A Perfect Day… minus the warm and fuzzy

Us at ChuckECheese

Our sketch from Chuck E Cheese

So, I was going to write something warm and fuzzy today about motherhood. After my last few posts, I was feeling a little guilty, and worried that perhaps I was implying that I didn’t feel blessed to be a mother. I feel very blessed. I have two wonderful happy healthy children, that radiate their happiness daily. So, there it is… the warm and fuzzy part of my blog post.

I was sitting at McDonald’s today thinking about how I was going to come home and write about how great our ‘spring break’ outing went. I took the kids to Chuck E’ Cheese and then to McDonald’s for cheeseburgers. I was going to write all about how my kids wanted to spend their last four tokens so that they could get four copies of our photo sketched, so that we could all put it on our walls. How’s that for warm and fuzzy?

Then, my perfect afternoon turned very quickly as my daughter decided that she ‘wasn’t going home’ (insert snotty attitude here). Apparently she thought that McDonald’s was the place to be, and that since she was in charge, we wouldn’t be leaving anytime soon. As she launched a french fry across the room and hit an older woman in the leg, I saw my ‘perfect afternoon’ coming to an end. This elderly lady looked at me like, ‘back in the day, children would never behave so poorly’. Well, ‘back in the day’ they also used to whip their children with belts and wooden spoons (which I’m pretty sure she may have kept one on standby in her purse). I remained calm through all this. I fought to get Jocelyn’s coat on and I was ‘that woman’ who left the tray behind on the table. As I was leaving, carrying Jocelyn in a football hold, holding on to her shoes that she had kicked off in one hand, and her coat she ripped off in the other, the woman holding the door open says, ‘You do know it’s pretty cold out, right?’

So, after thinking long and hard… I decided to not write a warm and fuzzy post. I love my kids and the moments we have together. Today we made memories, and the kids will always have that picture they wanted so badly to look back on. But there’s absolutely no reason why I have to ignore the fact that there was a giant dressed up mouse prancing around yelling ‘free tickets’ for the hour and a half we were at Chuck E’ Cheese. I don’t need to pretend that there weren’t way too many unsupervised kids running around pushing me and my little ones if we got in their way. I’m not going to ignore the fact that this poor mother was dealing with her child rolling around on the ground screaming, while she picked up her tokens that had just be launched all over the floor (I did help her out… but was the only one). I’m not going to lie and say that my van door didn’t get stuck because of some stickiness that I really can’t identify.

The moral of the story is that the day doesn’t have to be ‘warm and fuzzy’ to enjoy it. I loved having the day with my kids and the memories we made… but it definitely wasn’t perfect. Today I want to tell all the moms out there that even the most imperfect moments can be the ones your kids remember forever. Oh, and to the woman at McDonald’s that looked like she wanted to beat my kids with a wooden spoon… thanks for reminding me and inspiring me to write about how motherhood isn’t always perfect.

Motherhood can be a Lonely Place

me and jocelynThis past weekend I really reflected on why I started this blog and what I wanted out of it. Often I can get discouraged when my ‘big ideas’ don’t turn into success overnight. And then I realized, in just a few weeks time, I’ve reached more mothers with my mission than I could have ever imagined. If I have made just one mom feel like she is not alone out there, than that is a success in itself. Which brings me to why I’m writing today’s post… Motherhood can be a lonely place.

As I’m writing this, I can tell you that my eyes are glossing up at this very moment. I am writing from my heart and pouring out so much honest reflection in an effort to help just one mother, and I hope that this inspires you to do the same. Those first few weeks after you’ve given birth can be overwhelming with visitors, flowers and gifts. And then, slowly the weeks go on and the phone calls stop, perhaps your partner goes back to work, and there you are… you and your baby… or babies… or small village of kids.

There are so many challenges that we face as mothers, and most of the time we face them alone. If you are lucky enough to have a partner to help you with the demands of parenthood it certainly helps, but realistically there are some things that only mothers can relate to. My husband woke up for every feeding to support me, but while I was breastfeeding (or trying to), all he could do is show his love by being there… he couldn’t relate or tell me he understood the tears that rolled down my cheeks. So many mothers keep their lips sealed about feeling lonely even when they are in a room full of people. If no one can relate to what you are going through, than it doesn’t matter how many people you interact with… you still feel lonely. And even though most moms struggle at some time or another, it seems to be the norm to just be mute about it all.

