Judge me when you are perfect.
You may need to dig deep or it might be ready to come flying out of your mouth. When did you last feel like shit because someone didn’t agree with a choice you had made or given you advice that wasn’t asked for? When did you alter your behaviour or actions because someone gave you a mouthful or a roll of the eye? Have they caused you to regret changing your mind?
I think we all know someone who loves to dish out their opinions and judge what choices we make. I’ll never shy away from admitting I’ve done it too. Especially a time before kids, I would be the one muttering, ‘Ooh I’d never let my kid...’.
Well, have a word now, Aimee; how’s that home learning project coming on? What reply slip? Wtf is a number bond???
So why is judgement so important when we think about birth and the early stages of parenting? It is a vulnerable enough time trying to find your way through the wilderness of delivering and owning a new human. Often new parents need little more than a cuddle and the words, ‘I get it; How about I bring a spag bol around and that’s one less thing to worry about tonight’. But we all seem to have a voice around us that is ready to fill that worry. Here are a few comments I’ve come across lately from talking to different mums I’ve met...
‘I’d love a home birth but my boyfriend says it’s weird’.
‘My mum was telling me I was being too soft when she was waking up in the night, as I went in to give her cuddles’. I tried to self settle from 12 weeks but we all ended up knackered and I felt so guilty’.
‘I want to bottle feed again, but feel like shit about it. Breastfeeding hurt so much last time when I tried it. Some mums at antenatal group went quiet when I mentioned using the bottle from birth’.
So, let’s think about this...
Has this boyfriend ever given birth and therefore know what birthing environment is right for a Mum? What evidence do you have to prove it’s, ‘weird’?
Can this Mum recall the first few weeks when her babies didn’t sleep through and could actually empathise with the broken sleep and feeling of exhaustion?
Are these antenatal mums jumping on each other’s wagons to cover up for something they have greater insecurities about?
Whether it is for genuine discomfort around a parenting choice, or lack of understanding, there are those in the world who need to come to terms with how detrimental judgements can be to a new parent and the consequences their views can have. A spiral of self doubt can send parents down a road of panic and anxiety over choices they know are actually best for them. Support and a massive pat on the back is what every parent often needs, because lets face it, it’s hard enough without anyone else adding to our pile of troubles.
When it comes down to it, your choices and gut feelings will be the best thing for your birth, baby and your family. xxx
Ps. I always drink from my Mum cup when I’m having a shit day and remember that I’m doing my best, and that’s alright for us! xxx