Don’t Put Me In A Box (Unless The Box Has Dairy Free Chocolate)



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Please don’t put me in a mommy box.

Right now you’re thinking, “what are you even talking about?!”  But you’ve totally heard of these boxes, you just don’t realise that you have…  So you’re thinking of examples, don’t worry – I’ve thought of them for you:

Crunchy mommy, green mommy, working mommy, stay at home mommy, baby wearing mommy, not baby wearing mommy, breastfeeding mommy, BOTTLE FEEDING MOMMY, reusable nappy mommy, diaper mommy, baby lead weaning mommy, vaccinating mommy, non vaccinating mommy, smacking mommy, time out mommy, SHOUTING MOMMY – the list literally goes on forever.  (Give some Moms 10 minutes together and they will find a million different reasons why they are totally different or exactly the same, definitely more than enough comparisons to keep you reading them all day).

We are all human and most of all we are Mothers.  It is impossible to put each and every one of us into a box and assume that you then meet all the criteria of fitting into that box.

One particular story that always makes my insides tingle with irritation is the time one of my besties (that ticked all the boxed in terms of still breastfeeding, baby wearing, baby lead weaning, wheat free, dairy free etc) was asked not to join a playdate that day because her child had been vaccinated…

Come on guys.  Parenting is hard enough just dealing with our little people everyday, who really needs the added stress of “fitting in” with other moms boxes.  We need to be a support system to one another, giving our opinions in love and maybe not fully understanding everyone’s unique situation/belief/choice, but at least being sensitive towards it.

We are all unique, we are all different.  We have vastly different lives, what works for me may not work for you.

Come to think of it, what box would I even fit into?

  • I bottle fed Kyla from day 3, Riya only had breastmilk for 8 weeks before I had to give her formula and then Knox was exclusively breastfeed for 6 months.  Breastfeeding box or not?
  • If I have time to use the naughty chair I do, but sometimes they just need a whack on the bum for them to take me seriously. Smacking box or not?
  • They sleep in their own beds (does this even qualify as sleep training?) but then wander through to our bed in the middle of the night – sometimes all 3 of them. Co-sleeping box or not?
  • I work in the mornings and only get to stay at home with them in the afternoon. Working mom box or not?
  • I vaccinate all my kids, except for Knox who I have just forgotten to take for his last one.  Vaccinating box or not?
  • We eat healthily (now) but don’t freak out when the kids happen to have Spur food every so often. Green/raw box or not?
  • I let Knox feed himself while simultaneously shoving food into his mouth with a spoon.  Baby lead weaning box or not?!

What we really need is a group of Mom’s who understand that being a Mom is hardwork.  Mom’s that believe that no matter what way you choose to parent your children, it really doesn’t matter in the greater scheme of things – they are still there to listen, laugh and possibly be a shoulder to cry on when things get rough.

When I was a new Mommy I didn’t have that support.  None of my friends were in that phase yet and so I just sat at home with Kyla, not connecting with anyone else because I felt that I didn’t tick enough boxes.  I was totally in the dark with this parenting thing and I didn’t want to show it.

Finally joining a Mommy group totally helped me to feel more at ease, being able to talk these difficult parts of parenting over with someone who had been there/was currently there ans hearing new opinions was such a welcome relief in my life.

So what now?

Well, I want to encourage you to lovingly connect with other Moms – being sensitive to their situation.  I want to encourage you to go out and make new friendships with other Moms without the fear of judgment.  Seriously – just do it.

And if nothing else, connect right here – if you need an ear to listen pop me a mail.

7 thoughts on “Don’t Put Me In A Box (Unless The Box Has Dairy Free Chocolate)

  1. I so loved this post! I’m a step mom, who doesn’t work, who spends a LOT of time with my SD in the afternoons. I do homework, extra murals, lunch, driving around, learning for tests, shopping for school uniforms or bits and pieces required at school. I love her 100%, unconditionally, as if she were my own. But I am “not allowed” to get into any mommy box. I have to stay on the outside, looking in. It’s always hurt me, until now when I realize the moms in the box don’t like being there!!

    I agree fully, her rid of the boxes and classifications. If you are mothering/loving a child you are doing wonderfully. If you vaccinated or co slept or only met the child after she was born (in my case Zoe was 4months old) who gives a continental? We’re all on this journey together, and it’s a day by day new learning experience. We should stick up for one another instead of bashing the mom who does things differently. We should accept help when we need it. We should help others without judgment when they need it. We should talk openly and honestly about our differences, being open minded and receptive to unusual ways of parenting.

    Thank you again for this post, it came at just the right time for me. No more boxes!!!

  2. Gaelyn, I feel for you – you are not a stephmom, you are a mom, A true one.
    Cindy, what a lovely post, I totally agree with you on all accounts, We all have our own set of things to deal with, (although I am finding it more and more difficult to understand the non vaccination clan – your child need to have rota once to change your mind)

  3. Well said Cindy 😉 I am what ever I feel like mommy and what ever works for us … and my new motto ” I don’t have time to worry about the people who don’t like me (or give me a hard time for my choices) because I am too busy loving the people who love me” 😉 You doing a fantastic job and your 3 beautiful and healthy kids are proof of that! xx

  4. I laugh that I tick so many crunchy boxes but still vaccinated my kids… lol that I get a mention in a post. Haha I agree, totally over boxes… I don’t fit literally or figuratively… haha. You’re awesome though

  5. You don’t need to be in a box to be a fantastic mom. I’ve felt much guilt and judgement over the years for being a full time working mom, but one that puts my kids needs above my career. I encourage my daughter to try new things but I’m not a helicopter mom nor a ‘slow mom’ nor a tiger mom. Getting over it though
    oh check out the new trend in ‘slow parenting’ another ridiculous box http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_parenting

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