So, mums judge each other. All the time. About everything. Who knew? Well, not me actually. Before my foray into motherhood I imagined mothers exchanging high fives, at least mentally, as they passed each other pushing their precious offspring round the park. That the ‘sisterhood’ of woman meant a ‘we’re all in this together’ attitude prevailed where mums helped each other out. And sometime we do. But I’ve also seen mothers sneered at and bitched about for their choices. I myself have been judged, and (horror of horrors) have judged. Here are the four main subjects which seem to breed this kind of ugly behaviour.
Let’s start with the biggy. Whether breast or bottle, unfortunately most mothers have felt judged for their method of feeding at one time or another. Be it the trials and tribulations of trying to subtly get a tit out in Costa coffee, or feeling looked down on by the other mums in baby yoga as you mix your formula, I don’t think many escape it. Sadly a lot of this judging also comes from ourselves- in my experience mums who wanted to but couldn’t breastfeed put an awful lot of guilt on their own shoulders, which makes me sad. Especially as Albert Einstein was formula fed, and he turned out just fine.*
Another ‘controversial’ topic. Personally I’m not into the whole ‘cry it out’ thing i.e. leaving your little one to cry until they give up and eventually settle. You could cut the tension with a knife when another mum ‘confessed’ during yoga circle time that she used controlled crying- she may as well have said she’d injected heroin into her baby’s eyeballs. But while it’s not something I would do myself, I don’t think it means she loves her child any less or is an inherently bad mother. We’re all trying to do what we think is best and muddle through in our own way. So let’s give each other a break.
‘So you’re not doing baby led then? Oh….’. That is all.
Prams vs slings
Now, I’ve been both the woman struggling to manoeuvre her pram round the clothes rails in topshop, and the woman merrily breezing through with the baby in a sling feeling the glares of the pram pushers. Each has a time and a place, in my opinion. And until recently I was blissfully unaware of the levels of judgement from within the baby wearing world (‘crotch dangler’ anyone?). Whilst I’m slightly in love with my Harris tweed connecta, lugging a 13 pound baby on your front and shopping on your back has its limitations. Chose your method carefully.
So there you have it. It can be a tough old world out there. Let’s all chill out and have a gin.
*possibly not true. Who knows.