I’m a Smooth Mama. Since I’ve created this term on my own, allow me to define it. If you haven’t heard of “The Mommy Wars” feel free to have a nose around. Basically what started as Stay at Home Mom vs. Work Outside the Home Mom took a turn into ALL aspects of childrearing. And the two sides are always OUR WAY or THEIR WAY. You’re on one side or the other, when it comes to everything! Let me break down some examples.
Do you vaccinate your children? This is either a yes or no question, and the debate it sparks is INSANE. Two years ago a friend of mine posted that she was not going to vaccinate her daughter. Innocently (and I now know, carelessly), I commented that the CDC recommends letting your caregivers, friends, and schools know, as it poses a risk for other children. I then got my (cyber)head bit off, by a friend of this friend. She accused me (and our doctor) of not being educated, that I was poisoning my children, and how dare I try to make a mother feel bad about her choices (Aca-scuse me? Didn’t you just call me dumb, and state I give my boys toxins?). Needless to say, I shrunk away from that debate because I didn’t realize it WAS a debate, so I had nothing to offer. I’m better armed now, but that’s a completely different post.
Breastfeeding is my favorite battle, because there are so many variables. How long to nurse? To cover or not? Pump or breast only? Should you even start? I remember reading that Gisele Bündchen believes it should be a law that all women breastfeed at least the first six months of their newborn’s life. Back when she said this (in 2010) I was a working mom with a three year old, whom I had stopped breastfeeding at four weeks because I stopped producing milk. Seeing her comment then made me cry. I was reminded of what I failure I was, because I didn’t dig deep, and pump, and take herbs, and fight to make my body produce for my child. I gave up in a matter of days, and gave Cash formula, so that neither of us suffered. Time will tell if he grows a third ear from the “toxins” I fed him when my body was not able to do so. At any rate, when I had Cruz, I nursed for a full three weeks before I said “I’m outie!” and switched to formula because again, as a working mom, I couldn’t figure out how to feed, pump, and store breastmilk with enough time leftover to give attention to my (at that point) five year old, my husband, my job, and my home. I took the lazy route. Or the smooth route, as I prefer to call it. When I told a friend (a breastfeeding CHAMP with five kiddos) that I felt lazy, her response uplifted me. “Oh please, I’M the lazy one! It’s way easier to just lift my shirt wherever I am than to measure water, pour powder, mix, hold the bottle… That’s why I take so long to give my kids solid foods, because boobs are always there, ready to go, not because I think it’s bad to start solids.” *cheer* If I see comments like Gisele’s now, I shrug it off, and try not to get into the arguments unless I have something hilarious to say. Which is ALWAYS.
So where does smooth come from? Well, although Crunchy Moms get their term from granola, I prefer to look at it in peanut butter terms. I mean, we’re all moms, so we’re all peanut butter (work with me here). The other type of granola is chewy, and that just sounds weird. So peanut butter it is. Some of us are Crunchy, some are EXTRA Crunchy, which means someone has to be Smooth! And if I’m taking the “easy road” by formula feeding, using disposable diapers, and vaccinating, then I guess that means I’m the smooth one. What it all comes down to is preference, really, just like peanut butter. If anyone had figured out how to do everything right, there wouldn’t be any room for debate. Or the sharing of ideas, best practices, and unique methods, and that’s what St. Joe Moms specifically is all about!
Oh and don’t think there’s no such thing as a mixed mama! I have a friend that cloth diapers but smoked during pregnancy. Another that makes her own baby food but but gives her 6 year old fast food at least three times a week. l did hypnobirthing with both my boys, am a huge advocate for natural childbirth, and I buy as much organic food as I can afford (which ain’t much!). But I didn’t cosleep with my kiddos, I had them vaccinated, and I let them watch shows for more than two hours a day. What I don’t do is tell other mothers that THEIR WAY is a wrong way. We’re all just trying to be mamas. We need each other for support, not judgement. So the next time someone starts talking about how cloth diapering is best, or how you shouldn’t have that Coke while you’re pregnant, just think about peanut butter. And be the best kind you can be.