Before I was a Mother, I dreamt of being a Mother. Every Toy I had growing up would be centred around mothering something. I remember telling my group of girlfriends in school id be the first one out the group to be a Mother! It turns out I wasn’t & I still had a long wait ahead of me until I’d get to hold my very own Human being, but it was worth the wait!
I understood what I was letting myself in for, id be giving up my freedom, my time and life to bring up a child, I was ready! But what no one prepared me for was the ‘Mum Shaming’
It was unavoidable!
Everyone wanted to put their 2 cents in! Sometimes it was said in a loving manner or even curious, wanting to be helpful and then there were the others, who gave commands, uncompromising instruction and just damn right critisim!
Being young, I welcomed it.
Being older, I now trust my own instincts.
Have a “Natural” labour, no pain relief is needed, Straight away, pressure to be the “Perfect” life barer. 8 hours into my 24 hour labour, I was immensely grateful to receive an epidural & since having zero pain relief with my second (not down to my own choice mind you) I am even more grateful for the option of pain blockers! There is no shame in wanting to have pain relief or pain blockers- if we can have the option to enjoy our labours more, do it! It doesn’t make you any less of a Mother, it doesn’t mean you ‘cheated’ the system! It means modern day medicine has given us the privilege to enjoy our labours more & I welcome that! Oh how I welcome that! And the same applies for a C-section…you’re not cheating the system! A baby still came out your body! You still gave birth! Whether it came out of your vajayjay or your stomach! Baby out of YOUR body…YOU GAVE BIRTH.
Breast is best if you want your child to develop the best immunity…again, do what is right for you & your baby! There are many issues that prevent a baby from being able to breast feed, don’t let others shame you into thinking you are taking the easier option bottle feeding! That isn’t the case and the immense pressure from others need to stop. I remember being shown by the midwife with my first child how to breastfeed him “Hold him like a Rugby ball” she said! It felt so unnatural having to hold him that way I actually dropped his head and it ended up smashing against the wooden arm of the chair. He started screaming, the midwife started shouting and it was from that moment I decided if I was going to breast feed,I was going to hold my Son the way it felt natural to me! It took a few goes to find the right latch, but eventually we made a great team! It just so happens that after developing PND I needed more support with the night feeds and we changed over to bottle. I felt ZERO shame and never will! He’s a happy,healthy thriving little 6 year old now! And we just ignore his 3rd nipple due to mutations via powdered milk! (That was a joke)
The “Don’t vaccinate” shaming is the new “You’re an awful mother if you do this” trend, implying that if you vaccinate, apart from all the diseases you’d be protecting them from and preventing, you’ll be giving your child Autism if you do. Honestly, my child being alive is the most important thing in all of this and I will not be shamed into thinking other wise.
The first few months of your babies life is hard enough, you are a bag of nerves thinking you’re getting it all wrong and what a Mother doesnt need is all the condemnation from other Mothers trying to shame them into their way of thinking. You hear it all:
You’re an awful Mother if you go back to work.
You’re an awful Mother if you don’t go back to work.
You let your child co sleep?
You should let your baby self settle!
You shouldn’t leave a baby crying!
Why does your baby still wear nappies? Mine was 12 months old when she/he was potty trained.
What time do you put your baby to bed? That late? That early?
You give your baby chocolate?
You’re babies vegan?
You’re babies not vegan?
And the list could go on! And on! And on.
Shame. Shame. SHAME.
IT NEEDS TO STOP.
Motherhood is hard! But what a Mother needs is support, not shame. We all have a baby that is unique to us, it is our mark on this Earth, a generation that will develop from us when we are long gone. As Mothers we do incredible jobs, we should embrace our status with pride, not shame! And we should never allow another person shaming us into thinking we don’t have our childs best intention at heart because as Mothers, that is the only thing at the forefront of our minds. So do what is best for you and your little one. If your baby is happy & thriving, you’re doing a good job Momma! There is no set route nor plan into Motherhood, Every journey and experience is unique to the individual, Shame shouldn’t even come into it. Only pride! VASTS AMOUNTS OF PRIDE!
So let’s be a generation of Mothers who support each other, build each other up & embrace are differences & leave the Mum shaming at the door!