One thing I’ve been running into a lot as a new mom is this constant feeling of being judged and I think I can confidently say many of my other new mom friends feel similarly. One of my friends sent me this blog post recently and it SO resonated. For some silly reason we as moms (and dads too I’m sure) often feel like we have to justify a certain choice that we’ve made when it comes to parenting. Do you do attachment parenting when it comes to nighttime sleep? Do you do CIO? Or some combination? Do you breastfeed, do you bottle feed? Exclusively pump, supplement formula? Do you plan to breastfeed over a year (or two!) Do you nurse in public with a cover or without? Do you cloth diaper or use disposables? Are you doing purees or baby led weaning? Do you bedshare, do you cosleep same room, or do you crib sleep? Do you baby wear? Do you stay-at-home, work-at-home, work part time or work full time. The list goes on and on. It’s enough to make your head spin without even being a new mom. But I loved that blog post because it’s what I’ve been trying to articulate myself. My choices are not a criticicism of your choices and your choices are not a criticism of mine. All that we can do as parents is do research and make the best decision for OUR families. No friend or even doctor can tell you what you SHOULD be doing.
Now that Emma has me hooked on the One Bad Mother podcast, I love what they said on one episode, when moms are talking to each other we should say “this is what’s working for our family currently.” Not “well this is what you should do.” Because it doesn’t work the same for all moms, families or babies. And being a parent is HARD, no matter how you do it, so shouldn’t we all be supporting each other on that journey? Sharing experiences and helping us all be the best parents we can be.
WE bedshare/cosleep and believe in attachment parenting. We don’t do cry it out. We exclusively breastfeed and plan to do so for as long as Clare wants to. We are about to start baby led weaning. We use disposable diapers. I nurse in public without a cover, because it’s more comfortable for both Clare and I. And I have been indoctrinated into the babywearing cult. 😉 I work part time and am studying to be a childbirth educator. I have strong passions about certain aspects of our parenting choices and I am happy with what we’re doing because it is what works for US and also happy to share any research and experience that I have. BUT – just because these are the choices that work for our family, they in no way mean that I am judging others who parent in different ways or that anyone needs to apologize for their choices. Don’t do something just because you feel like you “should” or because that is what “everyone else does.” Be proud of your choices and proud of being a mom. Because it’s damn hard work.
And like Teresa and Biz say on One Bad Mother – “You’re doing a GOOD job, mom!”