At some point, all mums have born the brunt of someone else’s ill-conceived or damn-right rude remarks concerning some aspect of their parenting, right? Whether it is from a well meaning friend, your mother-in-law, or a total stranger it hurts just the same and can cause you to wrongly question your parenting. Once we enter motherhood it seems that every decision we make regarding our family comes under scrutiny from somebody else.
For example, mothers who breastfeed often report being made to feel uncomfortable when feeding their child in a public place. Mums who feed their babies formula often face criticism from proponents of breastfeeding who tout the ‘breast is best’ mantra. Those that decide to return to work are made to feel guilty for abandoning their baby, and those that stay home are judged plain idle, work-dodgers. The list goes on and on.
Entering motherhood for the first time is exhausting both emotionally and physically. In what feels like a blink of an eye, your whole world spins on its axis and your main focal point is forever altered. No longer do we have the luxury of making a decision just for ourselves. Every choice we make requires us to think once for ourselves and once for our loved ones. It can be a time of great upheaval and uncertainty as we brave the unchartered waters of motherhood.
I plainly remember the excited, but also nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach as we left the hospital with our tiny, first newborn son. As we strapped him into the car seat the enormity of the responsibility sank in and I suddenly realised I knew nothing at all about babies. Even in the short time he had been in the world I already knew I loved him so much it felt like my heart would burst, but that was unfortunately my only certainty. What was I supposed to do when he cried? How would I know when he wanted to be fed, be burped, go to sleep?
I remember in those first few weeks, gazing around the mother’s group meeting at the local community centre, feeling like a zombie from lack of sleep and smelling like wet wipes and regurgitated breast milk. I was convinced that everyone else knew exactly what they were doing. They were all so capable. What I didn’t realise was that they all felt the same way. They even thought that I knew what I was doing.
What I am getting at, I suppose, is the fact that we are all muddling along through motherhood, making the choices we feel are right for our families. There are no right or wrong choices. There is just the choice that is right for us.
Motherhood is a tough enough gig without having to face harsh judgements from others, often seeking to validate their own decisions by berating those of others. Instead of criticising one another for having different parenting styles or values to our own, we should be respectful of every mother’s right to bring up her family the way she feels is right. By right, I mean right for her and for those she loves.
It is for this reason that the Mums Lounge team have launched the Pay it Forward Mummy Compliment Campaign. Let’s take a stand against the bitching and bullying and instead focus on the positives.
Tell one of your girlfriends something you admire about them. What makes them a top mum in your eyes? No need to keep it to one friend ~ hell, tell them all! Let’s give mums a little more of the recognition and appreciation they deserve.
To take part in the Pay it Forward Mummy Compliment Campaign click here.
It’s easy. Tag one of the photo’s with your friend/s.
Leave a message below telling them what makes them special.
Don’t forget to pass it on! If you are tagged please keep with the spirit of the campaign and spread some mummy love and support on to other friends and wonderful mothers.