We have all been there, parent shamed. It’s not a fun place to be. We all do it to other parents and often don’t realize it. Why do we feel the need to beat up on each other? Aren’t we all in this together?
We all have that one family member or friend that gives unsolicited advice. We all have that part of us that thinks we are the best parent some days and other days we cry into our pillow thinking, we suck at parenting. I spend my nights, after the kids are sleeping, thinking about my day. Was it successful or did it suck? Could I have been a better mom? What can I change and do better tomorrow ? Other days I have a really big ego and think, your so awesome at this parenting thing.
I have a relative, who may be reading this, who isn’t supportive in the way I would like. It’s like a constant comparison between kids and parenting that has my brain in a whirlwind daily. I decided this past month ,more seriously this week, that I need to get my poop together. I need to make decisions with confidence and execute them with authority. I’m my own person and I choose to parent how I feel is best for my kids. I am choosing to feel good about myself and how I raise my children. If someone looks down on me for something I did for my kids or how I discipline, that is ok. These are my kids and my life. I need to take charge in all aspects of life. How else will my kids navigate life if I am a crappy parent because I bow to others idea of what kind of parent /person I should be. We are all different. I will take some ideas or advice where I see fit but ultimately I need to make my kids happy and allow them to grow into healthy adults. I want them to be confident and well rounded. I need to be the best example of that.
Too often I’m hearing from friends or on social media, how so-called perfect parents are shaming other parents. The worst kind is the non parent giving advice. We have all done that because we think we know better. We didnt know better. They don’t even do this in a nice helpful way. They are down right nasty and unapologetic. You NEED to breastfeed, you HAVE to let them cry it out, circumcision is barbaric. You HAVE to use this kind of bottle or stroller. Don’t co-sleep. They go on to tell how their kids are perfect, we know damn well they arent, and how you just dont know or want what’s best for your kids. I had a friend tell me, her relative told her, she is a bad mom because she “let’s her depression get in the way” of how she parents. How, her kids behave for this relative better than for her. We have all heard this. The fact is that kids are very hard on their parents and act out because that’s how they are. They fight for attention over siblings. They are still trying to regulate emotions and they look to you to guide them, even if by acting horribly bratty. They throw tantrums and all the other fun stuff. Thry are kids, doing what kids do. They dont usually behave that way for others because it’s a different environment with different expectations. Mainly, no expectations except to have fun and play. At home there are more rules and different consequences. If your doing it right or different, then other parents will try to knock you down. They like you being miserable or looking to them for advice when they know they struggled too. Maybe they are currently struggling and looking to lift themselves up by knocking your parenting. They want to believe they’ve done every thing perfectly. Guess what? There is not just one way to parent so get over yourself. More importantly, get over your self doubt. Dont let thrm take jabs at your depression or anything else.
That’s my mission. These kids grow to fast and before you know it they are off to college. Enjoy them while you can. Let the negative energy go and feel the freedom of not caring what other parents are claiming you did wrong. Kids are all different and we need to parent them in the way that’s best for them. We need to support each other and lift each other up. If you can’t say anything nice then shut up.
This happens a lot with first time parents. You will get more unsolicited advice than you know what to do with. For this reason, I now either give advice only when asked or I will say this is what worked for me. I am guilty of trying to make my case for the best diaper or formula etc. I now realize that every baby is different in how they react to diapers and formula. Some parents prefer different diapers than me and its ok. Some parents don’t feel the need to put a hat on a baby in the sun but it’s not my business. Some parents co sleep and some dont. Guess what, its ok. Don’t beat yourself up as a new parent because someone is against you or your pediatricians advice either. I won’t get into the vaccine debate. I will say at times I’ve been on both sides of it because some kids will ultimately have adverse reactions. Don’t shame those parents. Do educate yourself on all things baby related and do what you feel is right. Ask as many questions and seek advice from many resources but make choices based on what is right for your family. You dont have to argue with people but don’t let them walk on you. The bottom line is, parenting is not as easy as it looks! Be kind to new moms or dads. Be kind to all parents. Be uplifting and helpful and learn when to shut up. I hope this helped someone or hopefully it’s just relatable. Have a fabulous day and thank you for reading.