Lessons in Motherhood

Mommy guilt is real and can be all consuming. Am I do my best? Should they eat that? Should I work? Should I not work? Are they developing as quickly as their peers? When do I give them a blanket? When do I potty train? How long should they have a pacifier? Soft soled shoes? Hard sole shoes? How many ounces of milk are they drinking? Is it enough? And the list goes on and on.
In North America the amount of parenting advice out there would take you their entire childhood to read. Then, if you did manage to read it all underneath the article there would be one hundred comments on how it’s all wrong. As far as I can tell, you can do no right.
The thing I love the most about being a mother in Koné is the acceptance of all styles of mothering. In our playgroup alone we have seven different nationalities. All of those nationalities bring along seven different ways of doing things. Cloth diapers, disposable diapers, wipes, lait de toilette, pacifiers, no pacifiers, solid food at sixmonths, solid food at a year, bottles, sippy cups, breast feeding, co sleeping, cribs, toddler beds, nannies ( Nou-nous), day care, home with mom. You name it and there is always some difference. What is so refreshing here is that everyone is so accepting of the differences. With so many personalities and cultures you quickly realise that there are many ways of mothering. No one feels that pressure of doing it “the right way” Because, as it turns out, there are many right ways! Gasp! And let me tell you, when you take away that guilt what is left is a clear view of what being a mother really is. It’s doing your best at loving and raising your child in the best way you know how. Mothering that is universal includes hugs and kisses, wiping tears ( and noses), laughing together and being so proud of your little boo. Guess what? No one will care what kind of diapers you used in 20 years or if the were swaddled or not. What they will notice though is if your child grew to be healthy and happy!
So this fine Friday morning I will pack up my son, drive to playgroup and enjoy every minute of it with some awesome mothers who are doing it their way!

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