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Friday, May 17, 2013

You're a good mum

You may (or may not) have seen the post floating around facebook that is addressed 'To the mom who is...' it goes on to list things that mums do and affirming those choices, whether they are to breastfeed or bottle feed, cloth diaper or disposable diaper. I both love and hate this post. I love it because at heart, it's right. There are so many different ways to be a good parent that it's impossible to pick one or two aspects and use them to measure your success as a parent. Judging other parental choices is fairly arbitrary and doesn't actually help us support each other. So kudos for writing this.

I dislike this post because even though it talks about accepting certain parenting choices, it still frames those choices in a way that manages to still exclude a whole spectrum of parenting values that are just as valid. Sometimes parenting isn't just about breastfeeding versus formula feeding or happy meals vs organic meals. There is more to it than that, and by omission this post actually does more to exclude some parenting options than it does to support all parenting choices. I am fully aware that this post was more than likely written entirely from someone's personal perspective, so of course they are going to post about what is relevant to them, and that's okay. But  I've decided to do my own version in response. I hope you like it.

I apologise in advance for this being addressed to mums, I appreciate that most of these things are a parental issue not necessarily just a maternal issue. But I wanted to keep it simple. So where it says 'mum' you can simply assume that dad or parent would work just as well.

To the mum who’s breastfeeding: Awesome work mama, breastfeeding is valuable, to you and your baby and any length of time that you manage between you is phenomenal. Whether that is 4 days or 4 years. You’re an awesome mum

To the mum who’s bottlefeeding: Awesome work mama, you’re feeding your baby, and whether that’s expressed breastmilk, formula or donor milk, you’re doing an amazing job and your baby values those close moments. You’re an awesome mum.

To the cloth nappy mama: Cloth nappies are just so darn cute, the environment and your baby’s bum thank you. Stunning work, you’re a good mum.

To the sposie mama: Laundry is tough work and skipping the extra loads frees up time to be with your baby. Stunning work, you’re a good mum.

To the stay at home mum: You’re doing a 24/7 job with no sick days or holidays, but your boss loves you and even though the going can get tough, you’re up to the task. The time you spend now is so valuable. You’re a great mum

To the working mum: Being away from your babies can be tough sometimes but you still rock it. You may not be at home as much but you make it count, your children value your contribution to the family and your house is filled with love. You’re a great mum.

To the co-sleeping mum: Holding your baby close is an amazing way to nurture them at a physiological and emotional level, those close times during sleep will be with them their whole lives. What am amazing gift you are sharing. You’re a good mum.

To the cot-sleeping mum: You’ve made a special space for your baby to sleep, as you settle them gently to sleep each night they can feel your love, they know if they call out you’ll be there to give comfort if they need it. What a lovely sleep space you’ve got. You’re a good mum.

To the comfort suckling mum: It’s wonderful that you can provide your baby’s emotional and physical need to suckle at the breast. You’re a good mum.

To the pacifier mum: Sometimes your baby wants to suckle for comfort but doesn’t want or need a feed, a dummy is a great option for those moments. You’re a good mum.

To the baby led weaning mum: What a great idea, feeding your baby whole foods and in a natural form is an excellent way to introduce them to food when they are developmentally ready. You’re a good mum

To the puree mum: Pureed food introduced at the right time is a lovely way to be engaged in feeding your baby. You can sneak so many good things into those purees too. You’re a good mum.

To the babywearing mum: Babywearing is an amazing way to hold your baby close and still get on with life. It’s the best of both worlds, enjoy it while it lasts! You’re a good mum

To the stroller using mum: Strollers are an amazing way for both of you to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors. Have fun on your adventures. You’re a good mum

To the whole food mum: Phenomenal, you have made an effort to feed your child the best possible food within your family budget and they will get value from that throughout their life. You’re a good mum.

To the quick meals mum: You do the best with what you have, sometimes there is not enough time in the day to make the food you’d choose to if you had unlimited time and money. And you know what, even though you’re pushed for time those kids are fed and nourished. You’re a good mum.

To the vaccinating mum: Good work, you’ve made an informed decision and it is the right decision for your family. You’re a good mum

To the non vaccinating mum: Good work, you’ve made an informed decision and it is the right decision for your family. You’re a good mum

To the smacking, shaming, emotionally neglectful, circumcising (medical circumcisions excluded) parent. Being a parent is hard. It's hard to always do the right thing or make the right decision. It's okay to make mistakes and move past them. It's okay to do some more research to understand why these things are harmful. Forgive yourself and move forwards. If you ask, your child will forgive you too.


  1. Hello,
    I'm not sure how to get in touch with you. I heard about you through an acquaintance that you do placenta encapsulation. I live in Dunedin and our baby is due in August. I'd like to try this, so I'm wondering if you could somehow get back to me.


    1. Hi Jessica, you can message me on my facebook page Natural Mum on the Cheap.

  2. We have been using expensive diapers for our baby since her birth . One time when the shipment got a little late, we had to use Honest diapers and my wife really liked them and ever since we stayed with Honest.
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  3. Hi, Great article!

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