We often hear about postpartum depression or the ‘baby blues’, but what about after that first year? Sometimes moms can struggle even more as children get older and lives get more hectic.  A reader shared with me her experience of being exhausted and accidentally falling asleep while caring for her young sick children. She described feeling a tremendous amount of guilt, probably because she thought she was the only mom who had ever done this.. I can guarantee you that  these things happen to mother’s every day, we just don’t talk about it. As a society, it has become our instinctive reaction to judge one another. If we could just share our moments of weakness, it would make it feel like no matter where we turned, we were not alone.

Every now and again I hear a mother jokingly say, ‘Been there, done that.’ Hallelujah. I’m not the only one who’s child has put a foreign object in his ear. I’m not alone in my battle to get my kids to pick up their toys. I’m not the first mother who’s fallen asleep caring for sick kids. I don’t have the only kid with a silver tooth. I’m not the first mom to have a kid with a broken bone.  I’m not the only one who forgets lunch boxes and backpacks. I’m not the only one who is exhausted most of the time. I’m not the only mom who feels like she probably won’t win ‘mother of the year’. (I wonder who actually wins that prize? I bet she doesn’t read my blog)

So if you go to your weekly mommy groups and meet up for playdates, and still feel alone… know that you’re not. As mother’s we’ve become dishonest somewhere along the line, not about everything, but mostly about motherhood. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to make mistakes. What I think is not okay, is that we’ve forgotten that as mothers we all have something in common. We all struggle now and again, and it’s important that we offer one another support. We need to embrace each other and be honest so that we can start to feel like no matter where we go, we are not alone. Motherhood can be a lonely place… but we can change that. Tell another mom that you’ve been there… that you’ve cried too… that being a mom is hard work. But most importantly… tell another mom that she’s not alone.

Your kids have no cavities… I get it.

silver tooth

James showing off his ‘bling’

So a dreaded trip to the dentist today has inspired me to write for all you moms out there who’s kids have a bit of ‘bling’ in their mouth (this is what my son calls his silver tooth). A while back my son began to complain about one of his teeth hurting whenever he chomped down on anything hard. Naturally, we took him to the dentist to find out that not only did he have tremendous fear and anxiety about the whole visit, but he also had a cavity. As a side note, this incident takes place somewhere between his first swimming lesson and despised soccer season.

As we walk into the office I feel James grab onto my leg. It’s the grip of death, and there’s no way I’m getting him to let go. So, I walk up to the dentist chair with a child attached to my leg, taking each step like I have a full leg cast on. I then have to sit in the chair, hold on to him and try to pry his mouth open for the dentist to see inside.

‘Yup, he’s got a cavity for sure… and you should go to a pediatric dentist from now on’

Okay, so this sound awful right? Well, for anyone who has a child out there with fillings, you know that it doesn’t end there. As I begin to tell people about our terrible appointment and upcoming trip to the pediatric dentist, I get flooded with statements like this:

‘Does he eat a lot of candy?’ Yes, of course, I give him a giant bowl every night before bedtime.

‘Do you let him drink juice?’ Every single ounce of liquid he drinks is filled with sugar. I never water anything down, and I give him a can of pop to start his day.

‘Do you help him brush his teeth?’ No, of course not. I often tell him he doesn’t have to brush at all, as long as he swishes around some juice before bed, it should be fine.

Seriously? Please do not cast judgement in a form of a question, as this is not at all helpful. I think as moms, we all know the do’s and don’ts of dental hygiene, and sometimes despite brushing three times a day and eating healthy, these things just happen.

So the trip to the pediatric dentist was not any better than our first experience. Now the fear about the dentist chair was even more intensified than initially. Right off the bat I’m told that my son will need dental surgery because there is no way that they can even get an x-ray let alone fill a cavity.

Oh, and by the way, sometimes cavities are just caused by the bacteria that kids naturally develop in their mouths. But more often than not, that bacteria is transferred from their mother’s mouth early on. Awesome. So just when I thought perhaps I was not the root of all my son’s dental issues, I find out that in reality he probably has a cavity because of my dirty mouth. Great. I feel awesome. Please ask me if I let my kid eat candy now, it might make me feel good. I will try to put an end to this extremely sarcastic post, but not before I describe what it is like for a child with high anxiety to have dental surgery.

brush teeth

James and Jocelyn brushing their teeth.

