Jan 072014


*This is part of the BOM 2013 – Best Of Momastery 2013! I chose the essays that you loved and shared the most. Enjoy!

One of the questions folks ask most often is:  G, I’m drowning in the mommy wars. How do I escape from all the mom-petition?

My answer is always this: If you need it to disappear, stop believing in it. Competition is just like shame. It only exists for people who believe it does.

I used to believe in mom-petiton so strongly that it left me more than a bit paranoid.

I remember sitting in the food court of the mall one afternoon when my three kids were very young. I was cutting cardboard pizza and life-threatening “chicken” into itty bitty pieces, wiping up a million sugary spills, sweating, sweating, sweating, trying to figure out if I could be arrested for leaving my kids’ side for one hot second to refill my coke, praying no one would have to pee because: THREE KIDS WHO LICK EVERYTHING IN A PUBLIC RESTROOM and just, well, UGH.

Out of the blue this women sat down at the table next to me with her quiet child.  The child wore a matching top and pants. With a matching bow in her braid. In her BRAID. Someone had BRAIDED this child.  While I stared and looked back at my ragamuffin children who sort of looked like nobody loved them – the woman pulled out a high chair cover. To protect her child from GERMS, I think. And then. And THEN. She pulled an avocado out of her bag. An avocado AND A SPOON. This woman had packed a spoon. And she used that spoon to start feeding her well-groomed child food that came from a TREE. Or the ground? I don’t know – where do avocados come from? I don’t know but I’m pretty sure it’s not from the food court.

And this SHOW made my face start burning. I felt as if this woman had materialized for the sole reason of making me look bad. I am telling you that I decided right then and there that this mother was feeding her child avocados AT ME. And that also she had matched her child’s clothes that morning AT ME. And also that she had likely disciplined her child effectively for years AT ME. And that as icing on her (likely homemade and gluten-free) cake she was enjoying a lovely, peaceful, well-planned, healthy lunch AT ME. I felt judged. I felt like her approach to parenting was maybe developed solely to shine a big old spotlight on my “not good enough” parenting.  She was parenting AT ME, I tell you!

For years I lived in world in which people lived AT ME. For example:

Craig worked out AT ME while I tried to enjoy the couch. So aggressive.

People discussed natural child birth AT ME because they could sense my previous sixty epidurals.

People attempted ATTACHMENT PARENTING AT ME. ( I still don’t know what that really is but it certainly doesn’t sound like something behind which I’d rally.)

People threw Pinterest parties AT ME.

People trained for triathalons AT ME.

People refused to eat carbs after 8 pm AT ME.

I was constantly under attack with all of these judgy people living AT ME.  I was living in a hostile world.

But after spending the last five years reading thousands of letters from mamas and the last year on the road hearing stories from every different “type” of mama –  I live in a different world. I believe differently now. I know that nobody’s parenting at me and nobody’s living at me. Feeling judged by other people’s decisions is an insanely ego-centric way to live. Like my dad always says, “Glennon, nobody is thinking about you as much as you think they are.” Everybody’s just doing the best she can, mostly.

Other mamas are just weaving together families using what the unique gifts and challenges and interests they have. Just like I am. They are much too joyful and scared and fulfilled and empty and tired and inspired and busy living their brutiful lives to concern themselves too much with what I’m doing.

I mean, after five years – I’m ready to consider the possibility that avocado lady might not have even known I was going to be in the food court that day. It’s not likely – but it’s a possibility.

What we seek we will find and if we’re looking for a world full of judgmental mamas –  we’ll find it. Parenting is the most important thing to many of us and so it’s the place we’re most vulnerable. But even when we’re scared  – we can still choose. We can choose to see each other as competition or as fellow warriors – fighting the same fight on the same team. One goal – many paths. We can learn from each other. We can even ENJOY each other.

I live in a world where women do that now. It’s cozier. Better. More peaceful.  And much more interesting.

And if you have a friend who makes you feel competitive or less than- just remember that it’s likely not because she’s bad or you’re bad – it might just be that she still believes, so she’s living in a different world than you are. But you don’t have to enter every world into which you’re invited.

Stand your ground. Stay in your world. Stop believing.


A Folk Tale About Worlds

A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment.

“What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer, answering the question with another question.

“They were a bad lot. Troublemakers all, and lazy too. The most selfish people in the world, and not a one of them to be trusted. I’m happy to be leaving the scoundrels.”

“Is that so?” replied the old farmer. “Well, I’m afraid that you’ll find the same sort in the next town.”

Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work.

Some time later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. “What sort of people live in the next town?” he asked.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer once again.

“They were the best people in the world. Hard working, honest, and friendly. I’m sorry to be leaving them.”

“Fear not,” said the farmer. “You’ll find the same sort in the next town.”


 PS. I still think you marathoners are running at me. Cut it out.


Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  65 Responses to “Read This And Change Your Parenting Experience Forever”

  1. This is one of those articles that I will remember forever, because I have similar experiences constantly. I used to be that avocado-pointing mama, and I had no idea, but I can look back and remember comments other moms would make. Now, I’m that mom with three kids 4 and under shoving french fries into their mouths to get them to JUST BE QUIET A MINUTE. Sanity is our number one priority. Healthy food comes after that somewhere…

  2. So true! Life is so much better when you don’t really care what others think about you. Don’t get me wrong-I care about others. I just don’t care what they think. :) (This said with a poison-diet-Coke in hand.)

  3. This gave me a laugh and a chuckle. Thank you for sharing this message! Being a parent is a tough job. Remembering we are all on the same team is important! (Something I need to remind myself of plenty of times when I feel myself fall into the mom-petition trap. :) )

  4. Great post, very entertaining. Its all relative right. I was feeding my (then) 2 yr old son avocado and felt paranoid of oncoming judgment since he was also eating tortilla chips – you cant win! As long as youre doing your best, to hell with the rest!

  5. I love avocados.

    Competition is the one thing God does not want us to experience. He loves each of us where we are and gently encourages us to come closer. When we come unto him and drop our burden on him, we bear a song away. But we do have to mean it: we have to DROP the burden and never pick it up again. And that is exactly what competition is: a burden.

    On Tuesday my wife went to visit her father, who passed away yesterday. So I get the kids for a week. And guess what? I forgot to put the trash out to the curb. I guess I am OK with that, but it makes me appreciate her more, because she *never* forgets the trash. She is not perfect, and neither am I, so we just love each other through it.

  6. I’ve always wondered about “mom-petition”. Is it really about the moms or about the kids? As a parent (full disclosure: I am a father) I look/judge/compare myself with other parents because I worry about creating the best series of opportunities and experiences for my kids to help them grow up to be happy adults. I wonder if eating avocados are better for my kids then the chicken nuggets I am letting my kids eat. The reality is my kids will compete with the Avocado kid and because of that I compete with Avocado mom. The question I would ask is why do you think a child with matching clothes, braided hair, eating an avocado is going to turn out happier compared to the one sitting at your table?

    • Depends on what meaning the Avocado Kid assigns to being treated that way:
      “How come you never let me pick out my own clothes, or do my own hair or eat synthetically flavored GMO taco chips like all the other kids I know – sometimes I wonder if you love me at all…”

      Or: “Mom, I’m so glad you make sure I look my best and never feed me anything that isn’t certified organic – it lets me know you really love me…”

      The meaning they assign to that experience is no less arbitrary – or (dis)empowering – than parents that do(n’t) believe in mompetition.

      Events in life and the meanings we GIVE those events, have no connection whatsoever, EXCEPT in the space between our ears.

    • My mom fed us food from trees. My favorite snack to this day is half of an avocado with some lime juice and salt. Like you said, I hated it when I was younger because I wanted “normal” food like all of my peers. I looked forward to road trips because I knew we might get to eat McDonalds like “normal” people.

      In the long run, I’m am so much happier and grateful to her. I never went through the battle of giving up soda and juice, because I never developed a taste for it in the first place. I’m fine snacking on vegetables and don’t have cravings for chips or breaded things. I’ve never been sucked into the dieting yo yo that I see quite a few of my friends in.

      I was not a single child, either, there were four of us all close in age.

      The avocado was probably a lot cheaper than food court food and doesn’t take any time at all. Same thing with packs of veggies or blue corn chips and fresh salsa. If you want your kids to turn into healthy, happy adults, do them a favor and feed them healthy food. The perception that healthy eating it is more expensive and more time-consuming is false, aside from the extra chunk of time it takes to learn the tricks and shortcuts.

  7. I’m not sure I completely agree. Mom competition certainly exists and I have experienced very clear situations myself. I’ve come to realize, however, that moms compare and judge out of insecurity themselves, not maliciousness. And I agree with you, that most importantly it can only affect me if I let it. If you learn to be a mom who doesn’t need to compare, isn’t afraid of being judged or not accepted and just frankly doesn’t give a damn, you don’t even notice the mom-petition. But does it exist, speaking from experience I would definitely say yes, it does.

