Thursday, September 19, 2013

On Being Judged

Being a mom is a tough job. It's your (and your husband's) responsibility to make decisions and raise your child the best way you can. There are so many decisions to make and only you can choose what is right for your family and your child. Of course, there's always someone waiting to rain on your parade and tell you that you're doing it wrong.

Exhibit A:
My husband and I were at church and Matthew started getting really fussy. He wasn't due to eat for another 45 minutes and we left his pacifier at home. Since he was getting more riled up, I took him into the lobby to calm him down. In the lobby, there was an older man sitting in a chair and a woman sitting on the couch. They weren't together, but what got me were the comments they were making. 

At first they were nice saying that our baby is so cute, etc. I politely said thank you and continued to try to get him to calm down. At one point, he started to get even more upset and was crying. I tried holding him up to my chest, bouncing him, walking him around, basically everything except for feeding him. Of course, if we had his pacifier, he would have settled down, but that wasn't an option.

The lady saw how I was holding him and started telling me how I need to hold his head. I smiled and did what she said just to appease her. I know my child and his abilities. I've spoken with the pediatrician and know that he can hold his head up like a champ with no problems. But, I'm working on my reactions so I smiled and moved on.

When I couldn't get him settled fast enough, the old man started shaking his head, looking at me saying, "So young. So, so young." This time I smiled and tried to ignore him. I'm not that young and all babies cry. It didn't help when I finally gave him his bottle when he wouldn't be pacified any other way and he stopped crying. The lady called it a "miracle" and told me that "sometimes it's hard to tell what they need." 

As a mom, I feel judged on the decisions that we make for our child and it shouldn't be that way. I'm learning that everyone needs to parent the way that they feel is best and if I don't agree with it, who cares! It's not my child and what works for us probably wouldn't work for them and that's ok.

I've already had someone telling me that putting Matthew on a schedule during the day isn't necessary. Well, maybe they didn't need one for their child, but I've noticed that when he eats at the same time every day, he does so much better! And, it is nice to know how many bottles to bring when we're out and when to schedule his appointments based on his schedule. Of course, it's super flexible since he's so little, but even the doctor yesterday suggested a set bedtime routine already! I was so happy to hear that we're on the same page because I don't want to have to defend our choices.

The bottom line is this: 
You need to do what is best for you and your family. No one else can decide what that is. Everyone has an opinion, but if it's not helpful, please don't share. We're all doing our best and that's what matters the most!


Vanessa Miller said...

You are completely right! Everyone is so judgemental of us as mothers and we judge each other too. Mommy wars are so ridiculous. We do what we have to do to make it work. Great post!

Tristan said...

all babies are different! for sure!
just keep doing what you're doing the way you want to do it!