I used to be a passionate advocate of breastfeeding, of gentle parenting, of certain “ideals”. I no longer am. I’m not a lactivist. I’m not an intactivist. I’m not a wait-it-out-ivist. I’m not a soldier in a battle in the mommy wars. In a way I have become a medic. I also help evacuate refugees that are caught in crossfire between opposing camps in this mad free-for-all fiasco of hurt feelings and bitterness.
Being an “advocate” came naturally in the beginning. I was raised with picket signs and letters of protest against things that I felt were an injustice. I’m a daughter of a 1960’s mom.
Some things seemed black and white back then in the beginning. Those things seemed even more clearly right or wrong because of parenting decisions that I was beginning to make for my own child.
As often happens with any war, you head in as a new soldier expecting to win battles. Some people become hardened and excel at aggressive assaults or impenetrable defense. Some people become strategists. Some people become diplomats. Some people get caught in the crossfire. Some people see the casualties.
I saw the casualties. Moms who doubted their choices, their motherhood, their existence as human beings. Moms trying to make “methods” work to the point where they were caught between the method and their child and the method was winning. Postpartum depression, social isolation, sadness, anger, angry-sadness and withdrawal. I saw the white flags of surrender.
And I realized something. Discussions about parenting methods should be this thing of JOY. Of fascination, of learning, of discovery. Of finding out what works for us.. Of finding out what makes sense for us.
Few people come to joy through force. It was realizing this that caused me to abandon advocacy in order to be a provider of support.
I had abandoned advocacy long before the “birth” of Nurshable. I had abandoned it because I did not want to be one of the casualties, and because it left me feeling sad and defeated. I simply don’t have the heart or stomach for advocacy. There is a place in this world for advocates, and I admire the work that they do. But I will never be a soldier, and I do not believe I will ever be an “advocate” again. It requires talents that I simply do not possess.
I purchased nurshable.com on October 25 2011 and I didn’t touch it for a good long while. When I found out that I was having a daughter as opposed to a third son, something shifted in my heart and in my head. I started seeing my child in all of the women around me rather than seeing myself. And I realized that I do not want my daughter to be a casualty.
After my sweet little one was born, I made the decision to start writing her letters about my own journey through motherhood. I wanted to somehow convey to her all of the things that I’ve learned about finding joy in choices. I decided to share these letters, as they are things that I wished I could have read as a new mom.. Things I wish I could have read instead of the endless threads of who is and is not right and how right or how wrong each person is.
Through speaking to my daughter in these letters I’ve found an incredible sense of calm and peace. And through speaking to the readers of Nurshable I am growing my peace. I’m growing my compassion. I’m seeing what happens when there is place of peace outside of a war.
There is no clear “birthday” for Nurshable. Nurshable was not “born” when I registered the domain. Nurshable was not “born” when I found out I was having a daughter. Nurshable was not “born” alongside my dear baby girl. So I can’t write a birthday post for this blog on a specific date. So this post will serve as my “happy birthday” to this safe place that WE have created. Myself, the readers of Nurshable, and our children.
Thank you for helping me find this place, and for helping me keep it so full of joy and calm. By leaving the comments open, this blog has become a community that extends to the WIO group and the Nurshable page, and to all of the friends that I have made and that have come to know each other as well. This has become a creation of yours as much as it is a creation of mine.
And it makes me smile.