The parenting community is divided on many issues, making it difficult for parents to know whether or not they are making good choices for their children. Here are four ridiculous things new moms are shamed for, and why it should stop:
- Choosing To Breastfeed Or Formula Feed
Of all of the controversies that currently plague the world of new mamas, this is probably the hottest debate – breast vs. formula. So many people dogmatically insist that “breast is best” and the underlying tone implies that if you really love your baby, you will do whatever it takes to provide breast milk. Though breast might be the natural method, at the end of the day, what matters is ensuring a child is fed.
On the other side of the debate, moms who opt for infant formula often categorize breastfeeding moms as judgemental and self-righteous by default. This can lead to them judging moms who breastfeed in public or continue to breastfeed when their baby is a toddler. The truth is, none of the judgement on either side of the debate is helping anyone.
- Choosing To Stay At Home Or Go Back To Work
Stay home, or return to work? There’s such a horribly skewed perception of both working moms and stay-at-home moms. Setting aside the practical aspect – many moms need to work in order to support the family – there’s also the question of choice. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and what fills one mom’s cup might empty another’s.
One mom might find the idea of working and raising children overwhelming. Another mom might need to maintain her identity outside of the dirty diapers and laundry. The best mom is the mom whose needs are met. No-one gets to decide for another what her needs might be.
- How They Gave Birth
Does natural birth automatically better qualify a mom? One would think that in this day and age, we can see past something like the way in which a baby arrived in the world. C-section rates have risen across the globe, and while many of them are not necessary, the truth is that it’s no-one else’s business. While many people are happy to share interesting tales of their birth, it’s an incredibly intimate process that is deeply personal. The only appropriate response to hearing another’s birth story is compassion, you never know if a mother is deeply grieving over the fact that she didn’t get the birth she wanted.
- Choosing A Vegan Lifestyle
Vegan moms have heard it all – “your breastmilk won’t have enough protein,” “you won’t be able to recover your strength after giving birth,” “you won’t have the energy to care for your child.” The truth is that any group of people that restricts certain foods will be populated by those who are doing it properly and those who aren’t.
Unfortunately, many vegans are nutrient-deficient simply because they don’t eat a balance of healthy foods. This can happen whether you are vegan or not. Moms should have the freedom to rebuild their strength and enter motherhood following the eating plan that makes them feel empowered and able to be the best mom possible, without judgment.
The natural conclusion that flows from these debates is that you should be the mom you want to be. Frustrating though it may be, you will face criticism regardless of what you do. Both sides to any argument have some valid points, but also some potentially negative outcomes. When you follow your heart, it’s easier to embrace the effects of your decisions.