Photo Credit: mommyish.com
On my next birthday, I will be thirty years old. (Let’s not talk about that too much right now though, ok?) I consider that well in to being a grown up. I have a college degree, have had a fair amount of career positions, married a great man, raised one daughter and done a pretty good job, working pretty hard on raising another good girl, and yet… I find myself on the receiving end of advice and judgment that I did not ask for all the time.
A lot of the time it’s about being a mom. And it comes from other moms.
If there is one thing about being a mother that I just flat out do not understand, it’s the so called Mommy Wars. Seriously, why? And not even in that ‘women need to stand together’ nonsense. More of a ‘mind your own business’ sense. As long as what I’m doing (or not doing) is not hurting my child, how is it your business if I breast feed, cloth diaper, helicopter parent, whatever? She’s fed, her diaper is changed regularly, and she’s safe. So why do you care?
I keep seeing all these movements and pages dedicated to ‘teaching’ women the ‘right’ way to parent – like the plan at NYC hospitals to ban having formula available for new mothers. True, there are some new, clueless mothers. But most women, by the point of delivering their baby, have thought about how they would like to raise their baby. I know I did. I researched, read books, asked friends and family. I did not walk in to the hospital completely clueless.
I got a lot of random advice from customers at work while I was pregnant – get this kind of high chair, don’t use this formula, don’t use any formula!, these diapers are better than those, cloth is the way to go!, put her in her crib as soon as you get home, let her sleep in your bed, don’t pick her up too much, get her as soon as she cries…on and on and on! The good thing about all that advice is I could ignore it. I only saw our customers a few times a month, so I would just nod my head, say I appreciated the thought, and move on.
But what about advice from friends? And have you ever noticed that you always get advice from people who you would never ask for advice? It’s not the family with the quiet, well adjusted, well behaved, smart kids. It’s the mom whose daughter is currently drawing on the wall in sharpie. And you see them a lot, so they notice if you aren’t listening to them.