  8. Yes, I remember my own insecurities well. I wonder…perhaps she sat by you because she was lonely and you looked nice and down to earth, a real person, unlike her hyper-competitive Gymboree “friends”. She might have hoped to start a friendly conversation. But you closed down before she could try.

    Perhaps, even, her child was going through a stage and would *only* eat avocados and considering the cost of one avocado she’s really worrying about how to sponsor this fetish of her child’s favorite food. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…

    I’ve learned, like you, that most of other people’s stuff isn’t really about us. They’re worrying about themselves as much as you worry about yourself. It took some hard stuff to teach me. And I learned that, yes, some people DO judge. But it’s *still* about them and their lack of compassion and their insecurities.

    People are people. We’ve all got to share the same space somehow.

  9. WOW. After slowly realizing that I was chasing the mirage for many years this blog (and specific essay) pin-point exactly what I was doing – competing with everyone who wasn’t competing with me. Without this honest essay I would not have realized my wasteful detour from the journey as quickly. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better mom and wife for myself and family… and not for the avocado lady.

  10. I’m pretty sure that I’m that silly avocado mom. I’m not saying that my son looks pristine! Oh no! The kid is a rascal to boot, and I often dress him in ridiculous clothing. But I do do a lot of “all natural” things in the home. I make my own butter, I can, I garden, and I feed my kid a lot of veggies and stuff. Generally my son does pretty well in public, and smiles a whole bunch…although sometimes he doesn’t and I am the crazy mom who gets those looks in public. You know those crazy looks people give mom’s! Anyways, I have had some mom’s say things like, “Wow, you feed him all those veggies. That’s amazing! And he’s so well behaved!” Comments like that always hurt me if I am aware of a comparison going on. Especially when comments like that are ended with some sort of debbie downer statement like “But I could never do that” or “You just wait until your son hits (insert life-stage here), then you might have to change your ways!” What’s up with that? A lot of times when I look at other mom’s and they are doing something that I admire, or find sort of amazing, I want to adopt it. I want to ask them, “Wow, that’s pretty cool that your kid is wearing matching socks! Tell me, how do you find the time to wash them?” I don’t pine away because their kid seems to be all put together or whatever. And when I see a mom where their kid is wailing I often wonder how it is that I can help them, because they must be having one of those days. Why must we always look at other’s achievements and look down at ourselves because of it? It’s wonderful how you have learned to no longer judge yourself, because we are all happier when we live a judged free life. I think that this sort of life lets us have the freedom to adopt things that we appreciate in other mother’s and their experiences without discrediting all the hard work we do.

  11. I love this post. This is the very first Momastery post I ever read and I’ve been coming back ever since. Thank you, G.

  12. Wow, this is surely speaking volumes to me at the same time confirmation to what i recently realized. I am the problem, these perception i think they have on me is perhaps my own thoughts and I need to get over it. Thank You for sharing this!

  13. Honestly, I find it hilarious with the new moms who think they know exactly what they’ll do or what they’ll never do. Have enough children and the world becomes a very amusing place. Pride gets thrown out the window and life becomes easier, because it has to.

  14. I have raised my babies and now and now I can look back on what you are looking at in your mothering.
    If you are feeling like everything is done ” at “you, then you are really judging yourself.

    Most of these dear people, ( who are doing their best also), do not even know you are there.
    If you are comfortable with what you are doing with your kids, and you know that they are well fed and cared for, (at least as much as you care for yourself), then stop judging yourself and be comfortable with what you do.

    On the other hand,if you know you are really just lazy and you spend hours on yourself and you always look great and your kids look un kept your may have a reason to feel uncomfortable.

    Or If you just do not what to make you kids nourishing meals because you just hate to cook or it is too much trouble to make sure your kids have real food lunches, then maybe you should think again when you see a mom that challenges you and makes you uncomfortable.

    If you are happy with your mothering then these other mom’s should not bother you.
    Just love those kids, protect them and their health as best you can and trust God with it all.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t judge that other mom. The only one you can change is you anyway.

  15. Thank you so much for your wise and witty post! It was the perfect words, at the perfect time for me. I live among many “avocado moms”, in avocado land. You reminded me to dance to my own song.

  16. poor avocado mom. She must have been so embarrassed to have dressed her child in a matching outfit when she saw how creatively cool you are letting your children choose whatever they want to wear. Did you do that at her?

