that supported me during the Maxifuss years, and I am forever grateful for them! Moms need to know they are not alone, and they need to know their job is the best job anyone could ever have!
Tell us your biggest joy about raising your kid(s). `
My biggest joy is seeing them enjoy life and have new experiences! I also enjoy seeing them help others and put others first at times! Doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it makes me proud! They have taught me many things like to forgive easily and often and to just take time to laugh and play! And that is what I enjoy, seeing them laugh and enjoy life and raising good young men that will make good husbands, because I can’t take care of them the rest of my life, I’m tired! 😉
Thank you so much, Courtney, for sharing your time and your beautiful boys with us. I had to laugh at the ‘Maxifuss’ nickname. My youngest was 100% like that. We would joke all he wanted in life was to re enter my womb as he was SO attached to me. And I didn’t do any of the typical ‘attachment parenting’ methods! Sometimes kids just are who they are I suppose. 🙂
Want to see more? Head on over to the Moms In Focus Facebook Page – and be sure to follow us along for updates including more moms to come. Yippee!