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 Sara!
Hi! Tell us a little bit about yourself and three words that describe you as a mom.
My name is Sara Boudreau and I am a first time mom. I am a born and bred country girl who moved to the city for her husband and then slowly convinced him that the small town life was the perfect life. I have a soft spot in my heart for animals (as can be told by my 3 furry children) and enjoy spending time at the local animal control caring for the unwanted animals. Three words that can describe me as a mom are: chill, post-partum anxiety survivor, and modern.
And now tell us about your darling kid(s).
My daughter, Samantha, is 9 months old. She was born February 7th, 4 weeks premature. She is a very happy child who loves to experience new things and enjoys our weekly trips to the animal control to see what new (and sometimes exotic) animals we can see. So far she loves pigs, not so fond of goats. She is nosy and loves to know what’s going on and I can see that my future will be spent chasing her down.
How do you feel your style of mothering is like others?
As laid back as I try to be, I find myself wondering if I am failing her in some aspects. I love reading to her and showing her the wonder of books, but at the same time we may have the TV on too much. I try to enrich her life as much as possible, but there are days when just getting my act together is a chore. I see all these mothers saying that their child is getting breast milk for 2 or even 3 years and I know we will be lucky to make it to age 1. My daughter is a cloth diaper during the week, disposables on weekends, breastfed from a bottle, cries it out occasionally, ate a ball of cat hair girl and she is thriving.
Since we’re focusing on judgment that moms experience, what have you felt judged for?
Recently one of my husband’s cousins asked me if I was going back to work. I told him that I work 3 days a month and his response was “is that what you want?”…in an interesting tone of voice, almost like I should choose staying at home or going to work. It really caught me off guard because I am trying my best to keep pieces of myself before Sammi recognizable to me. And honestly my husband loves the mornings where it is just he and she.
My Pediatrician has remarked (on several occasions) that she can’t believe I am still pumping for my daughter. I am an exclusive pumper because my daughter never caught on to the nursing. It never made sense to either of us and we never received help once we left the hospital. Some of that is my fault because we moved 2 weeks after she was born and I was overwhelmed. As much as I hate my pump, I am trying to give her the best start in life.
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)?
I normally just try and let comments roll off me because there are other things I need to be worrying about. Unfortunately when I am awake at night, that is when the judgments come back to haunt me, and I can feel my self-confidence drop just a little.
What would you like to tell the world about moms and why it’s important not to judge our choices?
Today’s day and age is so modern, mothers today are encountering decisions that never even occurred to their mothers. The basics are not so cut and dry these days. Not only are diapers disposable or cloth, but also now we have to decide between organic or chemical free. Food isn’t easy either, it’s no longer homemade or store bought. You can make your own, but is it organic, gluten free, free range?
Sometimes a mother is making decisions just to get through the day, so that hopefully tomorrow she can feel like she’s a better mother than the day before.
Social media is also a new territory that on one hand is giving moms more support than ever before, but on the other is allowing moms to judge themselves in their own homes. Now not only do mothers feel judged if they breastfeed their baby at the zoo, but when they are at home they are wondering if because they chose to wean at 10 months are they dooming their child to failure later.
Our world is constantly changing and the ways we parent have to change with it. No, it’s not the way you would do it, but guess what…my grandchildren are probably going to be given a hand held computer at 4 months and that is just going to be normal.
Tell us your biggest joy about raising your kid(s).
I love watching her discover new things. Just in the past month she has discovered our pets and watching her watch them is fascinating. Plus this whole nap thing is amazing….Mid-day naps are wonderful.
Thank you so much, Sara, for sharing your thoughts and time with us. (And omg yes, I miss the mid day napping days!) Want to see more of this darling mama and her little one? 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!