I’ve always known that the world is a judgemental place but it wasn’t until I became a mum did I realise just how judgemental it really was. Sadly we seem to be most judgemental on other mothers, so why not support other mother’s instead of critisising them and trying to bring them down…
The things I find we critisise the most are:
Breastfeeding VS Formula – Noah was three weeks early and my body had been through a lot with preeclampsia so I tried my best but breastfeeding just didn’t seem to work. I tried in hospital and he wouldn’t latch so I was expressing milk and bottle feeding him. Obviously I got the “breast is best” talk from the nurses but as much as I tried when I got home Noah still wouldn’t latch and my milk was getting less and less so we were topping him up with formula anyway. I was sitting expressing for up to an hour to get around 10ml’s from each breast, it was exhausting, stessful but I just kept trying as I thought it would be best for him. When in reality if he isn’t getting enough to eat then it really isn’t best for him so I called my OB to get his advise and his honest response was “Is it really going to upset you that much if you can’t breastfeed and he goes on formula full time, I would rather you do this & Noah be healthy than you be overwhelmed and stressed.” This was all I needed and already I felt relief, even as a new mum you know your baby and what they need so don’t let others try to tell you what is best. Putting Noah on formula was the best thing for the both of us, he was getting fed and I was a lot less stressed. But I find I still get the odd comment when I mention I didn’t breastfeed especially from an older generation, they say “well how hard did you try” or “did you really give it enough time” or just “well why couldn’t you breastfeed.” Breastfed or Formula as long as your baby is healthy and it works for you that is all that matters.
Sleeping in their cot/own room VS co sleeping – Before I became I mum I swore my child would never sleep in bed with us, as a child I was a shocking sleeper I would wake up to eight times a night and go into my parents room. My mum was very disciplined and night after night would put me back in my own bed. Me on the other hand I was not so strong and after weeks of Noah waking multiple times a night, Jus and I both having to get up for work I caved and put him in bed with us. Now he doesn’t sleep with us every night and most nights when he wakes through the night he puts himself back to sleep but if he is unsettled or won’t go back off to sleep then I do put him in our bed just so we can all get some sleep. So if your child is a good sleeper or you have worked hard to get them into a good sleep routine then that is awesome but don’t judge those who are just doing what they have to to get some shut eye. Because a sleep deprived mum and bub is not a good combo and the comments like “You are just making a rod for your own back having him in bed with you” do not help anyone.
Working Mama VS Stay at Home Mama – The constant debate and it seems our biggest critics are other mothers on who has it harder, who works longer and what’s best for the child. To be honest there are pro’s and cons with each and I really don’t think there is a one mould fits all answer. If you are a stay at home mum you get the advantage of being at home with your child all day and watching them grow before your eyes and you don’t have the added “professional work stress” but it can be a stretch on the bank account and sometimes you can lose yourself a bit both mentally and financially and may long for adult conversation. Then on the other hand there are some mothers that chose to or who have to go back to work they financially may be better off but bring their work stress home and miss out on time with their children. I am not saying all of these things do happen just that there are two sides and it’s what works for your family. I am lucky that I have an amazing and understanding workplace that gives me flexibility and I feel I have a really good balance. I technically work a four day week – I work in the office three days a week and have a work at home day, Noah goes to care two days and to his nanny’s one day. My work at home day isn’t one full day at home as that is humanly impossible with a toddler so I split my time and do a few hours when Noah has his day sleep and a few hours of a night. I enjoy both worlds, I love my days at home with Noah and just being a mum but I also enjoy my job and being surrounded by a passionate team in the career I love.
These are just a few I have experienced but you have everything from birth did you have a caesarean, natural or epidural… What foods you feed your child, toilet training, does your child still have a bottle, brands of clothing and the list goes on… Oh and the one I have got is “But why did you need IVF.”
Every mum (in particular every new mum) is just doing their best to get through each day. There is no rule book on how to be a “perfect parent” actually there is no such thing as a “perfect parent” we are all just winging it to ensure our kids are happy & healthy.
The best thing about kids is they don’t judge and they are honest and maybe as adults we can be more like them…