All mothers experience mom shaming during one point or another. Personally, I experienced it from the moment I was only a couple weeks pregnant. As mothers, we only want what’s best for our children and because motherhood doesn’t bring a handbook, we are learning along the way.
I will never forget my very first day being a new mother. I was set on breastfeeding my son. As soon as the nurse brought him back to my hospital room, my little boy was greeted by all of my relatives and then I began breastfeeding once they left. My husband even captured a picture and posted it on Facebook with the caption “Ryan’s first meal.”
However, 5 minutes after I thought the baby was done breastfeeding, he began crying at the top of his tiny lungs! Oh no. So I put him back on my breast. That went on all night and I began to reconsider strictly breastfeeding. I was exhausted and it was only the first day of this child’s life. But I kept reminding myself the health benefits of breastfeeding and I pushed through.
The next day, my family noticed that my son would not stop crying. They began to tell me that I was starving my son. One family friend even came up to me and asked if I even knew how to care for a baby. It all became too overwhelming and we had to ask a nurse to please ask all visitors to leave.
I eventually gave into formula. I became so overwhelmed with all the negative comments about me starving my son. And breastfeeding isn’t for everybody so I was content with my decision. But then I was attacked for the brand of formula I was giving my child.
“Gerber Good Start is so much healthier than Enfamil! How could you give your child that?!” or “Enfamil Gentlease is so much better for his little tummy, don’t give him the regular brand!”
Holy cow. I broke down. One night I began to cry and told everyone to stop! I couldn’t take it anymore. I was doing my very best to give my son proper care and was being bashed left and right.
So here we are almost four years later and there’s another child in the picture. People continue to give me their opinion on how I should raise my children and criticize things that they don’t agree with (e.g pacifiers). Which I now appreciate because it usually does come from a good place. But I know I speak for most mothers when I say this:
Please stop. I know you see the love I give my children and just with that I hope you know that everything I do for them is for their best. I love my children more than anything in the world. Just because something worked for you doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for me and my family. As time goes on, we evolve and adjust to one another. Each family is unique and each baby is different. I appreciate your advice, but don’t make me look like a horrible mother just because I’m not doing things your way. Breastfeeding is amazing, formula is amazing, pacifiers are great and considering another child in the future is wonderful!
And I repeat, don’t ever make a woman feel like she is a bad mother just because she is not doing things your way. We each love and care for our family the best and most loving way that we can. So let’s lift each other up!
a loving mama