Are you totally sick and tired of dealing with Mom Shaming?
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Formula Feeding? … Wow, talk about selfish. What about all the benefits of breast milk?
Breastfeeding? … Cover up! Man, your boobs are going to be destroyed.
Working Mom? … Such a shame when a mother sends her baby off to be raised by strangers.
Stay at Home Mom? … How are you going to provide for your kids? What a waste of your degree.
Natural Birth? … Ok hippie…
C-Section? … Isn’t that taking the easy way out? You’re less of a mother.
This would be one example of “cancel culture” I could stand behind! This goes out to all my fellow moms, the dads, the in-laws, the parents, the grandparents, random strangers that feel obligated to have an opinion about the parenting choices of others…all of you.
Can we just agree to STOP the mom-shaming? Moms these days are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. And here’s the thing…SHE grew that baby, SHE carried and protected that baby in her belly for 9 months, SHE gave birth to that baby, and SHE will do what is best for that baby, and her family. No outside, unsolicited opinions required (or wanted). Not only is it none of your business, but a very important thing to consider is that you don’t know the whole story. You don’t know all of the thoughts and reasoning that are behind a particular decision that a mother makes.
If you want to breastfeed…GREAT. Good for you. It can be an amazing bonding experience and provide great nutrition to your little one. So, by all means whip out those bad boys that God blessed you with and feed your child how you chose.
But if you don’t want to breastfeed, then that’s okay too. I am a firm believer in FED is best. Personally, after MUCH thought throughout my whole pregnancy, research, and speaking with doctors, I made the decision to formula feed my daughter. I had an extremely difficult and traumatizing pregnancy and at the end of the day, breastfeeding just wasn’t something that I was equipped to do. I felt so much guilt and shame about it.
But what’s frustrating is that I didn’t feel guilt or shame because I thought I wasn’t giving my daughter what she needed. I knew my daughter was well fed, and getting everything that her body needed. Her doctor visits backed that up.
I felt guilt and shame because of how harshly society criticizes the choices that mothers make. And that isn’t just about breast feeding vs. formula. It’s about e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. There are so many options out there, and so many different parenting styles. What works for one child, may not work for another.
Parenting is all about adapting and making choices based on what is right for YOUR child, and YOUR family. And this does include making choices that are what YOU need as well. If moms don’t take care of their own physical and mental well-being, then they won’t be able to care for their family to the best of their ability. Eventually, constantly putting yourself on the backburner will catch up to you. I think as moms we often forget that we matter too.
During my pregnancy, I was referred to a high-risk doctor and an Advanced Fetal Care doctor due to some mysterious complications. We were referred to as the “International Mystery” around the Advanced Fetal Care unit.
The Advanced Fetal Care Doctor would call me his “Pin Cushion” because I had to have so many Cordocentesis procedures done. In short, this is a procedure there they take a long needle through your stomach, and guided by an ultrasound tech they reach the umbilical cord to draw the baby’s blood from the cord for testing. It’s a higher risk procedure, so having it done at all is fairly rare…I had it done over 6 times. (In addition to amniocentesis)
I remember the first time sitting down in the office meeting my high-risk doctor who would be taking over my pregnancy alongside the Advanced Fetal team. One of the first things she said to me was “This is not your fault. It’s nothing that you did wrong. Your Adanced Fetal care doctor is keeping a very close eye on your baby, I am here to ensure you remember, understand, and acknowledge that you are not just a vessel to carry and deliver a baby. You are a human being. YOU matter too.”
Out of nowhere I felt something rush over me and I felt like I was going to burst into tears. I didn’t even realize how badly I needed to hear those words, until I heard them.
I carry those words and that advice with me through motherhood. And it’s allowed me to be a better mom. I’m not constantly questioning my every move, worried about what other people are going to think, or what they are going to say about my choices. That is a HEAVY load to carry, and when you start to unload it, it allows you to be a better version of yourself.
And doesn’t your child deserve the “best” you?
What Can You Do To Stop Mom Shaming?
So, to my mom’s out there reading this…we may not be able to stop everyone from judging us, but we CAN do two very big and very important things.
1) Make a personal vow that WE will not contribute to the toxic mom-shaming behavior
2) Unload that extra and useless weight off your back. Adapt to a mindset of simply not caring what others say or think. As long as you know in your heart you are making the right decision for your child and family, then screw everyone else’s opinion. No offense to them (I guess…) but their opinion on your life is not important.
And by the way, for my fellow-formula feeding mamas, we used Enfamil Neuropro and would highly recommend it. Pro Tip…buy it on Amazon and do “Subscribe and Save” and you can save 5-15% every purchase.