Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mompetiors, Mompetition--Whatever, I'm Just Trying to Survive

So, before I even get going, I'll say this:

I am not going to create a post for every negative anonymous comment I receive. I write in a public forum, sometimes people aren't going to like what I say--that's part of this whole blogging gig. I am addressing this comment, only because, I want to encourage all the mamas out there.

The following comment was put on this post, Friday, regarding my Hadley's love for using foaming hand sanitizer:
You're creating a resistance strain for germs early on for your babies. When they are older and sanitizer doesn't work and they are sick all the time, I'm sure you will feel great about yourself. Babies need germs so their bodies can learn how to fight illness. As a chemist, I suggest for the sack (I think he/she meant sake?) of life and your children, you let nature take its course, I mean you are all about "organic" and "natural". So just let your babies be babies. You can't make them perfect.

My friend Melissa wrote this great post awhile back about mompetitors.

Here's the thing--as a mom, I've learned a lot of things. Most importantly, I've learned never to judge another mom's choices.

I've done stuff I swore I would never do.

Breastfeeding vs. Formula
Organic vs. Non-Organic
Co-sleeping vs. Crib Sleeping
Babywearing vs. Strollers
Cry-it-out vs. No Cry-it-out
Pacifier vs. No Pacifier
Hand Sanitizer vs. No Hand Sanitizer--apparently

Whatever. This parenting thing is hard. Damn hard. Aren't we all just doing the very best we can?

You shouldn't feel one bit guilty if you weren't able to produce enough milk to breastfeed your baby(ies), or you can't afford to buy the $5.99 organic blueberries in the really tiny container.

You definitely shouldn't be made to feel guilty by another mom!

Come on mamas! As moms, we should support one another and the hard choices we make! Because, if you aren't a mom, let me tell you--it's all hard choices, and it doesn't get any easier!

I remember being pregnant, standing in Babies R Us sweating, because I couldn't decided what cribs to buy. That choice felt really challenging at the time.

Now I'm thinking about:

Which form of discipline do I use?
When do I stop breastfeeding and how?

There are always hard choices to make!


So--I use this natural foaming hand sanitizer.

Why? Because RSV was all over our community this winter. I have a daughter with a heart defect. Heart defect + RSV = Bad News!

Even if RSV wasn't all over our community, I would have still used it though. Both the girls were sick at separate times this fall. It.was.miserable. I was holding sick-baby, but well-baby wanted attention too. All while my husband was out of town on business. I would do just about anything to avoid a repeat of that scenario.

So--maybe I am creating superbugs. The girls chew on their shoes. They chew on my shoes--can't stop em. Apparently they have a shoe fetish. That seems pretty germ-y to me.

Maybe my girls will be sick all the time, because I use foaming hand sanitizer. Am I going to feel "great about myself" when my girls are sick? Any mom feels terrible when their child is sick! I can't speak for everyone, but I would take it all, so that my girls would never be sick a day in their lives. At least that way all the vomit would end up in the toilet.

 This parenting thing? The hardest thing I've ever done. I'm sure many of you mamas would agree!

Why not, instead of throwing stones, encourage our fellow mama? Cheer her on? Offer helpful advice, if she asks for it. Or, if you must interject your opinion, do so lovingly, and remember that you have no idea what it's like to be in her shoes.

Here's the thing--I, we, are just trying to survive.


Katie said...

WOW! That comment from Anonymous made me boiling mad. What the? Judgey of one.

I was a MUCH better mother BEFORE I had kids. I swore my kids would always have on clean clothes and never have snotty noses. Well, we all know how that turns out. I swore I would never yell at them the way my Mom yelled (she had FOUR rambunctious kids....I just have the twins). That went out the window the day they figured out how to open the door to our 2nd story balcony (I still cringe when I think of finding them out there!).