James actually does amazing with all the pre-op and really only has an issue with the hospital bed itself. So we walk him down to surgery instead. The nurse looks over at me and says, ‘you walk that way’. So we did. I could hear my son screaming hysterically until they put him out. Waiting for the surgery to be over was the longest hour of my life. He ends up having an abscessed tooth pulled, another one capped (with silver – this is the ‘bling’), and two others filled. I know… parents of the year, right? He woke up from surgery and everything was fine. The tooth fairy came, and left a hefty amount of money under his pillow (to make up for the amount of guilt we were feeling)

So, the point of this story is, don’t assume that when you see a kid with a silver tooth or hear about a child needing a filling, that its the fault of the parents. I can assure you that they already feel bad enough without any judgement, and they probably didn’t do anything wrong to begin with. For us, we’ve done everything the same for my daughter, and her teeth are cavity free. Next time you talk to a mom who has been through any sort of dentistry fiascos, know that they seriously need to hear that they’re doing a good job. And if they have a child with high anxiety, tell them they have the patience of a saint… because trust me, that’s what it takes to make it through with your sanity in tact.

No one tells you being a Mom is going to be this hard.

exhausted mom

I picked this photo to showcase, cause I remember how tired and exhausted I was this night.

So everyone tells you how AMAZING being a mom is going to be. There is so much hype about how becoming a mom is life altering and that it is the greatest blessing you can receive. I’m not going to sit here and argue either of those points, but I will tell you that for some of us… it’s not what we expected. I love my children beyond measure, but I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure I was cut out for this ‘mommy thing’ those first few months.

I thought I was going to bring a beautiful child into this world that was going to goo and gaa like the babies on those diaper commercials you see on tv, where everyone is smiling. They never show you the stressed out mom with crap on her hands, trying to catch pee with a nearby blanket, and wishing she had a go-go gadget arm that could just reach just a little bit further to grab the wipes (for those of you not from the 80’s, just search ‘inspector gadget’ to find out what a go-go gadget arm is).

Those first few months are hard, and it doesn’t make it any easier that other moms don’t fess up to it. Many of us go to our mommy groups or playdates and smile and act like everything is perfect. Being a mom is hard work, and when all your baby does is eat, poop, cry and sleep, it makes it hard to feel any sort of reward. I know… the reward is the beautiful healthy baby. But lets be real for a minute, and help other moms out by being honest.

Taking care of a newborn baby can be exhausting and overwhelming, especially for first time moms. Add to it some raging hormones and the everyday responsibilities that most women have… it’s a ticking time bomb. Sometimes the hardest part of motherhood is dealing with our own emotions. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all just brutally honest with each other about how hard it is to care for our ‘bundle of joy’? Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear another mom say, ‘I just broke down and cried’? I feel like there is a degree of guilt that moms face when they don’t feel that endless amount of happiness every minute of the day. Its not easy, and we should stop pretending like it is. We don’t need to feel guilty about not loving every minute of motherhood.

I recently had another mom ask me if it was normal that she didn’t feel like she had bonded with her baby yet. Of course its normal… we just don’t tell one another it is. We all have our own moments that we bond with our children, and there is no set timeline. If you bond while cleaning crap off of everything and wiping spit up off your shirt… GREAT! If it takes until your little one smiles at you to feel a connection… that’s AMAZING too. I wish we could all just be a little more truthful about how hard this motherhood thing is. Guilt is such an overwhelming destructive force that could be easily counteracted with honesty and support.

On top of the guilt we all feel at one time or another, we have to contend with that constant worrying that goes on in our mommy brains. First off, we worry that we don’t know what we’re doing. We probably don’t, but that’s okay. Then, we worry that we haven’t done all the caregiving responsibilities exactly the way we read about or were told to do. It’s never ending. As mom’s we will probably worry for the rest of our lives. At least as we grow more wise, we’ll learn that worrying doesn’t really have very many benefits and just gives you a few extra wrinkles (or as my daughter calls the ones on my forehead  ‘mommy’s tiger stripes’).

So the next time you meet up with a new mom, tell her she is doing a great job and please being honest with her. Being a mom is hard work. It can be exhausting, overwhelming and downright stressful. If I knew how hard being a mom would be, would I do it all over again? ABSOLUTELY. I would just know that it’s okay to not love every minute of it!

‘Too Posh to Push.’ Really?

