To the Mama who feels different…I see you.
Why? Because I also feel different. And I’ve felt different my entire life.
It started when I was a little girl and first realized I didn’t look like everyone else. (I was an Asian American living in Iowa.) My lunches were different (rice and sautéed shrimp and veggies my mom lovingly made). My last name was different (Himinkool). Everything about me seemed different.
Thirty some odd years later, as a parent, I still feel “different”. None of our parenting journey feels conventional–even though there are probably thousands of people who DO do the same things we do. (We just don’t happen to know any of them, LOL!)
Case in point:
- I never set out to bedshare…even though plenty of cultures around the world have and still do to this day. It just found me. It felt natural. I tried putting Nugget in her crib. That lasted for one sleep cycle and then she was next to me again.
I remembered that my family in Thailand bedshares. Maybe deep inside, I felt some sort of weird connection? Who knows. But I know that for our family, bedsharing works for us. (Check out https://www.llli.org/breastfeeding-info/sleep-bedshare/ for more info and How Bed Sharing Found Me to read more.)
- I never really set out to breastfeed for a long period of time. (Some may call it “extended breastfeeding”…other just call it breastfeeding.) Again, in many parts of the world, children nurse well beyond age 1. I never intended to breastfeed for as long as I have but here we are, some odd years later. While it may raise a few eyebrows and garner hushed whispers behind my back, it works for my family. Which, in the end, is really all that matters.
- I’m not a huge fan of labels but I suppose the words (moderately) crunchy, holistic, attachment parenting, and gentle parenting would apply to me.
- As a public school teacher (pre kiddos), I never in my life dreamt I would find myself homeschooling my children one day but…here we are.
So much of life is what we make of it, in spite of circumstances. At the end of the day, no matter what anyone says, it is YOUR family, Mama, and YOUR life. I try to tap into that whenever I feel like the only one in the room who is or does XYZ. Compliments and support from others is nice…but not necessary. Naysayers and haters can be draining…but quite honestly? They aren’t the ones living your life or taking care of your kids.
But happy, healthy, thriving kiddos? THAT is the ultimate why.
Do your choices resonate with you? Does your lifestyle work for you and your family?
At the end of the day, that is all that matters.
I see you, Mama. Keep on rocking it!