I have no idea how to breastfeed a baby properly.
I’ve been doing it for 21 months, and I do it my way, and it works.
I have no idea how to create healthy lunches that look like snowmen, or ninjas, or letters of the alphabet.
I feed my kids what I can, and hope that they eat it. They usually don’t.
I have no idea how to get your baby to sleep through the night.
I have two children, and they sleep in a way that works for them, and works for our family. And many nights they don’t sleep, and I don’t sleep, and it doesn’t always work for our family.
I have no idea how you should diaper your baby, when you should introduce solids, how you should discipline a toddler, or how you should decorate for the holidays.
I can’t give you those answers.
That’s not my place.
But the Internet is full of experts, isn’t it?
Every time you click a link on Facebook, every time a self-proclaimed Internet Superstar refers to themselves in the third person, every time you recoil in shame when you see something carelessly bandied about that actually makes you question your own parenting, then you are looking for love in all the wrong places.
Don’t love me. Love yourself.
I have a blog. I have opinions. I have a platform to share information, in any way that I’d like.
That doesn’t make me an expert.
I don’t want to be an expert. I don’t know your family better than you do. I want to hold the mirror up for you.
YOU are the expert. I want you to find comfort here. YOU are the mom who just lost her temper with her 5 year old and is cooling your jets in the bathroom. I am too. YOU are the mom who just walked out of your oldest child’s parent-teacher conference, and are wondering if you’ve screwed everything up. I am too. YOU are the mom who doesn’t sleep, doesn’t eat, doesn’t laugh, and doesn’t relax until her kids do. Me too.
We are all trying, together. We are all hoping, and sighing, and having self-imposed time-outs, together. We are all fucking up, together.
I am not famous. I don’t have any answers, and I won’t tell you that I do, for page views. You don’t have to “like” me on Facebook to belong. You already belong.
And I promise to tell you the truth. I promise to be transparent. I promise to show you the pictures of my kids in messy clothes, after they’ve thrown their dinner on the floor. I promise to admit that Ben just had cereal for dinner, and that we spent the afternoon watching TV. I promise that I won’t preach at you. I promise that I won’t pretend to have the answers. Instead, I might ask you to trust yourself. I might ask you to stand tall. I might ask you to challenge someone who elects themselves Queen Of All The Parenting Things. Because only you are in charge of what your family needs. I might ask you to tell us your story. To be brave, and convince yourself that your story matters. It does. You are so capable. I need you to know that.
I like that you visit me here. I like that you make me feel less alone. I like that we show each other that there are other mothers across this huge country who are a reflection of our best (and worst) selves. There is no right or wrong here.
There is no right or wrong, because YOU are always right. You know your family, you know your baby, you know your heart.
Love yourself. Trust yourself. Be proud of your strength. Be part of the dialogue, but don’t let the Internet change your conversations. We are all just putting one foot in front of the other, and praying that we don’t screw these babies up too badly.
Don’t you dare let anyone convince you otherwise.