Here comes the judge(ments)
The other day we read this really cool little tid-bit on the Huffington Post.
What we took away from it was how you can meet another mom who comes at parenting from a different angle than you, and how you can still get along. That is of course, if neither one of you are judging.
Believe it or not, and if you have your own children you know you believe it, this is actually harder to do than you think.
I'm not gonna say we have never been on the judging side... But it always feels like crap afterwards to know that you were spiteful. And hopefully, we have been on the receiving end enough more times, to feel justified writing this and knowing we will refrain from judgment as much as we can.
From the very first moment you are pregnant.... The "Mom judging" starts.
Sometimes it is all dressed up as "good advice" or well meaning questions, but you can always feel the subtle under current.
"Breast feeding is THE best! Do you have the La Leche Leauge book yet? You can borrow mine!"
"Oh my gosh, you TOTALLY have to put your baby in the crib from day one... or trust me, he will NEVER get out of your bed!!"
"Are you SURE it's not twins?"
"You don't really want to name your baby that, other kids will make fun of her name."
Then, the "good advice" continues with your newborn.
"Oh, that baby needs a hat!"
"You just have to bounce him the RIGHT way and you'll get a burp out."
"Remember, you're not eating for two anymore."
"You don't have to pick up your baby EVERY time she cries you know."
Seriously, the amount of unsolicited advice that I have gotten over the last 5 years through my three pregnancies & bringing up my boys is astounding.
Unsolicited advice is a different creature then when someone wants and asks for your opinion on how to do something.
The best advice I got... Also unsolicited by the way, was from my pool man. He said to my husband and I one day shortly before our first son arrived,
"Find what works for your family, and do it."
Amazing.... Simple.... Profound.
What works for my family, may not work for your family.
(I hope that is a vegan cake!)
"My sister's husband's cousin let her baby sleep in her bed & that 8 year old still sleeps in his parents bed EVERY NIGHT!! Don't let your baby in your bed!!!"
Sleeping with my first son in our family bed was one of the most magical and romantic and bonding experiences my husband and I ever had as a couple. I snuggled that little baby till I could not snuggle no more!
And I am so glad I did, because, my two other boys didn't care to sleep in bed with Mom & Dad.
After about the 6th week, they were not having it anymore. They wanted their space and they wanted to be in their crib in a nice quiet room, they just slept better that way. I totally get that. I gave those babies what they wanted... And. I gave my first son what he wanted....
Every single one of my kids sleep in their own beds now, and sometimes I miss them!
Whatever sleeping arrangement works best for YOUR family, is the right one. Be it the family bed, every one in their own bed, musical beds, Co-sleepers... Go for it!
*Make sure your spouse is on the same page as you and your all happy.
"I'm sure you could make enough milk if you just keep TRYING to nurse... Don't give up! Here, call my lactation consultant her name is Ulalala, she once helped a MAN build a milk supply."
Oh my goodness people! Yes nursing is great, I personally loved it. But it is really, really hard those first few weeks and if you say it isn't then you must be the supreme milk mother.
Personally, I nursed all three of my children for just about 10 months each. That is 30 months of nursing in my life. These were beautiful and bonding experiences.... I did it, my breasts paid the price.
I have beautiful healthy strong children. I wouldn't trade it for the world. But you know what?
If you can't nurse, don't want to nurse, would NEVER nurse...
That's OK too.
I seriously feel like this hot-button-issue is the hardest on Mom's who, for whatever their reasons, do not nurse. I know women who are made to feel like horrible mothers because they don't nurse. That's bull.
I have a 6 year old... I am here to tell you at this point, I can not tell you who in his Kindergarten class was nursed, who was bottle fed, or honestly and quite possibly... Who goes home after Kindergarten and has a little breast milk snack!!
My point being, they are all healthy, strong and beautiful.
Lay off the moms who bottle feed, its gonna be ok.
"Ohhhh is she pregnant again? Please don't tell me that is what her stomach still looks like from her last baby!"
Cringe!! I cringe when I hear one mother crap talking another mother for not being skinny enough fast enough. Seriously? I want to yell... Seriously?
Way to build a sister-hood.
If you have gotten skinny right after you have your baby, then good for you! That is awesome and you should be proud of your self!!
What you shouldn't be is a total bitch who looks down on the sweet mom who is doing her very best and may still have a little baby pooch.
Everyone is in it together. Everyone is having the days where they just about loose their Sh*t by bath time. We are all just trying to make it through these foggy days and sleep deprived nights.
Why do you have to bring a sister down for not being a size 2?
Isn't it enough that her kids are happy and clean and fed? Isn't it enough that she has on a shirt with no food on it and that she doesn't have spit-up in her hair?
(And yes, I did say sister!)
I think so... I think thats enough. Go on with your bad self mama! Your awesome!
Speaking of sleepless nights... This brings me to the most popular area of judging another mom...
"How is your baby sleeping?"
That question is soooo baited.
I have so many other questions for friends with a new baby.
"Who does he look more like?"
"What is his personality like?"
"How are YOU?"
"Isn't being a mother just the most amazing thing you have ever experienced?"
Because, really... Unless someone is reaching out and asking for help, just assume that the first 1-17 months are pretty sleepless on the whole.
But it is a euphoric and amazing tiredness that takes Mamma's over... They wouldn't trade it for all the chocolate in Switzerland.
So, unless you are asking out of pure concern and love for a friend...
Maybe wait to see if she brings it up.
You know how you know when your question comes from a place of love? When you get no satisfaction when you hear that your friend hasn't slept in weeks.
One day, all babies will sleep.
This we know.
I have had babies that seemed to NEVER sleep and I have had babies that slept 12 straight hours since they were 5-6 months old.
Trust me... If you are lucky enough to have a baby that sleeps all night,
the person you just spent an hour questioning about how their baby never sleeps more then 2 hour stretches, just doesn't want to hear it.
Wow... This is just the tip of the iceberg of parent-on-parent judgment.
We haven't even cracked the T.Vor no T.V, Video game, temper-tanturm, advanced placement testing, egg yet!
Our point is... Do your thing and do it proudly. If your kids are safe and happy. And you are sane (as possible) and happy then you are doing everything just fine.
Lets all just try and be supportive of each other. Lets stop with the baby comparing and the unsolicited advice.
Every once in a while try smiling at another mom and not tearing her down in your head for giving her baby non-organic bananas.
This is cute: found it on Babble
I don’t care if you breastfeed or formula feed.
I don’t care if you carry your baby in a sling, or push your babe in a stroller.
I don’t care if you cloth diaper or buy disposable.
I don’t care if your baby uses a pacifier, or sucks their thumb.
I don’t care if your baby eats organic food or not.
I don’t care if your kids watch tv.
I don’t care because I’m busy trying to raise strong, productive, loving, healthy, positive human beings.
I do care that you feel that you can reach out to your fellow mothers without judgment or shame.
I do care that you feel supported.
As a mother TO a mother, I SUPPORT you 100%.
Seriously, because anything less just sucks.
Kick judgment in the ass.
Just support each other."
Anyways, this is just our two cents. Judge it as you may.
XOXO- All The Cool Moms