|The results from a Today Show poll show that moms often judge other moms.|
At the end of the night, after stealing J and snuggling him as much as I could, I was able to talk to W about her parenting experiences. She made a comment that hit home. She said, "I know it's terrible, but he's still sleeping in the bed with us."
I thought, why do we have to qualify all of our parenting decisions to each other as mothers? When the twins were three months old, we were still sleeping with them on our chests, and I told her as much.
"W, it's hard to get a baby to sleep on its own, and he's only three months old," I said. "There ain't no shame in your game."
This launched a discussion about making parenting decisions. I told her the twins were 9 months old before we figured out how to put them in their cribs while they were awake and have them fall asleep on their own. That was six months down the road for her.
I also told her that parenting, especially for mothers, is all about instinct. There are a lot of mothers out there who judge each other. I've had friends who have become parents and then un-become my friends because of how judgmental they've become about parenting. Some new moms read a book by a popular author and follow that ONE book's advice. They then preach to other mothers about everything they're doing wrong.
Don't get me wrong, it's not just new mothers who do this. Some mothers who have been moms for decades do this also. I call them Judgy Mommies. They're awful. They will pick at you until they've picked away every ounce of confidence you have about being a mother.
W told me she had one friend who had done everything for her baby for roughly 10 months (I believe she said 10 months, if I remember correctly) by the book, without ever thinking about instinct. I think moms who do this are maybe missing out on something. I don't know if it's a connection or what. But every baby is different, and I think it's sad to believe that every baby can be raised with a single method. I also think it's sad that moms go around criticizing other moms who choose to use a different method to raise their children.
|OMG! Did you hear she's NOT breast feeding? Her poor child!|
This was another issue that surprised me. W told me her pediatrician told her to feed her baby less because he was too big. I thought she should get another doctor. I'd never heard of such a thing. J looked healthy and adorable. He was eight and a half pounds at birth. That's bigger than normal. We talked a lot about that. Babies don't eat more for the same reasons adults do. They eat a lot because they're hungry. They don't eat because they're depressed or bored.
All my children began eating baby food, mixed in with their formula, before they were two months old. I was criticized for that, as well, by other mothers. Because the American Association of Pediatrics doesn't recommend solid food until six months. I'm sorry, but all three of my boys were big. And hungry. So I fed them. Instinct again. It worked out. They're healthy.
The point here is this: if you're a new mom and you want answers about what to do with your kids, it's fine to ask your friends for advice. But if the answers sound like something you wouldn't be comfortable with, don't do it. Choose another route that's comfortable for YOU. Modify your friends' suggestions in a way that fits your family. Use your instincts. And if your friends come to you with unsolicited advice, tell them thanks, but that doesn't work for our family. And if the judgment that comes from your friends is too strong and too negative, disconnect yourself from it. Stay away from Judgy Mommies. They're not healthy for anyone.