I've been known to be a woman who enjoys a modern convenience or two (or seven). After all, life is busy, I'm busy, and, hell, everyone is busy. While I don't mean to deflect from my parental duties, if something is available that makes my life easier (not to mention time-saving), I'm all about it. I guess that means I'm a "silky" mom, and because there are plenty of stereotypes surrounding that label, there's more than a few things people get wrong about silky moms. I'm here to clear all that up.
Being a so-called "silky" mom — meaning I'm all about using the advancements in science and technology to aid me in my parenting, like using an epidural to help me bring my kids into the world — I'm aware of what people think I do, versus what I actually do. My kids were both raised on conventional methods of bottles, after breastfeeding didn't work out, and disposable diapers, when I couldn't get past all the washing of reusables. Now that they're 5 and 10 years old, I guess I could reflect back on those times with regret; wishing I'd been more of a "crunchy" mom. Honestly, though, I don't. My children are doing just as well as any other kid, and I'm pretty damn proud of the people they're becoming.
Whether or not I dip into the silky mom category or not, there are some common misconceptions people get wrong about the lifestyle. With that, here's your silky lesson of the day:
We Don't Love Our Children Enough To Breastfeed
I get that those who fall under the "silky" mom category typically bottle/formula feed, but it's not always our first choice. I intended to breastfeed, and tried to do so relentlessly, but my daughter and I weren't successful for a number of reasons. She refused to latch (even with the help of a lactation consultant), my milk didn't come in when it should've, and I had such severe postpartum depression and anxiety. It was clear that after trying, and failing, this wasn't the journey for us.
Going to the bottle doesn't mean we care less, or, like me, didn't even try breastfeeding first. Don't assume you know the life of a mother who bottle feeds. Even if it's her first choice, surpassing breastfeeding altogether, so be it. The reasons don't matter as much as the fact that we're doing whatever's necessary to feed our babies.
We're Contributing To The Destruction Of The Planet
Just because we use disposable diapers doesn't mean we aren't concerned with protecting our planet. Plenty of silky moms recycle, conserve water, and do any number of other things to offset the diaper situation. Some of us can't get past the washing of soiled reusable diapers, because it's both time-consuming and gross. For those of you who do, more power to you. However, assuming I don't care about the planet because I use something disposable is just plain unfair.
If you consider silky moms selfish because we covet things that make motherhood easier, because we have careers, and/or because we often choose convenience in the name of saving time while at the expense of our children, you're off base. I enjoy things that make my role as a mom easier because it ensures I get more quality time with my children. I have a career I love, which pays the bills and fulfills me in ways motherhood can't, and my joy benefits my children and I make self-care a priority for the same reasons. I also appreciate anything that's convenient. Why make things harder than they already are?
None of this equates to being any less of a mother in my book. If anything, I treasure our time together even more than I otherwise would have.
We Aren't Interested In Learning About Organic/Non-GMO Foods
I did a lot of research on all things organic, non-GMO, healthy, and natural. In the beginning of my life as a mom, I attempted to make the baby food, prepare all our meals from scratch, and only shop at farmer's markets. While I love the idea of all this, it wasn't a lifestyle I could maintain. I honestly envy those who can, but just because I don't have the time (or patience, or money, or any other number of factors that makes this particular life choice possible), doesn't mean I'm not interested in feeding my family healthy foods.
This silky mom still reads labels, buys organic when I see fit, and flips between takeout and homemade. Basically, don't put me in a box. I'm doing what I think is best, at any given time.
We're Too Invested In Traditional Medicine
While there's much to be said about the argument against traditional medicine, I, personally, am a believer in it. I have doctors I trust and do my research on vaccinations or medications before allowing my children to take them. To me, the benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to modern medicine. The health of my children is the most important thing, whatever that means (although I'm also not against natural remedies at times).
Our Priorities Are Twisted
When I began the motherhood journey, I had no idea how hard it would actually be. My ideas of it were grand and hopeful, just like (I think) every other woman facing new motherhood head on. I certainly wanted to lean more towards the "crunchy" side of things but that way of life isn't for everyone — myself included.
My priorities are my two children, and the things I do outside of my children, including the time I spend alone and the time I spend on my career, benefit them. There's no one way to parent so you do you, and I'll do me.
We Don't Love Our Kids As Much As "Crunchy" Moms
The biggest misconception of silky moms, I think, is that we care more about what's easier for us, and less about what our children need or deserve. This is offensive on so many levels. The day I discovered each pregnancy, I loved my babies more than I'd ever loved anything or anyone. I'd have run through fire to give them the best lives possible then, and I would do the same now. To say crunchy moms (or any other type of mom) is doing a better job, demeans every other sacrifice I've made for my kids.
So, please don't judge me because I was unable to get through breastfeeding and went to the bottle. Please don't judge me because I'm not interested in reusable diapers. Please don't judge me for vaccinating my kids. Please don't judge me for sleep training each child in their own beds. In other words, please don't judge me for doing the things that work for my family, even if it's not what works for yours.