Looking back on both of my pregnancies, I really don’t remember too many details. It wasn’t that long ago (our kids are 3 & 5), yet there are really only a few moments that stick out in my head. I remember when I found out I was pregnant, having morning sickness, feeling that first kick, attending my baby showers… and oh yes, the time another mommy seriously asked me if I was ‘too posh to push?’

Here’s the thing… when you are pregnant, you often wait long tedious hours in the office of an ob/gyn for your prenatal checkups. During this time, you get to experience moms telling you the following :

1. How amazing they are.
2. How little weight they have put on.
3. Their awful previous birthing story.
4. Every detail of their upcoming birth plan
5. How painful ___________ is / will be. (you can only imagine how many spots this one could take up )
6. Whether or not they will get an epidural.

To be honest, I kind of expected all of this. So every week/month I would put on my mommy armour and go to battle with the other mommies. What really caught me off guard was when another mother snottily asked me if I was, ‘Too posh to push?’ in a tone that words simply cannot describe. I was scheduled for a c-section for my daughter by choice. Being that my son was previously a caesarean, I was given the choice whether or not I wanted to deliver naturally. For me, it was a simple decision to choose the c-section. I didn’t have an awful labour with my son, but nothing seemed to want to get that kid out and I had enough feedback from doctors and nurses that made me believe that the second time around would not be any different.

So now I’m posh? That’s hilarious. In any other context I may have taken this as a compliment, but certainly not in this case. As I sat with my stretchy sweatpants, zip up fleece and bright pink crocs on… I realized that this woman was not confused with me being ‘posh’. She was just plain mean.

I couldn’t believe that this mother was going to honestly sit next to me and assume that I only had my best interest in mind. You may be thinking, ‘oh, she was just trying to be funny’… I can assure you this was not the case. I was so caught off guard that I managed to stutter through an explanation as to why I had chosen a caesarean. Really? Why did I need to explain myself at all? As mothers, is it not OUR decision (and maybe our partners), as to how we are going to bring our children into this world.

Have we as mothers honestly become so competitive that we are willing to cast judgment on someone else’s birthing choice. Why can we not just realize that we all have different needs and circumstances? No matter how we choose to bring our children into this world, we should all be given a serious pat on the back. Regardless of if we deliver naturally or by caesarean, have a doctor or a midwife, or opt for pain medications… childbirth is an achievement in itself.

Next time… just tell another mom ‘good luck’.

Shortly after my scheduled c-section for my daughter.

Shortly after my scheduled c-section for my daughter.

When did we lose our compassion? The Mommy Moment of the Week.

So a few weeks ago, my son had a severe ear infection that required me to rush him to the doctor first thing in the morning. I was told his eardrum could rupture at any minute, and to get him his antibiotic right away. To top it all off, the pain and dizziness he was experiencing was causing him to throw up in the car… the waiting room… the doctor’s office. I knew I was going to have to stop with him at the grocery store to get his prescription filled and also to get popsicles and a few other things to help keep him hydrated. I looked around in my van and found a tupperware bowl… PERFECT. This would be my makeshift barf bucket. If you read the article ‘Your house is cleaner than mine’, you can imagine what my car looks like, and why there is a random tupperware bowl in it. So as I walked through the store, my son starts throwing up. I don’t know what’s worse, the tremendous amount of worry I was feeling or the ridiculous fury of stares I was getting. I thought for sure someone would stop and ask if they could help. I was wrong.

So now I was carrying my son through the store, holding on to a bucket full of puke, to get to the freezer area. I had already dropped off the prescription and I just had to get the popsicles and make my way back to the pharmacy. Hmm… one arm is barely holding my 40lb son up, and the other arm is carrying the barf bucket (with puke in it). Where was I supposed to put the popsicles? So there I was, walking back to the pharmacy with my super sick son in one arm, a bowl with vomit in it in the other, and the popsicles balancing on top of the bowl. And yet, not a single person stopped to see if I needed help or even just show a small amount of compassion. Is this the norm? I realize that at this time of year, no one wants to get catch anyone else’s cold or flu, but really…not even a ‘how can I help?’