  17. You are amazing!

  18. Brilliant. You pointed out (in a most entertaining fashion) something that I have finally come to realize as a mom. Yes, people judge, but most of the pressure and judgement we FEEL is actually the stuff we put upon ourselves. I had one of those moments when my first son was going to preschool (and I was working full time, plus had a brand new baby) and another mom actually said to me, “well, we dont have store bought cookies for snack time. Surely you have 2 hours a week that you can set aside for baking?” Uh, surely I DIDN’T, but it made me feel like crud anyway. (I asked my mom to do the baking on my rotation) Funny thing was, when supermom had baby #3 (and was stay at home) her kids were showing up to the preschool in non matching outfits with store bought snacks. Hmm. Admittedly I was a little smug, but I still felt for her when she told me, with her wide open, slightly watery eyes, “omg- I absolutely do NOT have 2 hours a week to bake now. Can you ever forgive me?”

  19. Such an encouraging post. Thank you for the laugh. Many of my friends are sharing and commenting on Facebook. We are in the middle of the snowpocalypse in Indiana and have been cooped up for days. The kids have not been able to go back to school. Lots of technology use going on, and this helped give us give ourselves a break from the guilt.

  20. I’m up with all, Moms! It’s tough so, we need to stick together! You expressed how I feel in a much more eloquent way. Thank you so much. I hope your article travels around the world many times!

  21. Only stumbled into your blog yesterday through a friend and absolutely love it. Wow, I am so that mum that constantly feels like the failure and everyone else is doing it better. I try not to, but I do. You write and express these feelings and observations so very well. I will be an avid follower of your site. I also just watched your Ted talk. It was the very best thing I could have watched today. I drink too much, and know I do for the full purpose of numbing and taking the ‘edge’ off things. And strangely enough, only just this morning asked told my husband not to buy me any more alcohol. He was going to buy some today for the weekend. The timing of this means something I think. I think you may have Ted’d right at me. Thank you. :)

  22. Thank you for this. I’m not an “AT ME” kind of mom (such a blessing). I guess I am just oblivious to things like that…
    But I have been on the receiving end – having someone THINK that I am eating my avocado at them. It’s really, really hurtful. Having all of that hostility directed toward you, at no fault of your own, with no ability to correct it – is heartbreaking. Especially when it’s directed at you by a dear friend.
    Thank you for putting this out there. It helps me understand her a little more, and refuels my patience with it. :)

  23. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Nancy Reagan

  24. This is my favourite Momastery post ever!

  25. Love this – it is something I remind myself of – especially around family.
    You might have meant to – in jest- but triathlons is spelled incorrectly. Thought you’d want to know – if you didn’t already.
    And I train for triathlons to stay sane – it’s my anti-depressant – so any medals or trophies mostly go in the trash – I don’t do it ‘at’ anyone- its just for me. My goal is to inspire other mommas, not to be better then them (unless we are racing to the finish line :)

  26. My husband totally works out at me when I’m trying to enjoy the couch. It sucks!

    I LOVED this when you first posted it and love it even more now. Definitely one of your best by far. Thanks for sharing again!

  27. I loved this post. I think whether you’re an “avocado mom” or know the McDonalds menu by heart, you feel judged. It’s up to each one of us to do our own thing and be supportive to everyone else. And talking about avocados, I like packing healthy stuff in my bag for my kids because they get belly aches from a lot of fast food places (so do I, must be one of the “awesome” things I passed down to them). One time we got together with a few mom friends at the mall and they all got their kids meals from the food court and I pulled my son’s lunch box out. As soon as I saw a few stares, I put it back in my bag and went to get my kid a meal like theirs. I didn’t wanna be left out or feel judged. It’s funny to read the other side and realize we are all in this together.

  28. When my son was first born, I had all of these “A good mother (fill in the blank)” thoughts all the time. And I could never live up. I failed at all of them everyday. I’m not sure what changed…perhaps getting out of a toxic relationship and a couple years of counseling :)? Now, I acknowledge the things I know I need to do better, but I’ve set the bar at an attainable level, and when I fail, it has more to do with when I react rather than respond…when things hit my dark places and I lose it. Those are the things I’m not proud of. Abandoning fancy birthday cakes because they take 8 hours to bake and frost and I end up with batter in four rooms of the house and frosting on the backs of my legs…that I’m OKAY with…and I only feel a smidgen of unworthiness when I see other’s pics of their creations (mostly I feel relief that I know people who will make the cake for me).

