Wednesday, March 9, 2011

1:40 -- Please pass the judgment

I've been a mom for almost a year. That's still sinking in. I've considered myself a lot of things in life but Mom was never at the top of my list. But here I am now, having successfully kept another human being alive for almost an entire year!
I've learned many things over the past year but the biggest thing is that society is never more judgmental than when you're bringing a baby into the world. If you're pregnant, just had a baby or have had 5 kids, chances are you've heard just about every piece of unsolicited advice imaginable. Random strangers will ask you if you're breast-feeding and then completely judge you when you answer honestly that you tried but didn't make it past a few months. "Breast milk is best! Your baby is going to be obese, sick and full of allergies!! You should have tried harder!!!" As if I already didn't put myself through the guilt-wringer about it.

Some of these are featured in this Yahoo article but most are purely anecdotal.
http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/parenting/the-10-most-irritating-least-helpful-parenting-tips-ever-2448391/

Other tidbits: "Sleep when the baby sleeps." (Good advice but not if your baby refuses to nap and you like to shower)
"Read to your baby and she'll learn to read before she's 2!" (L.E. has devoured every book we've read. Literally. The corners are completely chewed off)
"Let her cry it out and she'll learn to self-soothe" (If anyone can listen to their child wail for longer than 2 minutes and not be a hysterical freak, I applaud you)
"Your whole life is about to change." (well, duh...kind of the point!)
"What's WRONG with her?" (Ok, that one was what i heard the most and came from people who had never seen a Pavlik harness or abduction brace. I never knew people could be so blunt. Do they go up to people in wheelchairs and ask them how they got that way?)
"Someone must be hungry/tired/cold/hot/teething/wet" (Thanks. I thought she was crying because our home value decreased another 3.9% in January)
"Doesn't the time just fly by?" (Those first few months sure didn't. You know, when she didn't care who you were, she just needed fed and it didn't matter who the bottle was attached to)
"How's your sex life since you had a baby?" (Uh...do I know you?)
"Don't let your baby watch any TV" (Letting your child watch a Jersey Shore marathon probably isn't the best thing but a little Sesame Street is just fine. Behold the healing power of Elmo. That fuzzy red bastard has soothed many a meltdown.)
"How are you going to lose all the baby weight if you keep scarfing chicken wings?" (!!!!)
I know everyone is well-intentioned with their advice and I'm sure I've doled out my share. But really, all you want to hear when you're a new mom is that your baby is beautiful, you're doing a great job and that you look fantastic in sweatpants.

5 comments:

  1. You forgot the classic pregnancy mishap -- random strangers thinking they can touch you in public places, simply because there's a baby in there. I have heard many a lament from the preggo gals. Gross.

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  2. I actually liked that kind of attention. Belly rubs feel good, even from total strangers. Just make sure the lady really is pregnant and not just on a bagel binge.

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  3. Well said, my friend! I especially understand about your point about breastfeeding. As an adoptive mother it was obviously never an option for me. However, people were constantly telling me I could get shots, buy weird backpack things with tubes that hooked to my boobs or my favorite- order breast milk online! WTF?! In a perfect world I would have given birth to Alyson and given breastfeeding a try. I was constantly feeling bad because she wasn't breastfed. Now at almost 16 months old, she has never been on antibiotics, had allergies and no longer has her little "chunky baby" thighs. People just need to realize it's hard becoming a mom, no matter what the situation.
    Love your blog:) Also, I've never seen you in sweatpants, but I'm sure you look great! And, it goes without saying, but Lucy is gorgeous!
    -Tiff

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  4. Thanks, Tiff! Your constant support has been absolutely amazing. I'm sure you get your share of inappropriate comments, too.
    Looking forward to seeing you soon!

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  5. That whole "sleep when baby sleeps" is suck bs! Because I need to use the bathroom, take a shower, wash dishes because, duh I need to eat too! grrr
    Also the time fly's by...umm not so much, especially with the hip thing, so much crying :(

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