Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Post: Annie from Letters to Mo

I'm Annie. I curse too much, I can throw down in the kitchen, and I love
the Muppets more than any 32 year old woman should.

I write Letters to Mo,
which is a modern day baby book for my 14 month old son, whose name is
not actually Mo! I started my blog when I was pregnant as a way to
document our lives together. Sort of love letters for him to read as he
grows up. I blog about our adventures (big and small), living as an
interracial family and typical mama stuff- though I draw the line at
posting about poop!

This is Cash, aka Baby Mo, and
yes, he really is the cutest baby in the universe.
One thing I don't blog about is parenting advice. So instead, I'll give the anti-parenting advice here.

Here is a list of things moms should never say to other moms.

1. My baby has never had formula. Not even one drop.

I'm a total breast-feeding advocate and breast-fed Cash until he was 8 months old. Even I know this is a stupid thing to say. By all means, have a love of breast-feeding, that's awesome. But don't imply that formula is just atrocious.

2. Giving birth is the most natural thing in the world.

Maybe. Maybe not. Confession time- I used to be an advocate of natural childbirth. Until I actually went into labor that is! After suffering a series of health complications my doctor and I chose to have Cash via a scheduled c-section at 37 weeks. Between the undiagnosed gestational diabetes, the preeclampsia, high blood pressure and a 10 pound 8 ounce baby being born 3 weeks early, there didn't seem to be much natural about my birth! Not everyone can (nor should) have an awesome natural birth, and there's nothing wrong with that.

3. I would never let someone else raise my kids.

My daycare provider no more raises Cash than your kid's second grade teacher raises him. Not everyone wants to stay home. Not everyone can stay home. Don't make them feel insecure or bad about that.

4. Why aren't you breastfeeding?

I've had strangers at Target ask me if I'm breast-feeding. It always throws me off, like, "why is this your business?". It just sets up women to have to defend their choice or makes them re-live all the struggles they had.

5. You know, you really shouldn't do _____.

A while back, I posted a picture of my 10 month old son sleeping in his crib, with his head propped up by a pillow. A "friend" immediately messaged me warning me all about SIDS and letting me know how dangerous it was for him to be sleeping on a pillow. What she doesn't know? Cash has a lot of breathing problems and the doctor recommended he sleep elevated. You never know the full circumstance with someone's family. So stay out of it.

6. Did you use IVF?

A friend of mine from high school has twins. She is asked often if she conceived naturally or used fertility drugs. By strangers. By family members. In what world is this your business?

7. What do you do all day? (to a stay at home mom)

Every Saturday I have Cash all day while my husband works. During that time, I wrangle a 14 month old, fold laundry, cook, take care of pets, pay bills, have play-dates and in the middle of all that, try to remember to shower and eat. If someone asked me what I do all day while taking care of Cash I would want to punch them. Hard.

8. Formula is so much easier than breast-feeding.

Umm....duh. Breast-feeding is hard. I even had it really easy with no problems for either Cash or I, and guess what, it was still hard! Don't remind me of how difficult it is. I know that already.

9. You are spoiling him!

I've been told I'm spoiling Cash because of everything from breastfeeding him to not doing cry-it-out, to holding him "too much" to giving him a cookie. On what planet can you spoil a 14 month old?

and finally....

10. Is he adopted?

Yes, people really ask this. Cash is a beautiful mix of both his White mama and his Black daddy. But in our society, he is seen as Black. So when I'm out with him, people assume that I'm the nanny or that he is adopted. In the first month of Cash's life I was asked three times (by strangers)
if he was adopted.With all my crazy post-birth hormones, I felt everything from rage to extreme sadness. I dyed my hair a dark brown so we would look more alike.

So there you have it, stuff you should never, ever, ever say to other mamas. Really it's all about supporting each other for our choices. We have it hard enough as mamas without tearing each other down.

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