Today’s post is by our Brave Writer, Angela Giles Klocke
Dear New Mother (or Mother-to-Be),
You had no idea when you started this journey the battle you’d face with others’ opinions of how you should raise your new baby. What was once all joy and gifts and kindness quickly turned into “opinions” on how you SHOULD do things as a mother. Instead of feeling confident with your choices, you now doubt everything.
You’ve heard it said that motherhood is not for the weak, and that is true. Motherhood strengthens you, builds you, and sometimes it kicks you. It’s hard and beautiful. And the last thing you need ever is to be told you’re doing it wrong.
“There’s no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.”
― Jill Churchill
Every choice you make will be questioned by someone with the opposite opinion. If you choose pink, they might wonder why not yellow. If you choose one way of nourishment, they might tell you that’s wrong. No matter what you do, someone will disagree.
But here’s the thing: what matters is what YOU do. The bravest thing you can do as a mother is to listen to what you want for your child, to live your idea of mothering, not your cousin’s, your neighbor’s or even the Internet’s. Listen to what your heart tells you for your child.
Sometimes, your greatest battles will come from other mothers. Their experience can be helpful, but it can also be hurtful to your own journey. Hear them, take what you need, and discard the rest. You don’t need to run their race, to be the kind of mom they are. Be you, the very best version of you that you can be, and as you make your choices, you’ll feel more and more confident in your own abilities.
You will never be the perfect mother, at least not according to the world’s standards, but you ARE the perfect mom for YOUR baby. Love him, cuddle her, nurture, pray, speak words of kindness and affirmation…do all the things that come naturally to you. The other choices will grow from there.
You can do this. You are well-equipped to be the best mom. Don’t let doubt and opinions and fear tell you otherwise. You. Can. Do. This.
I stand with you.
I was inspired to write this based on my own experiences, but more because of several conversations with new moms lately. Moms who have shared their fears with me that it seems no matter what they do, someone tells them they are doing mothering wrong.
“Your child is too clingy.” I see a child who loves her mother and trusts her completely.
“You need to feed him more fruit.” I see a child who loves vegetables.
“Why don’t you put more clothes on her?” I see a child who loves to be free from the confines of clothes in her own home, and a mother who chooses her battles wisely.
“You let her go out like that (in a princess dress with tiara)?” I see a mother who allows a child to be herself.
It takes more courage to step up and be there for new moms than to tell them how you think they should parent. Let us love and support. Parenting is hard enough without others telling us we’re doing it all wrong. Sometimes living brave means to see there are more ways to do things than just your own. And it’s OK!
Angela is a writer, photographer, speaker, activist, and princess living in Southern Colorado. She spends her days with family, friends, dogs, an old cat, words, pictures, and God. She can be found online at: angelagilesklocke.com