Well, we all know by now that I enjoy a good moan but today’s post is a little more than that. It is more of a declaration that I am fed up with the crap some mothers put other mothers through.
We as mums, try our best to ensure our children have the best start in life, that’s the most natural thing to want as a mother. We read up on this and that, trying to decide which option will be best for our little ones yet we seem to be constantly bombarded with criticisms. It’s as if we aren’t hard on ourselves enough, other mums like to have a go too. In the short while I have called myself mummy, I’ve noticed a few things. There are mummies who believe that the way they are doing things, is the only way things should be done; there are mummies that will try to help you in heated discussions on social media but really are just trying to make themselves feel less guilty for that one Wotsit they gave their child three months ago and then there’s the ‘I don’t give a f**k what your kid eats/sleeps/does as long as they are happy and healthy!’ mummies. I am sure there are a few mummies in between. I find myself somewhere in the middle of most of these but I am not sure what kind of mummy that makes me. I often feel guilty that I’m not doing things ‘right’ or I haven’t chosen the ‘right’ path yet often think to myself ‘I don’t care what you think…’.
My issue today, is mainly with the first group of mummies. They shall be referred to as the snobby mummies – why? It’s because of this mentality of there being only one right way to feed/raise your child. Surely they can see it is what ever is right for your child and your circumstances that matters rather than their blinkered view of life. I recently encountered this parenting snobbery in a BLW (baby led weaning) group and I am sure some of you would have encountered some form of snobbery with regards to your early feeding choices – breast is best or fed is better etc. I personally fail to understand why I need to hear their opinions on what or how I feed my child especially if I am just asking for some advice. Yet you get bombarded by snobby mums telling you that’s not baby led weaning and you have to scroll through reams of mums having a fit because you’ve spoon fed your child a few times. Maybe it’s not BLW, but its our way of doing things and if we want to call it baby led weaning, we will. Our daughter leads us. She tells us when she is hungry and if she likes or dislikes food. She tells us when she has had enough. She feeds herself ninety nine percent of the time. It is the baby leading her own weaning with a little help from us to get her started. So snobby mummies, jog on!
As I thought more about this topic, it occurred to me that you can often tell a snobby mummy by the things they say or do. I am pretty sure I will have to get used to hearing this kind of nonsense when Zosia starts school or playgroup but it just drives me mad.
‘Little Jimmy only eats dairy, gluten, egg, sugar, salt, flavour free foods.’
‘She looks so tired. I bet her children are little devils.’
‘I cannot believe she lets her children play with plastic toys.’
‘Oh, she isn’t walking yet? My Jimmy was walking before he came out of my womb.’
‘You use Aldi/Lidl/Asda/Tesco/Disposable nappies?’
‘Oh darling, we never say the word no to our little Jimmy.’
‘Aw, she can count to three, how cute. Jimmy could read the entire Britannica Encyclopedia before he was one.’
‘Jimmy only wears high end brands. You won’t catch him in Primark/various high street clothing.’
‘Did you hear, she feeds her baby formula, in a plastic bottle?!? The shame of it!’
I really do not understand why there is so much of this behaviour in mums. We get slated for doing breast feeding or bottle feeding, feeding them totally organic, super healthy or giving them Maccy D’s, letting them run wild or being too heavy handed, the working mummy or the stay at home mummy, Yoga mummy or flabby mummy, doing baby led everything or keeping the routine strict; so why are we not doing more to build each other up instead or helping bring each other down? I guess you could say the mere nature of this blog post is just another mummy, bashing another group of mummies and you may well be right but to be fair, something needs to be said about these women. Some women fear going to those baby/mum groups that meet up in the Tesco café every Tuesday or whatever purely because of this kind of attitude. We fear being told we’re not doing a good enough job by the people who should be helping us, sharing advice and tips. Opinions shouldn’t be a part of parenting. Opinions should be kept to yourself. We should however, always welcome advice, tips and pointers, it’s up to us if we listen or not.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to confidently go to one of these groups, or even in the playground and over hear something a bit more like…
‘I heard she feeds formula to her baby, I’m sure she has her reasons for this so I won’t bash her for it.’
‘Aw, she’s progressing nicely.’
‘That Primark outfit is really cute and it only cost £3, what a bargain!’
‘You look tired mummy, that’s a sign that you’re doing a great job!’
‘You are such a good mum, what’s your secret?’
‘A little sugar now and then won’t hurt them.’
I also follow a lot of daddy bloggers on social media and one thing I’ve noticed there, is dads don’t spend countless hours in coffee shops slagging each other off. When was the last time you heard Jimmy’s dad bragging about how ‘advanced’ he is or how that mother isn’t eating all the awful lactation cookies in the world so that she can breastfeed? Why does it seem like only women want to bring other women down? Being a parent is hard enough without the added negativity and if you look close enough, most of us are actually doing a brilliant job of raising OUR children the way WE want to. So, to the mummies and/or daddies reading this, whether you are one of these mummies or like me, a sick of this mummy – you’re doing great. Believe in your ability to parent the s**t out of life. It’s time we start helping each other up instead of wasting energy tearing each other apart! Be done with the negativity and work towards a world where our daughters can grow up free from all of this crap and be the kinds of mums they want to be.
If you have had any experiences of this let me know in the comments.