A few days ago, as I was scrolling though my Facebook Newsfeed, a friend and fellow Mom's status caught my attention. She was asking other Moms for advice on pacifiers and bottles to supplement with because she had yet to find one that worked for her daughter. I empathized because I knew the feeling. Sam would only take one specific type of each, and the paci battle was definitely a struggle initially. Seeing as I completely understood what she was dealing with, I wanted to offer my advice, but some of the other comments are what really caught my attention. Instead of offering advice, or even a simple kind word, the majority of them were so full of judgement.
"You shouldn't supplement, breast is best!" "I promise if you let her nurse often enough your milk will come in?" "Make lactation cookies!" or "Drink dark beer!" and my absolute favorite... "Don't give up!"
But wait y'all. Who said she was "giving up"? This Mama was in a similar situation to mine where she had an actual reason for no longer breastfeeding that no damn dark beer or special cookie recipe was going to be able to fix. But even if she was "giving up" and even if she could breastfeed, should it have even mattered?! She was inquiring and asking a simple question so that she could be sure her baby was healthy and happy. And isn't that all that really matters? She didn't ask how to increase her milk supply or what she could do to continue. She only asked a simple question that mainly brought her more judgement than any Mom should ever have to deal with. Without asking for it, we already deal with more than enough rolling eyes and condescending stares with each daily decision we make.
Just to be clear, there are women who can't breastfeed (myself included, no matter how hard I fought for it) and it may actually break their heart. Or it may not and that's OKAY, too! But judging them based solely on something that has worked so well for YOU is only more hurtful. I can tell you from experience that the majority of advice I've received as a mother on breastfeeding, sleep, and every other topic, has not worked for us. Because obviously my baby is my baby and what works for one may not work for another.
Mom judgement happens way too often. I get it quite often for Sam's sleep habits. Even from women who don't have children which, I can't lie, makes me giggle a little. Until you've been in someone else's exact situation, especially a mother's, you have no idea. Yes, I still hold Sam for naps and he legit has no clue how to self soothe, but people don't realize it has all stemmed from a ridiculous amount of issues with reflux and gas that made it really difficult for my baby to settle on his own. It's unfortunate and we're dealing with it but the judgement I receive on the subject every single time I ask for advice can be really discouraging.
I'm so grateful for every bit of heart felt and non judgemental advice I've been given since becoming a Mom, because Lord knows I've needed it, but parenting is hard, and there is no one right way. I've said it 1,000, times but Mamas please remember that what works best for you and your baby is all that matters. Health and happiness are all we can aim for.
Tell someone they're a good Mom today. Encourage each other. We are all one tribe of kick ass women who work hard each day to be the best we can be. Remember how amazing you are for doing what only you can do. Wear your Mama crown with honor, and maybe pull a Cady Heron and break off a piece for everyone else in the crowd. I'm breaking off one for each of you today, and praying you'll always know your worth and value to your sweet babies.