When I had a friend tell me about a great act of kindness that she saw the other day, it gave me hope that there are amazing mothers out there that will drop everything to help another mom. I had to share this story as my ‘mommy moment of the week’, seeing as it is such a great inspiration and hopeful story. So what she witnessed was two women out for lunch, one who had a newborn. This mother was simply out trying to enjoy a nice meal with a friend, however her young baby felt differently about the whole situation. After a few minutes of continuous crying, a complete stranger who was eating lunch at an opposite table came over to offer some support. She had just finished eating and wanted to offer her help to this mother who was trying to enjoy some sort of normalcy. She was obviously a mother too, and simply wanted to help by holding the baby so that another mom could eat her meal.

Now I know that as mothers we can become super protective of our children, but this situation was clearly just a mom trying to help out another mom. She took her up on the offer, and was able to eat her lunch without a screaming baby in her arms. This woman who came to the rescue was clearly a well seasoned mother, who may have even been a grandmother, and simply knew that this was the right thing to do. She was compassionate and offered to help another mom in need. She is the mom who clearly deserves the shout out this week.

Wouldn’t it be great if we all could both experience this kindness from another mom, as well as show such amazing compassion toward others. I want to hear about your great mommy moment stories, because we could all use a bit of inspiration. Please comment or send me an email about a great mommy moment you’ve seen or experienced so I can share it with everyone!

Your house is cleaner than mine… I get it.

kitchen messSo I’ve never exactly had the cleanest or tidiest home on the block. But now that we have two children under the age of 5, I can tell you that I probably win the title of messiest house in the neighbourhood. I have many mommy friends who have immaculate houses, and others who like me, have ‘well lived in’ homes. I often feel that we as mother’s, grade each other on the way our homes look. Almost to say that if our homes are well kept, than we must have it all figured out.

 

I’ll never forget the time that I found out my friend was secretly hiring a maid to come in once a week and clean up her messy home (and not just from me…I was the first one she had told). For months I couldn’t figure out how this mother of two toddlers, would work crazy hours at work and have just as busy of a schedule as I did, yet her house was immaculate. At the time I was working only a few days a week and  barely managing to balance that. I felt like I could never keep up with the laundry, our countertops were always sticky and our floors were… well, our floors looked like there had just been some sort of cafeteria food fight going on.

basement_messOne day she finally spilled the beans and told me that she had someone come in once a week to do all the cleaning that she just couldn’t get to. The crazy thing about it was that she was obviously embarrassed to say ‘I can’t do it all’. Seriously? Is that what society has come to, where we can’t ask for help without feeling bad about it?

I would love to have someone come in and clean my house once a week. It would mean that I would have more time to spend with my kids. Any mom who has someone clean her house so she can have more time with her family, is doing a great job. For me, the house cleaner doesn’t fit into our budget, so I simply don’t make it a priority. Sure I keep things as tidy as possible, but I can honestly say that there are days that look like a tornado has torn through my living room. Oh, and our partially finished family room, has been unwittingly transformed into one giant playroom. I do laundry as we run out of underwear and socks. I clean countertops when things begin to stick them. I clean closets when they no longer close. I am not perfect but I do what I can to balance home, work and family.

kids_messAnd don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten those of you who do have an immaculate home. If you can accomplish a clean home while managing a family, I raise my glass to you. To find balance in your life where you can spend time with your family, manage all the mommy responsibilities and get your house spotless… you are an amazing woman!

So the moral of the story is that we all have different lifestyles and responsibilities as mothers, and we need to respect that. The fact that anyone feels bad about asking for help, showcases the disheartening reality that we don’t always embrace our differences. To all the moms with clean and dirty houses alike, keep up the great work… this mommy thing isn’t easy!

Are you a mean mommy?

So earlier this week I posted about my ‘mean mommy moment’. I received an overwhelming response from other moms who had indeed made the same mistake that I had…judged another mom. I was worried that perhaps my brutal honesty would make me out to be an awful ‘mommy monster’, but luckily that was not the case. So today I pose a simple question that we should all ask ourselves- are you a mean mommy? Don’t worry, if you answer yes to any of these questions, I can assure you that you are not alone.

