Before I opened my loins and bottom coughed Squirt into existence I was aware of parenting judgement. I may have even partaken in a little, of occasion. Ok, maybe a lot. But it’s very easy to sit back and criticize when you don’t have kids. I had a list as long as my arm of ‘I will never’s for pregnancy, birth and babyhood. Most of which went flying out the window in favour of surviving this battle we call motherhood.
So I expect a little (or a lot of) judgment from non-breeders. I enjoy it while trying to hide a small smirk, thinking ‘you just wait’ much as I’m sure mothers did when I voiced crazy plans like me having a natural, pain med-free birth. I was underprepared, however for mother-to-mother judgment. Surely fellow women in the trenches would recognize a fellow soldier’s need to occasionally do things just to make life a teeny, tiny bit easier? In short, nope.
These Mommas are not subtle, gentle or supportive with their strong views. Here are some examples of thinly veiled judgement I am dealing with in every different part of my life.
‘Oh, doctors now think that SIDS is completely made up by women who suffocate their kids and then try to hide it!’
‘You don’t co-sleep? I feel sorry for babies left alone in their cribs. They’ll grow up so insecure. My 6 year old is so confident. I’m sure she’ll tell me when she’s ready to have her own bed.’
No, we are not co-sleepers. My baby sleeps in the garden. I believe nightly battles with bats, rats and cockroaches is the best way for him to become confident and independent.
‘Breastmilk is good for their immune system. You shouldn’t stop.’
I never heard that before. I’ll need to have a complete rethink.
‘You let your four month old watch TV?’
‘My kid is so clever. At four months old he can already concentrate while watching TV for 45 minutes. He especially likes the scenes where the zombies get their heads caved in and the lead gets splattered with brain matter and he can twerk!
‘I never had a problem figuring out what my baby wanted because I taught her baby sign language straight away.’
‘Isn’t it bad for your baby’s hips to be carried in that carrier?’
Perhaps, but we combat that by dangling him upside down by his ankles for 15 mins a day.
‘You use a forward facing pushchair?’
Yup. Sometimes I even push it really fast and wriggle it around. We’re are such daredevils!
‘Should you really be drinking coffee if you’re breastfeeding?’
Yes, he seems to get a little buzz with all the caffine I drink but a shot of whiskey before bed knocks him right out.
‘You have a dog and a newborn?’
We do have a dog but I try to make sure she doesn’t lick his mouth when it’s open.
And here’s the part where I’m a hypocrite!