Apparently I’m a terrible Mom.
I got ultrasounds done while pregnant.
I had an epidural and the vacuum was needed during delivery.
I let other people hold my newborn without disinfecting their hands.
I do not breastfeed 100% of the time.
I use formula.
I did not have my baby co sleep.
I did not have my baby sleep in my room for the first six months.
I did not let my daughter always fall asleep in my arms.
I do not put my baby in cute little outfits all the time.
I did not have a change of clothing for my little one.
I did not remember to bring the bottle or the formula when we went out.
I said no to waking my daughter up early from a nap.
I have not vaccinated my daughter.
I haven’t lost the baby weight.
I stay in pjs most of the time while home.
I left the house without my hair done, and no makeup on.
I left the house and realized later I had puke down the front of my shirt.
My house looks like it has exploded a lot of the time.
I will be returning to work when my maternity leave is over.
Apparently I’m a terrible Mom. The sense of condemnation I get from other people, especially other Mom’s, is so overwhelming. I feel like any choice I make is the wrong choice, and that I always have to defend myself. Before you open your mouth or pass a rude glance to a Mom, stop for a second and think does she really need that from you?
Were you there when she was being told they could not see a fully developed lung and that half of her child’s heart appeared to be missing? Do you know how much pain that person can handle before they are sick or pass out? Maybe they just could not deal with the pain any more, and had to change the birth plan they had hopped for. Maybe their child was crashing and the baby had to be removed quickly for their own health and safety. Maybe the new Mom just doesn’t care if you disinfect your hands or not before she understand the overwhelming desire to just hold and cuddle a new born, or she is still in a daze from having given birth recently. Have you been there for the multiple exams to make sure the Mom does not have breast cancer? Maybe for whatever reason she is just not able to produce enough milk, and cannot feed on both sides and has to supplement with formula to make sure her child gets enough food each day. Maybe the parents were going crazy from lack of sleep and realized their child also sleeps better in their own room. Maybe they do let their child sleep in their arms as often as they can because that is the only time they get cuddles, but they also know their child needs to learn to sleep on their own. Sleepers are sometimes the easiest thing to put on a baby, maybe that little one has already worked their way through 6 outfits in an hour and everything else is already in the laundry. Baby brain happens and things get forgotten in the frenzy to get out of the house on time. Respect the fact that parents are allowed to say no, do not pressure them and guilt trip them into doing things. Everyone has their own standings and reasons for why to vaccinate and why not to vaccinate, why should they have to defend their own personal decision to you? They are not here to battle with you over choices, they are making choices that they feel are best for their child. You do not know everything that is going on in their family, respect their privacy. Do you have any idea what the day has been like for the Mom, maybe she has not had a chance to get 5 minutes to herself that day, goodness she may have not even had a chance to use the washroom yet! Don’t look at a Mom with judging glances because she has puke on her, it happens, most parents have had a moment where some sort of bodily content has exploded all over them from their child. Just walk on by please. Maybe instead of judging them for a messy home you could offer to come over and watch their child for half an hour or so, so that they can have a chance to do some cleaning since they are still trying to figure out this whole organizing the home and keeping a child alive deal. Maybe that Mom does not want to return to work but for whatever the reason has to. It breaks her heart already the thought of having to leave her child for hours each day upon returning to work.
In all honest, bluntness… you can just cram it! Show some support instead, in whatever way you can. Life as a mother is complicated. Your judgement and unkind words are not needed. I am doing the best I can. My child is happy and healthy, above all else those are the most important things to me. I am exactly the Mom my daughter needs me to be.