What is up with people‘s need to judge one another? On Every. Single. Thing. And not just judge, but openly criticize.
As a mom I face judgement and criticism every single day. My worst critic, is me. Which is normal. How can I make myself a better mom to my amazing monsters if I don’t reflect on the day and find things to improve on? I want to be the best mom I can be for my kids. I don’t expect me to be perfect, just the best I can be.
But then you get the other people. The ones who aren’t even directly involved in your life, but feel free to pass judgement and criticism on your choices from the moment you announce you are pregnant. (Or start showing.) (Obviously I know people judge on a lot more then just a mom’s parenting skills, but for the sake of this blog that’s going to be my focus today)
I remember being pregnant with Alex. It was early November so I was about 32 weeks along. It was nice outside, my feet were swollen and I needed to go pay the rent and grab something for lunch. I decided that I was going to wear my sandals. It was above 0 for sure, although now I don’t remember the exact temperature that day. So after I paid the rent, I walked over to the superstore and grabbed a pizza for hubs and I for lunch. Then as I was walking past the Tim Horton’s, I decided a double double would be fantastic for the walk back to the apartment. Insert ‘well meaning’ old lady who felt it was alright to come up to me and tell me how horrible of a mom she thought I was going to make since I was wearing sandals ‘in the dead of winter’ and drinking coffee that was going to make me have a small premature baby. (Alex was born 4 days past his due date, and weighed in at 7 lbs 14 oz) What gave her the right? She had never met me. She didn’t know my name, she didn’t even know that the coffee was for me! But she felt it was her place to let me know what she thought.
Go forward a little while, now I have given birth to my beautiful baby boy and hubs and I decide to take him to the mall and walk around for a bit. Do some shopping. Grab lunch. So we pack up our diaper bag, load the baby and go. While we are at the mall (in typical baby fashion) Alex needs to eat. So we whip out a bottle and mix up his formula. That’s right I said formula. I’m one of those moms. There was no medical reason for me to formula feed. We chose to. We felt it was the best option. I’m not going to defend my choices, my reasons shouldn’t matter to anyone but me. So anyways, we mix up his formula and I have a seat on a bench while hubs runs to the washroom to feed my bundle of joy. Insert well meaning lady who felt it was alright to come up to me while I fed my baby and let me know how much better breast feeding would be for my child and how I was doing him a disservice by giving him formula. Again, she didn’t know me from Adam. She didn’t know without a doubt it was formula in that bottle. She didn’t know if maybe there was a medical condition preventing me from breast feeding my child. She just felt she should let me know that I was harming my child.
It’s not just strangers who feel they are right in criticizing. But I was lucky. My family and friends didn’t criticize my choice to formula feed my sons. However, announce to the world that you are going to have a second baby when your first is 8 months old and all hell breaks lose. Announce you are pregnant with baby number 3 when baby number 2 is 7 months old and watch out for flying objects. Turn around and tell people you plan on having baby number 3 in a different province and Hubs might miss out on the birth and holy shit, you better duck you head and run like hell. Whew! Although maybe, in some small way, family and friends have a right to question your choices when it comes to big things. But does that give people the right to start spreading rumors that the REAL reason you are going away to have the baby is because you are divorcing your husband? I don’t think so.
Seriously. So far in all my posts on this blog I haven’t really explained this trip to Winnipeg. I’ve hinted at it. But I never really gave any explanation as to what led us here to this point. We planned baby number 3. We were trying to get pregnant. Before we even started trying to get pregnant for a third (and sadly, final) time we agreed that I was going to go to Winnipeg where all my family is to have the baby.
My family couldn’t be here when I had the boys and I wanted to experience the birth of one of my children with my mom with me. She’s my mom. My all time best friend. One of the few people in the world I can talk to about anything and she knows when I just need her to listen and when I need her input. At the time, Hubs was supposed to be going away around the time the baby was due. Therefore he would likely miss the birth even if I was here, and even if he made it to the birth he would be gone again shortly afterwards, leaving me with no support or help with 3 kids. My family don’t have the chance to see the kids all the time. They live too far away to just pop in on the weekend and say hi. I think it’ll be great for the boys to be able to spend some time with their Nana and Papa and uncles. And I know my parents and brothers are going to love and cherish the time with the boys (I planned on going out there for a couple months while Hubs was away even if I wasn’t pregnant!)
So the kids and I are going to hop a plane and fly out west in a couple weeks. I have a Dr set up out there to take over my prenatal care, I have a birth plan with my mom. Hubs may or may not make it out there for the birth. We are most definitely not getting a divorce. I’ll say that again so no one misses it… I AM NOT GETTING A DIVORCE. My marriage is fine.
I get that we are all going to do things differently. As a parent you are constantly making choices; breast vs bottle, diaper brands, cloth diapering, co sleeping, attachment parenting, CIO methods, when to potty train, when to have more kids, the list goes on forever! No 2 moms are going to have the exact same view on every single topic of parenting. But shouldn’t we all agree that as long as our babies are happy and healthy we are doing something right and accept that just because you don’t choose to do things in a specific way doesn’t make it wrong?
Love, hugs and more to come later