Judgement. It is a tricky thing. I’m sure we’ve all experienced it in some way shape or form, maybe even sent a little out ourselves at some point. No matter your background as a mom or a dad, we all face judgment from others and ourselves after we become parents. With that in mind, I’d love for you to go to the Similac Facebook page and share the one thing you will do to help end the mommy wars — and that is the inspiration for today’s post.
“Your baby sleeps in bed with you? Oh, you’ll never break her of that habit unless you do it now. Just let her cry”
Those are the comments that I often got from my parents and friends when I told them about co-sleeping with my baby. They thought they meant well but really it is a form of judgement, and I could hear it in their tone of voice. They think their way was/is better and if I don’t change what I’m doing I’ll be sorry.
Yes, I co-slept with my daughter up until a few months ago. While nursing and recovering from a c-section it was just easier for me to have the baby right there in bed with me. Getting out of bed is hard when you have a huge incision that is healing, and doing so several times a night was just not an option. It worked for us. I was aware of the advantages and disadvantages, but doing what was best for us is ultimately what won out.
My baby girl is 19 months old right now and with a new baby on the way we have decided it is time for her to sleep in her own bed, otherwise we probably would still have her sleeping with us (which she does occasionally if she wakes up). The transition was not hard at all. We supported her through it for a few nights and now she easily goes to sleep in her own bed.
Welcome to motherhood – in public
“Oh, disposables. We use cloth, it’s better for the baby and the environment.”
“Can you believe she is breastfeeding — in public?”
“You sleep with your baby, that’s so dangerous!”
Whatever the judgement, this is motherhood – in public. Welcome to mommy shaming, where moms are horrible to each other online, in playgroups, and in tight little circles for each parenting ‘style’. The Mommy Wars are enough to shake once confident parents everywhere. What you thought was best for your child, you now question – “should I be doing that?”
We are breaking each other down, all while crumbling inside ourselves. As if we don’t have enough to deal with already; piles of laundry, groceries, jobs, toys everywhere — but now we also have to deal with a constant barrage of judgement. Why are we so hard on one another?
Perhaps we need to feel validated in the way we are raising our kids, or we are proud of our parenting skills and want to make sure everyone else knows we’ve figured out the only right way to raise a child. Perhaps the opposite is true and we are quite insecure in our parenting and feel threatened by a different method.
In any case, we are hard on ourselves and we are hard on each other. But should we be? I really feel that this thing called motherhood — it cannot be done alone. I’m not saying single motherhood isn’t doable, I’m just saying that the mommy wars are unnecessary. Who cares if I breastfeed and you formula feed? Does it really matter in the end as long as our kids are healthy and happy?
We need each other.
We need support from our fellow sisters in motherhood (or fatherhood, whichever). Wouldn’t it be great if we could all raise each other up and support the choices we each make for our own children?
But you know what — we can!
Perhaps it starts with ourselves. Looking into our own feelings and exploring why we feel the need to send out looks of disapproval or comment on Facebook about how ‘she’ is doing it all wrong.
Perhaps we can start with acknowledging that there is no one right way. There are millions of different ways, and every mother knows her own right way, and this is what makes motherhood so beautiful. Each mother has love for her child, just because it looks different than how you do it doesn’t make it any less.
So let’s heal this together. Let’s end the Mommy Wars. Let’s raise each other up in support and pick each other up when we fall. Let’s ask for help when we need it, and offer advice in a kind way that doesn’t judge.
Because we need each other. Our kids need us to do better, to be better.
What’s your story?
Tell us your story about overcoming judgement or any challenges you face. Head over to the Similac Facebook page and share the one thing you will do to help end the Mommy Wars!
This is my second in a series of posts with Similac and their Sisterhood of Motherhood Program. You can find my first post, about Feeling like a Failure, here. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Find Similac on Facebook and YouTube.
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