I was the president of our local Mothers of Multiples club 2009-2010 and I've been on the board for four years. The ONE thing I preach.....the ONE THING is don't ever judge a MOM for her choices. So what if she gave up on breastfeeding? Sometimes I wish I had! It was a miserable year that I don't really remember too clearly. Am I glad I did it? Most assuredly. Do I see the joy in handing bottles to the Hubs and heading out to Target for a moment of silence? Absolutely!!!!

I read your blog but rarely comment. You are doing a great job as far as I can tell, so don't let one anonymous poster make you feel otherwise (if I felt so strongly about something I would have put my name on it, but that's just me).

And NO judgement from me about the hand sanitizer since I am the one who has it in RICH SUPPLY in my purse, backpack, gym bag, glove box, floor board, hip pocket and randomly spaced throughout my house. Oh and mine isn't even Organic.....GASP! ;)

Keep on keepin' on, girl. You're doing fabulous!

Lauren said...


Christina said...

A lot of those "chemist" or "scientist" think they know everything about everything.
I'm sorry they upset you. I hope they are reading all these comments and see mine-

Once Upon A Time said...

*rolling eyes* at your annon commenter. Seriously- of all the things to get preachy about- hand sanitizer? Maybe if you were letting her drink or eat it, but geez, step off already.

I'm happy for you that Brynne and Hadley didn't get RSV! I was really crossing my fingers that it didn't grace our doorstep either.

Anonymous said...

I figure hand sanitizer isn't all thatbad because when mt twins were in the NICU after being born, the Dr's, Rn's and ANYBODY, including us, had to clean their hands before touching them. Thre are a lot of decisions to make, especially with twins. I once had someone ask me if it was expensive raising twins. Raising children are expensive, no doubt. But, with twins, you may not make the decision you would've made with one child simply for the fact that what you have to make, buy, or do has to happen at the same time.

Summer Slaymaker said...

Hi Julia :)

I have really enjoyed reading your blogs. You are such a beautiful person and becoming a mom has really just exposed a new side of you, that you are expressing in such a concise and gorgeous new way. This is such a powerful blog and I can only hope that I can be such a good mommy if we are ever blessed with a little one. I'm glad you have this outlet to express your feelings about your experiences as a "new" mom... there are a lot of things about having twins I'm sure that it's nice to hear feedback from others who have been through similar experiences and can share your pain and joys too!


MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said... each his own opinion, but the "I'm sure you will feel great about yourself" is just meant to be hurtful.

"Mompetition" is a tough topic, but ultimately I think it's just sad to think about this person's poor motivation for writing such a comment.

I hope you will always hold your head high, knowing you're putting your girls first and doing what you know to be the best thing for them.

And sanitize away, My Friend! I do love me some wet wipes! :)

Twinside Out said...

Every one of the 459 times that I had to go to the hospital for pre-term labor, there were canisters of hand sanitizer all over the place, and signs encouraging their use.


I also completely agree with what you wrote about not judging other moms' choices. Who else truly understands the struggles we face, except other moms? We should support each other, not tear one another down.

Leslie said...

I totally agree with you. Parenting is the hardest thing ever! we don't do hand sanitizer. Heck, we don't think about germs ever! And I hope no one looks down on us for that because we don't judge those who are a little more into the germ thing!!

The Bible tells us how to care for our children. Provide them food, clothing and shelter. Train them (Proverbs). Discipline them (Proverbs). Teach them to love our Lord and Savior (Colossians...i think). It doesn't give specifics on most of that so we just do it and pray for guidance and forgiveness everyday!! :)

Jjiraffe said...

I totally hear you on this. It seems judgement of mothers is at an all time high. Whether it's the anonymity of the Internet, or the perfectionist standards, it is totally annoying. It's clear from reading this post that you are doing the absolute best that you can. In the end, that's the most important thing we can do as parents: try our best. Carry on. I think you're doing an awesome job.

championm2000 said...

Hi~ I found your blog through the M&M Blog Frog Community...

Something pulled me in about this post...maybe it was the mention of hand sanitizer, the fear of germs, or the need to not judge other moms choices. Heck, it was all of it! It was like you read my mind!

Thank for sharing!

Melissa @