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Do any of you parents ever find yourself scrolling through social media and see a post that makes you feel bad about the way you parent your child?
Not because you’re doing anything wrong (so you thought) but because you’re made to feel that you’re not doing things a certain way another parent is?
You know what I’m talking about…I’m talking about mom-shaming. You know… that mom that makes a comment that you should only be doing things a certain way and if not, you’re doing it ALL wrong!
Then you start to question if you should be doing your job as a parent differently because another one said so. You start to wonder ‘is there a guide to parenting I’m not following correctly?’ What makes that person’s way of parenting better than yours and who are they to say so? Who said there is a right and a wrong way to parent?
For anybody who has ever felt shamed as a parent, I’ve been there. As a mommy of one and another on the way, I’m constantly questioning my parenting especially when I see comments and posts that are putting others down for not doing things the “right” way.
Breastfeeding VS Formula fed
A huge question a mother has to ask herself from the very beginning is ‘should I breastfeed or formula feed my baby?’
There are so many theories when it comes to breastfeeding a baby. ‘Your bond with baby will be never-ending!’ ‘Your baby will never get sick’ ‘Breastfeeding will spoil babies if you do it too long!’
Myth or not, the saying “breast is best” is crap. Yes, breastfeeding has many AMAZING pros and benefits to it. NO, that’s not the only way to keep your baby nourished. A FED baby is best!
Formula feeding a baby also has many great benefits that breastfeeding doesn’t include! It’s super convenient to carry around a prepped bottle for baby, your boobs aren’t leaking everywhere when they reach max capacity and when someone watches your baby for you, you don’t have to pump your whole supply into a bottle hoping that it will be enough.
A lot of women birth their babies with the intention to breastfeed them but with breastfeeding comes unknown challenges. Not every woman is susceptible to producing milk or enough of it to feed their baby.
Depending on the baby they may not even take to their mother’s nipples or some mothers just simply don’t care for it. I personally breastfed my daughter for 15 months. It was the best option for us and we had a near-perfect experience doing so.
The benefit for me was it was free, convenient as a stay-at-home mom and I didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night to make a bottle but that’s not to say it was always sunshine. I had to whip out my boob in public when Ocean got hungry which was super uncomfortable for me and my partner.
Ocean had a hard time learning how to use a bottle when it came to weaning her off the boob and many of my shirts were ruined when I didn’t have a breast pad to soak up the leaking milk. Breastfeeding ISN’T for everyone and that IS okay!
Pureed food VS Baby Led Weaning
It doesn’t end there. I’ve seen lots of posts debating whether or not a baby should be eating puree foods or only solids by the age of 1.
My question…WHY DOES IT MATTER? Baby-led weaning has become a popular trend among parents these days and to some, if you aren’t starting your little one on ONLY solid foods by 6 months, you’re setting your child up for failure!
Personally, while I get the importance of introducing solid foods to a child at a young age, I don’t see why it’s a big deal to have your child eat pureed food.
‘DO NOT FEED YOUR BABY PUREES, THEY WILL NOT DEVELOP PROPER FEEDING SENSORY AND YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO THROUGH THAT’
“YOUR BABY WILL BE PICKY AND NEVER EAT WHAT YOU EAT IF YOU DON’T FEED THEM SOLIDS RIGHT AWAY…FOREVER!!!”
WELL, truth be told because one baby has 10 teeth by the age of 1 and can eat a steak doesn’t mean the child of another mother who also has 10 teeth has a bad swallow reflex and would rather eat purees. (Not me) BUT my point is, all babies develop differently at different speeds, so do parents.
Personally, I wasn’t against BLW and I did my research on it. I decided I was terrified to give my baby solid foods with having fear of her choking. With her not having any teeth yet I couldn’t wrap my head around how a big piece of meat could get down her tiny throat so I decided to wait a couple of months to try solids.
Now I give her small portions of what we eat but I can’t lie, it’s still scary for me to let her eat solids unsupervised.
It’s been great for me to be able to give her a puree pouch for breakfast or lunch when I’m busy doing dishes or cleaning the house. She’s able to feed herself which is still developing great food sensory.
There’s no right or wrong way of introducing foods to your child. Look for the signs, do your research to figure out what works best, and take on what you and your baby are willing to do!
Crying it out method
A tough challenge when it came to parenting was learning how to get my daughter to sleep through the night. I thought I would never get a full night’s sleep ever again, we had tried every method. We tried setting the room to a calm ambiance, letting herself soothe, giving her rice cereal before bed but every night, she would scream and cry until being picked up and nursed back to sleep.
When it came to the thought of letting her cry it out, it was hard on my mental. I remember feeling ashamed when I did research and saw women commenting on how the method was basically neglecting your child and how they would never do such a thing to a baby, how selfish it was to put yourself first.
When it came down to giving the method a shot, I would cry at the thought of what other people would think of me as a mother based on what kind of comments I read from other moms.
They made it seem like my baby would hate me and never look at me the same. Although it was hard listening to Ocean scream, I had come to the conclusion that I had also heard from some mothers how this method DOES work and to give it time.
I slept with my mom until the age of 9 and personally never wanted my children to take on this trait.
Every night the crying became less and less and eventually, she started sleeping through the night.
Yes, she still loves me. But god, why did I let the opinions of other moms get into my head so badly?
Because I wasn’t a perfect parent like they made themselves out to be? Maybe. And that’s the thing, hearing types of comments that you’re not doing as good as others can really put you down as a parent.
Don’t be a ‘Mom shamer’
In my opinion, mom-shaming comes from other moms who feel the need to be perfect and if others aren’t doing what they are, then we are made to feel doomed for a life of raising children.
Honestly, I have no clue how some parents have the time to worry about what other parents are doing in their lives.
Worry about your own damn kids and yourself!
As long as the child is fed, loved, healthy and happy, there should be no worry about how the child is being brought up. It shouldn’t matter what’s the “right” way of parenting because there is no such thing.
For those of you who go through these feelings, just know you aren’t alone!
Parenting can be tough at times and it’s okay to make mistakes as a parent. There are always pros and cons to both sides of scenarios and I think you’ll find it impossible to be a mom shamer yourself if you look at every situation this way.
Ask for advice but don’t take to heart what you see on the internet. What works for one doesn’t always mean it works for another.
YOU know your baby and at the end of the day, you’ll know what’s best for YOUR baby and you.
Now THAT’S being a great parent.