PARENT JUDGING

 

Parent judging is something that it so common these days, but that doesn’t make it ok and we shouldn’t have to put up with it. A couple weeks ago my parenting was judged by another mother. I was told I shouldn’t give my baby a loaded spoon, because she could potentially gag on it. This wasn’t the first time this has happened but it infuriated me so much that it led me to make a blog post about it. I know this persons concern came from a good place (I think), but I couldn’t help but feel offended and undermined. What annoyed me the most about this comment is that:

1. There was no prior conversation to this, this person just felt entitled to give her opinion based on a 10 second snap.

2. We’re doing Baby Led Weaning, so how else is she supposed to feed herself runny foods?

3. Yes, she could potentially gag on a spoon, but she gags on her food at least once a day, I wouldn’t allow her to put a spoon that far down her mouth intentionally

4. She is my child and it is none of your business!

This isn’t the first time someone has assumed I am parenting the wrong way. I have been told how to look after my child’s hair, when to start weaning, when to burp her and how to put her to sleep. But some people fail to understand is that every child is different, and what worked for one parent may not work for another. SinceĀ India was born I haveĀ had my fair share of unsolicited advice. I acknowledge, nod and say thank you. Some advice has been beneficial, but most I internally roll my eyes at.

The feeling of being judged gives me so much anxiety that I often hide behind official recommendations and guidelines. If I do everything by the book, then it doesn’t leave any room for criticism. Regardless of this people still tell me what to do. I have been told many times that my baby will prefer sleeping on her back and don’t allow her to stand on her feet because she will get bandy legs. I have been told my family, peers ad strangers. Everyone assumes they know my baby better than I do.

As a parent I believe in myself to make the right decisions for my child, and shouldn’t we all? Just because I am a young mother, does not mean I am not as good as a 35 year old mum. Being a new parent doesn’t have to mean I am incompetent. When I was pregnant I did a lot of research about the baby do’s and don’t but the rest was down to trail and error.

I’m not going to pretend like I haven’t ever made assumptions about other parents, because I have. There has been times where I have had to bite my tongue and keep my opinion to myself. I used to judge parents before I even became one myself. I said things like “I would never let my child do that” but when you become a parent yourself, things change. You empathise and see parenthood from a different perspective.

The last thing parents want to hear is what they should or shouldn’t be doing. Unless you are genuine concerned about a child, I think it would be best to keep your opinions to yourself. As parents we have enough to deal without having to live in fear of criticism.

Has anyone ever criticised your parenting and what was your reaction?

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13 Comments

  1. February 20, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    Just wrote about this on my blog! The thing is even if you do follow guidelines, someone will STILL have something to say! Do you! It’s sooo annoying that people always have something to say.x

  2. February 20, 2017 / 7:06 pm

    I remember when I had my first child people used to say all sorts! from telling me how to wipe my child’s bottom to what he should be wearing for his 1st birthday! some things you just have to laugh off, this is one of the many struggles us young mums face as first time parents! Unless it’s a real concern, people really need to learn to keep their opinions to themselves *rolls eyes*

  3. Rita
    February 21, 2017 / 3:54 pm

    Love! Love! Love! Such a good read! Being a mum-to-be this is something I fear will happen quite often! I just hope I can handle is well. Especially knowing sometimes people’s opinions and advice just isn’t coming from the heart! Or a good place. Well we shall wait and see! But they should know I’m ready because my comebacks are always quick! Ha

  4. February 21, 2017 / 8:29 pm

    I breastfed my youngest until he self weaned at 2yrs 7 months. Although publically no one ever criticised me to my face I am sure people did behind my back!

  5. February 21, 2017 / 9:48 pm

    Exactly that! She is your child so it is 100% your choice what you choose to do. Someone will always have a comment about something someone somewhere is doing! Keep doing you ox
    Amy @ The Smallest Of Things recently posted…Living Arrows | 8/52My Profile

  6. February 21, 2017 / 10:16 pm

    Wow, that’s so rude. Why do people feel the need to comment and judge? Gah! Keep doing you. Yvadney x

  7. February 21, 2017 / 10:17 pm

    Ugh Unsolicited advice is such a bug bear of mine!

  8. February 21, 2017 / 10:30 pm

    Ha! People are so rude! I always give my son a loaded spoon and he’s awesome with it, yes he gags now and then but he does the same with his own hands!! Personally I think unless it’s potentially a serious danger to the child then people should keep their opinions to themselves – or say it nicely and constructively i.e. try and understand babyledweaning

  9. February 21, 2017 / 10:39 pm

    Hi Shanice,

    Amazing read, I’m not a mother yet but I would also be infuriated by the fact people are dictating my parenting skills. Advice is all well and good but there is a limit and people should know where to stop.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog posts.

  10. February 21, 2017 / 10:47 pm

    I always give my son a loaded spoon and have done from starting weaning. He has never had any issues. I think like most things, there’s always some risk. Gosh, I could be at risk next time I eat and I’d like to say I’m a pro at eating! I’ve had similar criticisms especially from older parents. As you say, all babies are different.
    Nadine recently posted…Sunshine Blogger Quiz – Tag PostMy Profile

  11. February 22, 2017 / 4:03 pm

    I hate it when people shove their methods of parentinf down your throat. Granted some things are dangerous and I wince when I see them. But this isn’t, it’s
    Your chosen method and shame on her for piping up.

  12. February 28, 2017 / 2:53 pm

    Omg yes!! I am so tired of the judgement, I got it a lot when my daughter was a tiny bit younger. Lots of judgement because she is very active and it made me stop going to certain playgroups because I jut left feeling so overwhelmed! So disheartening

  13. March 13, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    Absolutely loved this post, its too true! It can feel like we are always being judged as mothers. My daughter is ridiculously active and it got to a point I wanted to stop taking her to playgroups as I constantly felt judged by others!

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