Real Talk: Getting Trolled/Mommy Wars

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Once a month, I write a blog post for the Cedar Rapids Moms Blog. I love connecting with local moms, and have made some wonderful friendships by being a writer with them. You can see all the posts I’ve written for CRMB here. I’ve really learned a lot and have definitely seen an improvement in my writing.

I always enjoy when I get comments on my posts. For one, it confirms for me that people (besides my parents) actually read my writing. Two, it’s always been something complimentary or validating, and who doesn’t like a choir of people saying “Right on! I agree!”?

My latest post was titled “Four Hours with my Kids: A Working Mom’s Reality,” and I talked about the challenges of being a full-time working mom. Namely – only getting to spend limited time with my kids before and after work during the week. In it, I was honest, and said I enjoy working, but sometimes I feel guilty not wanting to be a stay at home mom.

When I saw I had received a comment on my post, I was excited to see what someone had written. Not thinking that my post might be controversial AT ALL, I eagerly read the response. It said:

“Sorry but you feel guilty, because someone else is raising your children! Being with your kids 4hours (sic) a day is not giving them what they need. You are thinking about yourself, that’s why you feel guilty. You are fooling yourself, trust me every child wants to be with their mom. Make a sacrifice for a few years until they are in school, you will never get that time back!” -Sandy

Whoa – talk about a gut punch. I didn’t even see it coming. Someone quickly came to the defense of all working moms and responded:

“Wow Sandy – you must have been one that was able to stay at home with your kids. Lucky you (note sarcasm). I myself am a working mom – because I want to and my husband is self-employed. Quite frankly, I don’t feel guilty about leaving my kids at daycare. I know they are learning more there than they ever would at home with me. Most importantly, they get to learn how to play and interact with other children – they aren’t stuck in the same four walls with me every day. My thought for you – if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all. Hopefully your kids learned that when they were home with you…” -Lea Ann

Neither comment was very nice. And they both just further promoted what we know as “Mommy Wars.” Breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, SAHM vs. working mom, public vs. private school – and the list goes on.

I know “trolling” happens on blog posts and social media all the time. It’s hard to please everyone, nor should that be the goal. I didn’t take the post personally, and I don’t necessarily agree with everything Lea Ann voiced in her rebuttal, either. I have lots of friends who are SAHM’s and they love it and are wonderful at it.

But, we’re all moms. We all want what is best for our children, and what is best for our personal situations. Promoting or participating in “Mommy Wars” does no good – it just further divides us. I never expect that everyone will agree with my choices 100%. I can only support my fellow moms and write from my heart.

In my heart – being a working mom is me. And I’m proud of that. To quote from the post:

“I pray that they’re seeing first-hand that women can have a successful career and a family, and give them both her all. That they’re getting what they need from me, my husband, and the village that is helping us raise them.”

Let’s stop the mommy wars and band together to join team mom. Lord knows there are plenty of other conflicts and disagreements out in the world today….and I can’t think of a better team to promote love and understanding and support.

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How to Save $142+ in New Baby Gear

After having my second baby, I started going through my baby gear again and realized just how much STUFF I had. Some of it I knew I’d use again, but others, I couldn’t help but realize what a waste it had been. I knew I could have saved a LOT of money had I not registered for or purchased myself some of the gear that was taking up so much space in my closets.

Whenever first time parents to be ask me for advice on what they should register for – I tend to give them a list of things they SHOULDN’T register for instead. I think that is just as helpful so they can save money, and even more importantly SPACE, by skipping these unnecessary things.

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Here are 5 things – worth $142.00+ – that you do NOT need for your new baby:

1) Tummy Time Mat – $19.99

Tummy Time Mat

This thing is such a joke. It is essentially a blanket, with a tiny pillow attached and a fake flimsy mirror, so your wee-one can do tummy time. How about this – lay any regular blanket on the floor (you’re going to get a million of them as baby gifts), roll up a swaddle blanket to put under baby’s arms to prop them up, and forget about the mirror (or use a cheap baby floor mirror) and viola! You have your very own tummy time mat and an extra $20 in your pocket!

2) Bumbo Seat with Tray  – $39.99 for seat, $11.99 for tray

Bumbo and tray

You might feel tempted to register for the Bumbo seat and tray. Resist the urge, I assure you this – YOU DO NOT NEED IT. Not only are there studies out there that tell you not to use it, but it is completely unnecessary and just takes up a lot of space. You will have a highchair, you will probably have a bouncer and/or swing. There will be plenty of ways to prop your baby up so he or she isn’t constantly just laying on the floor. I repeat: you don’t need this.

3) Boppy Newborn Lounger – $29.99

Boppy lounger

See above. This is another floor seat you might think you need. I did. Folks, I hate to break it to you, but this is just a pillow.  It only slightly elevates them off the floor. I, too, was sold on the cute print and convenient handle. But I think I only used it a handful of times, and each time thought to myself, why couldn’t I just put him on a pillow?

4) Bottle Warmer – $24.99

Bottle warmer

Maybe I’m just an idiot, but I had a bottle warmer similar to this one and I never did figure out how to make it work. I read the instructions front to back, followed them to a T, but I swear my bottles never seemed any warmer and I always just ended up burning myself on the steam. My advice – leave your milk out for a little bit before you plan to feed baby to naturally get the milk to room temperature. Don’t waste your money here.

5) Infant Shoes, Tutus, Jeans, Etc. – $14.49+

Shoes

I hear you – shoes that are smaller than my index finger are pretty much the cutest thing ever. With a puppy on them? Even cuter. But do you know how freaking hard they are to get on a squirmy baby’s feet? And that babies don’t actually keep them on their feet? A little girl with a tutu on or a little boy in a pair of jeans and suspenders and a bow tie? I KNOW – ridiculously cute. But don’t buy them. I assure you that you’ll get AT LEAST ONE cute and unpractical outfit from a grandma or cousin or friend that will be perfect for some newborn pictures. But that is the one and only time they will ever wear that outfit. The rest of the time, they’re just wearing onesies and sleepers because they’re easy and because they can be more disposable when the outfit happens to be the casualty of a blow out situation.

What other baby items did you realize after the fact that you didn’t need? Am I missing the boat with any on my list above?