After extensive research into comments sections and Facebook statuses, I have concluded there are only two groups of mothers. You must select one cult in its ENTIRETY. No picksy choosies.
Group 1: Dirty hippies. They love ebf, bwing, blwing, ap, cding, erfing, sahm, hbs, mws, eos, non vax, and coconut oil. They love acronyms and hate their kids.
Group 2: Sheeple. They love cio, ffing, mhb, vax, ric, sposies, wms, epis, csecs, cp, mds, rx, and bottles. They love acronyms and hate their kids.
Okay, let’s be real here. Most of us are doing the best we can with what we have. We’re a little from column A, a dash from column B, and hope we don’t get a call from Maury/Springer/Dr.Phil. Despite the vehement camps that try to separate us, most of us are mothering in the middle, and that’s a glorious place to be.
I have to admit, I was an expert on child rearing….before I had kids. I have a master’s degree in education for sobbing out loud. I consulted doctors Spock, Sears, and Freud. Hey, you gotta cover all your bases. I read every book that even had baby in the title. Rosemary’s Baby probably ended up being the most useful of the bunch as I gave birth to a possessed misery monster.
Emelyn needed me with an intensity that no one can prepare you for and taught me that while parenting may be a marathon, you sure as hell should work on your sprints too. Long days and longer nights, but I finally just focused on learning HER. With attachment parenting techniques, I could predict meltdowns and even prevent many. Through child focused methods, we worked to turn her high needs focus into an asset of boundless energy and enthusiasm.
After floundering for a solid year, I became an expert again. …until I had Mac. I was well versed in the high needs child and now was handed this happy hands-off baby. He snoozed himself into jaundice, ignored milestones until I was looking up ECI’s phone number, and didn’t seem to need me in the way Emelyn did. Since I had spent so much time reining my daughter in, I was completely unprepared for a kid that needed dynamite under his diaper to do anything. My AP parenting methods suffocated him, and he was addicted to having a schedule. He slept better in his own room than mine and was happy just nursing for nutrition, thankyouverymuch.The pendulum had swung fully in the other direction.
A year in and with no plans for more kids, you’d think I’d be confident donning my expert tiara. However, I have learned something in these four years of flailing and failing: no one really knows what they are doing. You become comfortable with the child you have, and then they hit a new phase that undoes it all. Teeth, hormones, and milestones cause changes in personality that leave you scrambling. Once you have a handle on one kid, the next one laughs at all your previously successful methods. I am the four year amateur and proud of it.