We’ve all have been on both ends of the Mother-Edged Sword… the concept that whatever we do in our parenting is wrong. Nothing we choose is right. We’ve given advice to other mothers about their parenting styles and we’ve been on the receiving end…
You didn’t breastfeed?! You didn’t use formula?!
You co-slept with your baby?! You left your baby to sleep in a crib?!
You didn’t use cloth diapers?! You didn’t use disposable diapers?!
You used the crying-it-out method?! You didn’t let your baby cry at all?!
You bought store bought baby food?! You made your own baby food?!
And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Mother-Edged Sword continues as our child ages:
You got your child vaccinated?! You chose not to vaccinate?!
You aren’t eating organic?! You are spending all this money eating organic?!
You aren’t making your toddler nap?! You are letting your toddler nap too much?!
You are sending your kids to public school?! You are sending your kids to private school?!
You’re letting your kids eat junk food all day?! You aren’t letting your kids have anything but healthy food?!
You are still co-sleeping?! Your kid is sleeping in their own bed?!
Why as mothers do we do this to eachother? I know I try really hard not to give out parenting advice because I don’t want to receive this unwanted advice but I also know at one time in my life I probably said one of these things. I have also realized that the unwanted mothering advice I did receive only aided in my decent into Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. Even with my choices, that were right for my child, I still felt I had screwed up. I felt that I failed as a Mother.
Did I breastfeed? Yes… to a point. I desired to breastfeed until my child was 6 months but I had no idea my child would fall asleep after 5 seconds on the breast. I had no idea I would have to stop because PPD came knocking on my door 3 weeks postpartum and I had to go on Antidepressants.
I used disposable diapers. Yes, I am adding to the pollution of our country, but hey, it was easier. I had thought about using cloth but once the vomiting, insomnia, and crying of PPD and PPA set it, it wasn’t really a priority in my mind.
I did not co-sleep with my child unless you count me on a futon and Sophia in her infant carseat on the floor next to me. And you know what, I used the crying-it-out method and my child did not suffer from it. She sleeps through the night in her own bed, alone.
Baby food… Sophia had both store bought and homemade.
Yes, my child is 100% vaccinated! She goes to Public School and is excelling. She eats junk and she eats healthy foods.
Here I am defending my parenting decisions. Why? Why must us as a group of mothers be like this? We should be supporting eachother, not hurting eachother. Being a mother is not an easy task. Degrading eachother is not only demeaning but you have no idea what the emotional state is of the mother you are talking to. That mother could be crying on the inside and after an insult like “You’re not breastfeeding?!” is given, that mother may wind up completed defeated… an emotional wreck like I was, feeling like every decision she made was absolutely wrong.
I am going to stop defending my parenting choices. We are the best parents for our children and because of that we are making the correct choices for them no matter what. Our children are thriving whether or not they eat organic. I know I have made some mistakes, after all I am human, but I am raising a wonderfully healthy little girl who is not only a friend to many, but already an intelligent, caring & loving, human being. All the Mother-Edged sword decisions I made were perfect for her.
That being said, think before you speak. Mothers are emotional beings to begin with. We need to have eachother’s back!