I recently took a quiz that assessed the type of mom I am. Turns out, I'm 85 percent "silky." I used to be a "scrunchy" mom (a combination of a "crunchy" mom and a "silky" mom) but over the years I let convenience take the wheel. Now that I have an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old, there are plenty of reasons why I won't apologize for being a silky mom, either.
For those of you who don't know (which, up until recently, included me) a "silky" mom is defined as a "modern mother" who is into using advances in science, medicine, and technology to aid her in her parenting. For example, a stereotypical "silky" mom will have a medicated birth in a hospital, bottle feed, vaccinate, sleep train her child to sleep in a crib, and all that jazz. For the record, I did not begin my first pregnancy with "silky" intentions. I thought I would have a medication-free vaginal birth in a hospital, surrounded by peaceful music, and possibly butterflies circling my hair, creating a perfect halo of nature while I concentrated on my deep breathing. Then, as the Pitocin increased and pain levels were tested, I realized I needed a lot of drugs. That was my first step into silkiness.
After labor and delivery, and as I started parenting, I combined my silkiness with a little bit of "crunchiness," meaning I combined the use of modern technology with "crunchy" parenting attributes, like making my own baby food. However, I've definitely become way more silky than I had imagined I'd be. I guess you can say I "sold out" to practicality and to lack of patience, and I'm not in the least bit sorry about it.
Because Disposable Diapers Are Easy
I considered cloth diapers for about three seconds. Then I saw how often a newborn pees and poops and I stockpiled on disposable diapers like they were being discontinued.
Yes, I am aware disposable diapers are considered environmentally unfriendly and I am also aware that disposable diapers may contribute to diaper rash and are generally rougher on the baby's bottom. You know what, though? I don't care (well, I do care about the environment). Honestly, using disposable diapers is just one less thing to worry about. I am not washing cloth diapers in addition to all the other sh*t I have to launder. I mean, washing cloth diapers also wastes water, so I figure the environment is suffering either way. At least with disposable diapers I am suffering a little less.
Because I Don't Have The Time To Make Homemade Baby Food
I'll be honest, I made as much baby food as I could when I could, but that doesn't mean I didn't buy jars and pouches and cereal, too.
With my first, I went back to work after six weeks of maternity leave, and while there was hardly any time to make my own baby food, I still tried. With my second, I made a lot of food for a couple of months, but eventually lost steam (pun totally intended) and started buying pre-packaged baby food instead. Jars and pouches were really convenient on-the-go. Also, pre-packaged baby food often has really great combinations of foods that I wouldn't even think of.
Because I See No Reason To Suffer
Ah, pain meds: sweet, sweet relief. I wanted to be a hero. Actually, I wanted to be a superhero who has a "natural" birth sans epidural. I thought I was strong and vigilant enough to handle pain. How bad can it really be, right?
If I had to describe what induced contractions feel like, I would say they relate closely to being repeatedly punched in the stomach, getting stabbed by a thousand swords in the back, and being internally quartered by horses, simultaneously. So, like yeah, I needed pain meds.
Because Doctors Are Way More Educated Than I Am
Who am I to question a medical professional, right? I didn't major in biology, I didn't get a medical degree. No amount of research can equal an actual degree from a medical school. None. Most of us laymen aren't qualified to "do our own research." In fact, we are a lot less qualified than we'd like to believe. Googling the pharmacovigilance of antibiotics doesn't make me an expert in how those antibiotics interact with the body. Just like editing oncology clinical trial documents does not make me an excerpt in cancer studies.
So, yeah, I listen to my kids' pediatricians when they tell me one of my kids has an ear infection and needs treatment. I especially listen to the entire medical community when it comes to vaccinating my children. If I stopped trusting my kids' pediatrician for any reason, I would go ahead and find one I trust. I will always trust a medical professional over Google. Always.
Because I Love Sleeping More Than I Love Most People
Sleep is sacred for me. Give me a blanket and leave me alone and I will sleep for days. There's plenty of pro- and con-arguments to co-sleeping, and since none of it is conclusive, I knew I wasn't going to bring the baby into bed with me. I know plenty of moms whose 8 year olds still sleep with them. I never wanted any of that. Not because there is anything wrong with co-sleeping with your kids, but because I can hardly sleep with my husband next to me, let alone a child who kicks me in the ribs all night long. I prefer sleeping alone.
To be fair, I do sometimes wish my kids would come snuggle with me once in a while, but I couldn't sleep with either one of them for longer than one night. So, you do your thing, co-sleeping mamas, but I'm just not made for it. I won't apologize for being a selfish sleeper, as that's like the only time I get to be selfish these days.
Because Breastfeeding Doesn't Always Work
Sometimes the baby won't latch. Sometimes the mom won't have much milk. Sometimes the baby rejects the breast. Sometimes the mom does not produce any milk. Sometimes the mom does not want to breastfeed. Anything can happen.
I pumped exclusively with my first and, when I couldn't pump enough milk, I supplemented with formula. Was the baby fed? Yes. Was the baby happy? Yes. Did I experience less stress? Yes. Does is seem like both mama and baby are happy? Yes. So, what's the problem?
Because Baby Gear Is Incredible & I Want To Use It All
Have you guys seen all the amazing baby gear? Swings, bouncers, jumpers, walkers, play gyms, and activity centers galore are considered life-savers by moms all around. While I did the 50th load of laundry and washed the 100th baby bottle, my kids hung out in the swing or bouncer. While I pumped or cooked dinner, my kids occupied themselves in the activity center. I'd give them 10 different teethers, put them in the play yard and go about doing everything I needed to do. Life-savers.
Because I'll Be Judged No Matter What I Say Or Do
Let's be honest, moms are judged no matter what choices they make. I can feed my kids organic only and some moms will say something along the lines of, "Oh, must be nice to be able to afford organic. My kids eat fruit and vegetables too. It's still healthy." I can feed my kids all conventional and someone will say, "I guess she doesn't care about the pesticides in the food she feeds to her children."
Mothers are constantly fighting with each other because each one believes her methods are superior. But guess what? The reason there is so much debate over various ways of parenting is because there is no one true way to parent. We are all just winging it, really.
Because All Moms Need To Stop Putting So Much Pressure On Themselves
May I just say something to all moms? Why are you all competing so hard with one another? Whether you are a crunchy mom, a silky mom, or a scrunchy mom, or whatever other mom "title" you identify with, you're still a mom. You're a mom whose number one priority is to keep her children healthy and happy. What's up with all the fighting and arguing? Can you imagine what it would be like if moms stopped setting such high (and sometimes unreachable) standards for themselves? I bet we'd all be a lot happier and less anxious.
So no, I refuse to apologize for being a silky mom, but no mom should apologize for doing what is best for her child. We've got a lot to worry about as parents, arguing over styles of parenting is like shouting into a thunderstorm. It's virtually pointless and leaves you frustrated and winded.