|Memorial Day: having fun on Ellie's first picnic.|
(Ellie's nursery is cute anyway.)
I don't belong with the crunchy moms because Ellie sleeps in her crib all night-- on a non-organic mattress.
(I do use cloth diapers.)
I don't belong with the high-achiever moms because I am neither taking Ellie to baby yoga classes nor teaching her sign language.
(I do sing to her and she already has a huge book collection.)
I don't belong with the scheduling moms because Ellie eats at unpredictable times during the day.
(But she lets me sleep for 6+ hours straight at night.)
I don't belong with the cool city moms because I am not cool. Also I drink Twinings English Breakfast instead of fairly traded organic artisan tisanes from an obscure location in the Eastern hemisphere.
(Even though I live in the city.)
What kind of mom am I, then? I don't know. And while I used to worry about this non-belonging, now I am fine with simply being myself. The only label I want is "Ellie's mom."
When I was pregnant with her, overwhelmed by the apparent plethora of parenting strategies, I put my tired head in my hands and told Jared, "I just want to love her and tell her about Jesus!" So. That is what I do.
Mothering is both harder and simpler than I expected. I have discovered that most of the time, I can trust my mama instincts . . . rather than thinking What would a good X or Y or Z kind of mom do? I go with my gut. Sometimes that means letting Ellie cry till she falls asleep. Sometimes it means feeding her again only an hour after she finished. Sometimes it means holding her while she smiles and gurgles, forgetting about the chores on my list. Sometimes it means sticking her in the Ergo and giving her a pacifier while I get dinner ready. She is happy and healthy and we love her to bits. Good enough for me.
I'm so thankful for two wise women who-- before Ellie was born and afterwards-- encouraged me to do exactly this: namely, my mom and my mother-in-law. When I'd say things like "What if I don't know what to do?" or "There are books and articles arguing for opposite approaches!" or "I am so confused!" they would remind me that just as God had given me a baby at the right time, He would give me wisdom to care for her when I needed it. I didn't have to follow a particular method.
They were right. Of course.