1. Have you ever compared yourself to another mother just so you could feel better about your own insecurities as a mom?

2. Have you ever competed with other moms, constantly comparing your own child’s successes to their failures? (this is much different from simply being a proud mama)

3. Have you ever lied about your own challenges to another mom to either make her feel bad, or yourself feel better?

4. Have you ever implied that you were just a better mom than someone else?

5. Have you ever stared, pointed, eye rolled, whispered or snickered while watching another mom struggle?

6. Have you ever assumed that a child’s challenges were the result of a mom’s parenting skills?

7. Have you turned a blind eye to a mom in need because it was an inconvenience?

8. Have you ever replaced jealousy of another mom with judgement?

These are just a few questions that you may want to ask yourself. The truth of the matter is that no one is perfect, not even mothers! But what we can do is consciously try to stop ourselves from hurting other moms, and simply be kind caring human beings. For crying out loud, we all know how hard the job of a mother is, the least we can do is try to help each other out.

So next time you think you are on the verge of judging another mom, please think of this website and the TELL ANOTHER MOM mission. Tell another mom that she is doing a great job. Or maybe, tell another mom that you too struggle with the same things that she does. After all, none of us are perfect!

Breast is best… but for who?

me and jocelynNow before all the breast feeding advocates get upset, please know that I am a huge supporter of breast feeding. I think that there are so many positive advantages to breastfeeding, however it needs to be a good fit for both mom and baby. For me, breastfeeding was not a good fit for anyone. I struggled with both my children and eventually threw in the towel after three months of frustration, tears and anger. Looking back it still bothers me that I had very little to no support from fellow mothers. As I mentioned in my article, Pregnant…let the judgment begin, I thought that I was entering this wonderful world of motherhood where we would all support each other through hardships. I was shocked when the challenges that came along with breastfeeding was half the battle. It was dealing with the constant negativity that came from other moms, that was so disheartening.

 

Have you ever noticed that one of the first questions any mother will ask you after you’ve given birth is ‘Are you breast feeding?’. For a new mother, this is so overwhelming. It’s bad enough that you are sleep deprived and recovering from the physical and emotional demands of giving birth, now you have to answer to a whole panel of other moms. I felt so much pressure to breastfeed that I honestly did it out of guilt. Maybe not at first, but after weeks of constantly getting asked if I was breastfeeding, I seriously was just doing it just so I wouldn’t have to answer ‘no’ to the dreaded question. It was horrible. I remember one night I was so exhausted and upset that I sent my husband to the Toys R US, five minutes before closing time, and demanded that he not come home without a breast pump.

I won’t get into the nitty gritty of all the problems I had, but I will say that breastfeeding was one of the hardest parts of those early months with a newborn. And pumping when you also have a two year old toddler, is just a side order of insanity. I wish I would have felt some sort of support from other moms. It seemed that everyone I talked to would tell me how ‘easy’ it was, or how it was such a ‘bonding’ experience. I must have been the mutant mommy, because neither of these words seemed to even remotely describe how I felt about breastfeeding.

When I would open up and share with other moms, I would get the most unhelpful comments and discouraging advice. ‘It’s not supposed to be easy’ or ‘You just have to stick with it’, or even better, ‘You don’t want your baby to be unhealthy, do you?’ Believe it or not, these are actual quotes. The comment that bothered me the most was when a so-called friend said to me, ‘Don’t you want what’s best for your baby?’ The comment brought tears to my eyes. I thought about how I had been forcing my cracked bleeding nipples into my child’s mouth while demanding, ‘Why won’t you just eat?’ Seriously…is this what was best for my baby? I can tell you now that it was not what was best for my baby, myself or my family. Now, for all you soon-to-be moms out there, don’t be discouraged, I know lots of mothers who didn’t struggle at all with breastfeeding. You just need to figure out what is best for YOU.

 

Looking back, I wish I would have never breastfed my daughter. I was miserable. I feel that I missed out on those precious moments and I can never get that time back. But what I can do, is be honest with other moms, so that they don’t feel guilted into doing ANYTHING that isn’t working for them. I am not embarrassed to tell other moms about my struggles, because what I needed to hear was something other than how easy breastfeeding  was. I think mothers should do what works best for them and their family, because after all a happy mom = happy household. If you can breastfeed and are happy doing so, that’s amazing. Any mom who is that dedicated deserves a pat on the back. If you need to formula feed, that’s great too. Boiling water, sterilizing bottles and mixing formula on a daily basis is also a lot of work. Seriously, we need to stop focusing on our differences as mothers, and redirect our energy to supporting and encouraging one another. Next time you visit a friend or an acquaintance who’s just given birth, instead of asking her if she is breastfeeding, why not ask her how she’s feeling. What better way to support another mom, by letting her decide what she needs or wants to share with you.