  29. This was a big one for me when it was originallt posted. At the very least, I am now aware of how much I think people are parenting AT me and how I need to adjust my thinking. But damn, it still feels like every mom I know is being a more awesome mom AT me on Facebook sometimes :) love love love this article, and you, G.

  30. I think I need to read this post every day. That was like a balm for my soul. Thanks, Glennon!

  31. Life is so much better without those voices in my head. And it’s always been comforting to know that my kids (a ten year old son and five year old daughter) know that we aren’t normal & think it would not be a good life if we were. I’ve always been pretty clear about who I am & no matter how hard I could try or others could try- this is me and I kinda like me. And my kids are kinda absolutely wild about me! And I can assure them that no one will ever accuse us of being normal- and my daughter will proudly say, “Thank God!” When we are in the good court eating all kinds of “gourmet” Chinese food & chicken fingers & fries, etc., it’s like we are dancing like no one is watching… And we love our random dancing- We’re Rockstars all over the place but not AT anyone..
    Big LOVE dear Monkees!

    • “Normal” is waaaaay over rated! Keep doing what you are and being the wonderful mom you are. I spent so many years worrying about what other people thought about my children I could never relax and just enjoy the moment. Take the hand of Life and DANCE!

  32. I’m an avocado mom…I always feel like the other moms judge me because I’m feeding our son an avocado! I love this!

  33. Ahh, thank you for this article. I needed it. My child is not due until April, but on my “snow day” due to cold temperatures, I was sitting at home trying to read every baby book, clean the nursery, do my prenatal workout, limit my coffee intake, get invites for the shower ready etc, not b/c I particularly felt like doing any of these, but b/c I figured that is what every other mom-to-be would be doing.

    After reading this I might take a bath, relax, and binge watch some adult Netflix shows while I still can. Thank you!!

    • Yes, yes, yes! Do all those things in the last sentence. In my world, you might even have a glass of wine, too. And NAP. Nap nap nap nap nap nap nap.

      I am due in April, too. There is no such thing as a nursery here yet.

      We are both growing people. That makes us both awesome! :o)

    • I have four children – do those things now because you can (the napping, relaxing, netflix)…very soon you’ll be blessed with doing A LOT of things you don’t feel like doing no matter what!!! LOL

    • Absolutely do all the chilling stuff. Totally enjoy your pregnancy and use those books as a mere guide, not a definite manual ls each baby is sooooooo different anyway. I am lucky that I don’t give a hoot what others think about my parenting. So excited for you. My biggest piece of advise to any new Mum is take whatever help is offered and never be afraid to ask for help. it makes the world of difference x x

  34. Eleanor Roosevelt once said “People would worry less about what others thought of them if they realized how little they did”

  35. As I read this, I realized that I’ve been accused of being the “avocado mom “. Unfortunately for me,
    I honestly DO NOT have that kind of time nor energy to deliberately conceive of ways to make others look or feel inadequate. I am just a mom like any other who’s trying to be the best mom I can be for my three sons. If anything I do makes you feel like you’re less of a mother, I suggest that you take an inventory of yourself & figure out what you can do to change the situation.

    • Erin, I think you need to re-read the whole post. Kudos to you for being an avocado mom. I vacillate between that and french-fry mom. And it’s all okay. We just need to jump of the comparison train.

    • Erin, I think you completely missed the point of the essay. Let down your defenses and read it again. We can all learn from this, avocado AND chicken nugget moms alike.

    • “If anything I do makes you feel like you’re less of a mother….” Erin, I think you’ve missed the heart and soul of the post. Nothing that anyone else does should make anyone else feel like LESS OF anything. I feel that what I read in Glennon’s message was just the opposite of that – that it isn’t about taking an inventory of ourselves to find out where we’ve fallen short, but rather is about looking in the pantry of our mothering souls and being okay with what is on the shelves. So although my family is the chicken nuggets sort, I will admit that we do love an avocado from time to time. But not because someone else told us only good, competent mothers have avocado. It’s because we authentically like it and it works for us and so we have it. I hope that’s why you have it, too. :-)

  36. The first time I read this was one of the Internet’s greatest gifts to me. I was a new mom, struggling with/mourning breastfeeding, and felt like all of these women were breastfeeding AT me. But really, it turns out, they were just feeding their babies. Weird.

    The possibility that people didn’t think about me all the time, even if they were looking straight at me, was really jarring. If I don’t have to spend so much energy worrying about other people’s judgement (with their Pinterest successes, their use of yoga pants for actual yoga, their total lack of baby spit on their dry-clean only shirts), then I would have so much more free energy. It turns out, I needed that extra energy.

