I’ve always heard about it, seen friends share articles and in my intensive expecting research I even browsed a few. It wasn’t until I had a smiling cherub of my own that I actually understood the ugly beast it is. While I try my hardest not to be, I’m occasionally guilty of it. Newsflash: So are you! At some point we’ve all judged another mom in passing, on Facebook, or even our friends.
There is no “right-way” to tackle the journey of parenthood. As I first time mom I am clumsily learning that first hand, very quickly. Everyone does things differently, even different pediatricians tell you to do things differently. In the end, we all turned out OK [well most of us] and our children will turn out OK.
While some comments are said as jokes, some as unwarranted advice and some just are downright ugly – they all hurt a little [or a lot] and make you feel like you’re not parenting correctly or maybe a bad parent. You question every decision you’ve made and start to compare yourself – and your baby – to those around you.
STOP. Stop it right now. Breastfeed, great! Formula feed, wonderful! Cloth vs disposable diapers – just change em! Cry it out vs cuddle – you do you. In the end we’re all raising amazing little beings in our own way that’s just right for us and for them. We need to band together. When asked, offer your advice – judgement free. I know I wouldn’t have made it through some of the tough times, and won’t make it through the tough times ahead without asking for the wonderful advice of my mom, other moms and my new mommy friends!
Let’s collectively as a whole try to put an end to parent shaming. Instead of shaming let’s uplift and encourage. Stop and take a moment to tell that person how great of a job they’re doing. After-all, we’re all in this together – let’s stop being annoyed by everything and start lifting each other up.
I recently saw a post on Instagram that speaks volumes:
“To the pregnant women on social media posting constant updates and belly pictures, I am so incredibly happy for you and the fact that you will soon be blessed with the most amazing little bundle of joy, I love seeing how excited you are to become a mommy. To the women posting “selfies”, thanks for letting young girls know it’s okay to love yourself and to feel beautiful! To the mom posting a million pictures of her kids, it makes my heart so happy to see parents so proud and loving their babies! To the married couple constantly posting “sappy love posts” thank you for being a reminder to the next generation that all hope isn’t lost and happy marriages DO exist.”