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 Mom in Focus: Meet Mary Beth!
Hi! Tell us a little bit about yourself and three words that describe you as a mom.
Fun, flexible, and passionate.
I am absolutely wild about my babies and feel like it is the biggest honor to be their mama. I try to never pass up an opportunity to laugh and play with my kids. I absolutely delight in them and find them hilarious. From dance parties in the family room to singing Bruno Mars at the top of our lungs in the car, these little humans are my favorite and I cannot get enough of them. I don’t take life too seriously, and am pretty flexible as a mom. I can roll with just about anything that comes my way which has served me well both in how my family has come about and in the day to day of motherhood.
2. And now tell us about your darling kid(s).
Hannah is 5 and fabulous. She is super into ballet, making artwork, and flamingos. She is silly and laughs easily at herself and her siblings. She is my helper and I have felt her absence as she started full day Kindergarten this fall. I count down the hours until she’s home every day!
Eden is 3 going on 13. She is bold, confident and passionate. She is a firecracker (born on July 3!) who knows what she wants at all times. She is quick to curl up on my lap and loves to snuggle and be close. She loves Katy Perry, dance parties, and playing outside with her puppy, Abbey. We call her our Puerto Rican Princess to which she regularly corrects us by telling us that she is the QUEEN, not a princess.
Gabriel was born sleeping last summer. He was 34 weeks and totally perfect, tiny, and sweet. I miss him every single day.
Jude is our sweet rainbow baby. He is 7 months old and has become a fast family favorite. He loves being held, his sisters, and eating. He is smiley, vocal, and loves to entertain anyone who makes eye contact with him. He loves chasing our cat and dog around and can arm crawl his way around our house with impressive speed.
And our family is about to grow! Our family is built through adoption and recently we were asked if we would consider taking Jude’s biological brother who is due this December! It was an instant YES, and we are thrilled!
3. How do you feel your style of mothering is like others?
I think that all mothers, including myself, are just trying their hardest to do the very best for and by our kids. I adore these little people and I just want to do the very best thing for them. We would all do ourselves a huge favor to just recognize that and give each other a lot of grace as this really is the hardest but most important job.
4. Since we’re focusing on judgment that moms experience, what have you felt judged for?
Adoption just comes with a whole stack of cringe worthy interactions with people, especially when your children look as uniquely as mine do. It is comical to me how not everyone jumps to the conclusion that they must be adopted and have been asked multiple times if they all have different fathers (as if they all were mine biologically).
I have had people come tell me out of the clear blue that if I were going to adopt I should have done so from a foreign country since those kids need a home.
I have been told I took the ‘easy way out’ since I didn’t have to go through labor for my children.
5. 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)?
All of this comes from a lack of understanding of adoption. On good days I am kind and patient with the random strangers who constantly inquire about my family dynamics. And it is constant. We can’t go anywhere without someone mentioning something about them and their looks and almost demanding an explanation as to how our family is made up. But there are days I am just not in the mood to educate! I don’t feel like hearing about their best friend’s sister who adopted a kid from Guatemala! YAY for them! HA! I just want to buy my groceries and go home.
Usually I know that people come from a good place, but I also have a responsibility to protect my children and their stories. I am brief and not afraid to tell someone that their story is private and not something I am comfortable discussing with someone we don’t know. But it almost always makes me break out in hives!
Adoption both domestically and internationally is important and beautiful. I never mind talking to someone who is considering it and helping them navigate how it works, but I am very careful about what I allow to be discussed in front of my children.
6. What would you like to tell the world about moms and why it’s important not to judge our choices?
As I said before, all moms are just trying to do the best they can. I like to be the kind of person that assumes the best and offers other moms the grace to parent the way they need to. Raising little people is hard work and we don’t need to make it any harder on each other by being judgmental or harsh. We need to cheer each other on!
7. Tell us your biggest joy about raising your kid(s).
I think just being a mom! I was told at a very young age I would likely never have children so the fact that here I am doing the thing I never thought would be possible just makes me smile! I don’t take this role as Mom for granted. I have worked so hard to bring these babies into my life and I am just so joyful about them! I could cry when I think about the fact that these precious children look at me and call me mama.
Thank you so much, Mary Beth, for sharing your thoughts and time with us. Want to see more of this darling mama and her little ones? 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!