Why “we” as moms should be supporting each other!
We have all had it happen to us. You are out, minding your own business and the next thing you know, a random stranger comes up with some unsolicited opinion on what you are doing with your baby. (Insert eye roll)
For me, the first time and the one I most vividly remember was at the grocery store when Liam was a little over 2 months old. He was so tiny! I was still getting used to even being out with my baby and he had just gotten his vaccines a week or so ago, I was exhausted! (I’m sure the bags under my unrested eyes could be seen a mile away) I was happy to be venturing outside of my house, strolling the aisles with my quiet baby, who was sleepily sucking on his pacifier. Then it happened. A sweet older mother came to take a peek at my little guy, sleeping in his car seat. But did she just admire my son and tell me to enjoy my baby?… NO! This woman just HAD to tell me (in her sweetest, most condescending tone) “Oh, you’re letting him use a pacifier?!” I shouldn’t be letting him use a pacifier?! He was less than 3 months old! (Talk to me when he’s like 15…) My point is, there is nothing wrong with my son using a pacifier. Whether she decided to use one on her kids or not is none of my business, and my son using one was none of hers.
My example is on a silly topic, but we have all had that moment. Ok, probably more than just one moment like this. We are trying to do our best and be the best mom we can be to our kid with the information we have, and someone has to put us down. Someone has to tell us that what we have decided is best for us and for OUR baby is wrong.
We can be supportive of other moms with other views on how they choose to raise their kids. We can have respectful discussions and offer advice respectfully, but agree to disagree and STILL be considerate and ok! There is no one way to parent.
There is not only one way to be a good mom.
I chose to breastfeed and pump for a year (at this point I have just reached my goal!) and I have gotten mixed comments. The most vocal have been close family members (all moms) about how I did not need to do this, formula is fine. This being my favorite comment based upon the Board of Pediatrics which is mainly made up of men (so clearly they don’t know how difficult it is to have to breastfeed for a year). All of this may be true, but it is MY choice. Does it really bother them that I am pumping three times a day? No. And when I shared something on facebook supporting formula feeding moms that explained moms should do what is best for them and their families (happy moms=happy babies and that is what is most important), I received equal confusion. My own mom asked me “Why are you posting that when you are pro-breastfeeding, not formula?” That question is actually what inspired me to write this. My answer to her was, I am pro-moms. Pro-moms doing what is best for them and being able to choose and decide what that may be. Being a mom is hard. No one knows that more than moms. Instead of always passing judgment on each others‘ choices, let’s try to understand that we are all coming from a place of love. We are all trying to do what we feel is best for our babies. Understand that it does not look the same for everyone.
What was your favorite mom-shaming experience? How do you support and advocate for other moms? Let me know below!