“I feel like there was a fog in front of my eyes for 36 years, and the second Lily-Rose was born, that fog just lifted and everything became totally clear and focused. To say it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me is the understatement of the century. Look at me, I’ve become a cliche.” – Johnny Depp

Having a child is, hands down, the hardest and most rewarding challenge of my life. The fact that I would literally sacrifice just about anything for the health and well being of our wee one speaks volumes about the kind of “mother love” that I had read about but never really understood before Willow entered the scene.

I used to struggle with small decisions, ever fearful of offending or upsetting others. While I am still mindful of the comfort of others, I no longer require their approval to do what is right for myself or my family. I have been freed from my social shackles.

When Willow was sick and had to be tube-fed formula for a few weeks, I faced severe judgement from the Nipple Warriors. Obviously I was a horrible parent to listen to the pediatrician who claimed that my dehydrated, hypoglycemic, jaundiced child would die if I continued to only offer her the breast, from which she was too weak to nurse. I might have been devastated at hearing people tell me that I was “wrong”. I might have worried about offending my “breast is best” pals and having them judge me… Except that I no longer have the luxury of making decisions based on how others will perceive me. I need to make the best choices for Willow, regardless of the judgement and ignorant comments that sometimes come my way in the process.

Sometimes we hang out with people who make us feel uncomfortable, drained, upset or unsafe, because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Sometimes we say “yes” compulsively to gain approval and end up in uncomfortable situations doing things we really dislike (while robbing ourselves of precious time) because it allows other people to be happy.

Serving others is a worthwhile pastime. Kindness, time and patience can be wonderful gifts to our loved ones when they are given freely and without resentment. Sometimes, sacrifice is certainly warranted in relationships. But I have finally experienced the clarity and focus of which Mr. Depp speaks, and there is really no going back.

Are you posting derogatory items or writing offensive or inflammatory remarks on my Facebook page in order to cause conflict or spread hateful views? I don’t need to be the person with the most “friends”. You have been pruned from my friend list.

Are you so deeply lost in your disease that you are a danger to yourself and others? I am no longer putting myself or my daughter in an unsafe situation.

Are you upset that my new bedtime is 7pm and I am choosing five hours of precious sleep per night over spending time going out with you in the evening? Suck it up, buttercup.

I am okay with being considered selfish at this stage of the game. I am okay with being labelled anti-social. I am okay with a lot of things… because I really don’t have time to sweat the small stuff when this gorgeous small person needs me to be there for her.

Thank you for the perspective, my sweet Bean.


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