    And then, as like a total super bonus, when I stopped feeling shamed by them, I stopped resenting them for being so together and fit and clean. Good for them! Breast feed and Pin and Down Dog and dry clean away! Way to go! Assuming they were judging me fundamentally required me to judge them, and that is exhausting work, too. Um, “stopped” is a strong word. My AWARENESS of my shame, resentment, and judgmentalness was heightened, and now I can stop myself mid-shame and backpedal enough to relax a little.

    • “Assuming they were judging me fundamentally required me to judge them, and that is exhausting work, too”

      SOO TRUE!! Thanks for putting that so clearly. And thank you too for articulating that recognizing this is not a cure-all, and that it still takes the work of stopping and backpedaling!

    • Yes, so brilliant!

    • LOVE this article and your response, Dee! Beautifully articulated. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Oh, I Love, Love this!!!! Thank you :)

  38. You speakin’ my lang-ga-lij. (psst when I was little apparently when I didnt’ understand what someone was saying I’d say speak my lang-ga-lij?….weird but true)

    What i’ve come to wonder is if that Avocado swinging momma wasn’t drawn to you because you had what she desperately wanted….she wanted to be able to relax, eat what ever, have more children, live freely, and with abandon, but she can’t she’s needs to control control control. This situation can be threatening in both directions. Anywhoo that’s just what I’m wondering.

    And I’m with you!! When will those dang runners stop running AT ME. Even my sister is running at me this days. blast her!!

    • Maybe she’s a control freak. But more likely avocado mama was doing the best she could for her child with what she had available to her at the time, just like Glennon.

  39. I think you are the BEST thing ever!!

  40. You never know – her kid might have been like my kid where avocado is one of only 3 foods she’ll eat (one of the others is potato chips!). Every mom has her challenges…they are just different.

    • I was just about to say the same thing Amber! You never know…she may have been longingly glancing YOUR way because she wished HER kid would be “easy” and eat fast food from the mall without having to pack something!!

      • Completely agree! I kept thinking, maybe she’s a food allergy mom like me. I’d love to just once buy my kids a snack from a food court or straight off the shelf. Maybe that was the first time that mom had left the house all week and she was feeling proud of her clean clothes. I think its safe to say we are all fighting a battle. The only one we can prevent is the one we start with ourselves. Love your site G!

  41. I used to feel the same way when I watched other moms nurse their babies in public. I wasn’t able to breast feed, and (especially with the first) I would burn with shame when I pulled out a bottle. (Okay, a little shame and A LOT of envy.) With the second, I did some research and realized that my body simply was not equipped. Period. It wasn’t my fault, and it didn’t make me a failure as a woman or a mother.

    And when I whip out formula this time around (and unbelievably, we’re almost done with that stage), I don’t give it a second thought. I am feeding my child in the best way I possibly could, and the mom nursing next to me is doing the same. Admittedly, there’s still a twinge of envy for what simply wasn’t meant to be, but the shame is gone. The feeling that other moms were judging me for my powder and water is gone.

    • I had that same problem with breastfeeding. I tried everything I could for six long weeks with my first born and it just didn’t work. I was not equipped to produce milk. The hardest thing for me was that friends and acquaintances would always tell me how easy I had it since I didn’t have to nurse at all hours of the night and some would tell me that formula is why my girls slept through the night at such an early age. I never responded to those comments. It’s not easy to spend $20-30 a week for formula, it’s not easy to wash and sanitize bottles day and night. I still got up in the middle of the night to feed my babies, only I had to creep downstairs and wait for the bottle to warm up before I could ease my crying child.
      Thanks for sharing your story, Tonya.

  42. Collecting all of these delicious words of Glennon wisdom for when I become a first time mama in August…and people start pointing their avocados at me.

  43. I needed this today… when I feel like I’m sinking into a pit of parenting failure that may swallow me whole. Thank you.

    • Veronica, I just wanted to leave some words of support. I’m glad you found these words at just the right time. Hope things are easing up a bit for you, now, several hours after you posted. It is a really really tough job. I’ll be thinking of you this evening.

      –K in Massachusetts

      PS–are you a writer? That is a really evocative phrase you turned there.

  44. I think you are writing today At Me and I love you for it!

  45. Yes, one of my favorite Momastery posts and my most favorite folk tales. I’ve even used it in interviews. 😀 I told my sister that people weren’t pointing their avocados at her ~ the look on her face was priceless!

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