Monday, October 21, 2013

Shedding the Labels {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

{Preparing for company this week, here's an archived post for your Monday morning boost!}

When I started out this mothering journey, I didn't apply any labels to myself - I was merely trying to survive.  Navigating a new marriage with a tiny red tyrant by my side hardly left any time for my to begin to process my personal style, my parenting philosophy - and my labels.

A few years and a few babies later, I began my labeling.   Natural Mom.  Cosleeper. Attachment Parent.  I stuck them to myself like name tags and wore them proudly...until I didn't.  The trouble with labels is that people aren't unchanging merchandise.  They are living, breathing, learning, growing organisms.  A label applied firmly one day might just not fit the next.

Which is when I discovered the guilt that self applied labels can cause.  When I fed my kids chicken nuggets as a result of poor planning or exhaustion.  When I sent my husband out for disposable diapers because I just didn't want to face the diaper laundry.  When I stuck a pacifier in the mouth of an infant and placed him firmly in a crib before staggering off for a (hopefully) decent night sleep.  Labels can cause guilt.  They can also lead to judgement.

I bristled a bit when someone said off handedly, "well it's not really homeschooling..." regarding our new plans for school this year.  Homeschool Mama is one of my very favorite labels...but does it get in the way of me doing what is right for me and for my kids?  In my early days of attachment parenting, I'll admit I was a bit smug when someone would tell me they cloth diapered only during the day.  "That's not real cloth diapering..." my judgmental, label-applying younger self would think.

The truth is, labeling ourselves can cause trouble.  It can hamper our ability to grow as God would have us grow.  It can keep us from moving in the direction we need to, for ourselves.  For our families.  Labeling can lead to unwarranted guilt when we fall short of whatever strident set of rules we set for ourselves.  It can lead to judging others when they shed labels and walk away, wisely understanding that sometimes change is necessary.  Right.

The only label we as Mothers need to apply to ourselves are the ones God has already made for us, the ones we forget are applied, even now.  God calls us beloved.  God calls us redeemed.  God calls us "Little Christs."  "New Creation." "Dearly Loved Children."

In living in the center of His labels of us, we are free to truly be who He made us to be.  Feeding our babies only organic, homemade baby food is a noble pursuit, but it does not make or break us as good mothers.  A good mother knows who she is in Him and rests in that knowledge, letting His love and purpose lead her, even if it seems it leads away from her ideals.

It's in letting go of our plans and purposes that we can truly seize His...and walk His path for us.

{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes.  A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life.  A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now. 

You might post recent struggles or thoughts.  Maybe just a picture or a quote.  Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post.  Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together.  Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday!  Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below.  Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us!  And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter.  This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:


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  1. I remember liking this post the first time I read it! Thanks for the reminder...K

  2. I spent precious time this morning trying to decide if should just use a disposable diaper. I chose cloth but only because I felt like I had to since I made the choice to be cloth diaper mama. Tomorrow may be a disposable day, and that's ok. Thanks lydia!

  3. It's absolutely ok. I'm not saying this is your issue, but mine was pride. I needed to let it go. Now we are a hybrid of both, and that's fine. It doesn't define me as a Mom!


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