Hi there mummy (parent)! As you may have realised (or soon will), life post-baby comes with many challenges. Your days quickly become filled with diaper changes, feeding, milk spit-ups, increased laundry days and say goodbye to uninterrupted sleep! (unless you have one of those rare babies who just sleeps through the night right out of the womb! Do those babies really exist?!)
As you learn to care for your baby, you may decide to do things a bit differently from others and this is where the ‘well-meaning’ criticism starts and never stops.
Every decision that is made, there will be someone who will question it, either verbally, through facial expression, silence, an exchange of looks or just send an invisible cloud of unspoken judgement your way. Such judgement can come from all sides, from your parents, from your in-laws, from your friends, even from strangers.
Comments like, ‘You aren’t giving your baby enough food’ “Your baby is sleeping too much’ Your baby is underweight’ Your baby’s bedtime is so early’, ‘Your baby is so heavy’ ‘Your baby should be walking already’ ‘Your baby should be talking more at 12 months’, “You should throw your baby’s birthday party this way’, can drive you bonkers.
While some criticism can be constructive, and can be easily discussed with your baby’s paediatrician, others aren’t.
As a parent, especially a new parent, you are learning how to care for your ever-changing baby and at the same time, others may make you feel as though you under scrutiny, intentionally or otherwise.
Some days, you may feel as though nothing you do is good enough because someone expresses disapproval of your decisions…and therein lies the problem and the solution.
Initially, when faced with judgement, I got upset and sometimes still do. Why would anyone question decisions that I and my husband have made concerning our son? Why would anyone attempt to undermine our decisions? Why do we need to justify our choices?
My frustration continued to grow… But as time passed, I became more secure with the decisions my husband and I made and started to care less and less about the opinions of others. YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE! So why try? It just causes unnecessary anxiety and stress. Once your baby is happy, healthy and safe, you are doing a great job!
If you think that you alone are being judged, think again! Every single new mother that I have spoken with, indicated that they feel judged with relation to their parenting techniques.
And to those critics, give the moms a break! No one likes to a Debbie Downer!
Vasanti Maharaj is a Work at Home Mom to a June 2017 baby boy! Her life currently revolves around him…(sorry husband, lol) and so she decided to share her adventures and misadventures in motherhood. She hopes that these experiences and tips are helpful. Follow her @mummyhood_and_things.