(Disclosure: I am partnering with Similac on their “Sisterhood of Motherhood” #SisterhoodUnite campaign but all thoughts are my own.)
Seven years ago this past June I became a mom for the first time. I was excited, overwhelmed, in love, tired and nervous all at the same time. Since I only knew one other local mom my age I dove into the online world to connect with other moms. I started a blog, got more active on social media, and joined as many local mom groups as I could.
Since my son had not come with an instruction manual I decided that other moms were my best resource for parenting tips and advice. I made a lot of wonderful mom friends that I still keep in contact with to this day. Moms that encouraged me and helped me when I needed it. Those were the type of people that I was looking for in my life.
As much as I found support in the online world and my local groups, I also discovered a lot of people that only made me feel worse about my parenting choices. Everything from feeding choices to diapering choices to how I chose to calm my baby. Even things like using a pacifier I felt judged about. I posted the above picture to social media with the below caption. Why did I feel the need to explain my one year old using a pacifier?
Most of the above things I tried not to let bother me but some things hurt more than others, many of which really came about after my second son was born. Those were things like when people wondered how I could work while raising my kids, when people judged me as my childen were having meltdowns, and those that pretty much disappeared from my life as soon as I started to use the terms “special needs”, “SPD” and “Autism” (whether because they didn’t want to be around for the journey, thought we couldn’t connect anymore or didn’t approve of my using labels I’ll never know but I feel like it was a combination of all of the above).
I was very hard on myself during the early years and second guessed a lot of the parenting decisions I was making, mostly because I felt judgement from others to do things differently. It took years to realize that the only ones that knew what was best for their children were the parents. I was doing the best I could and that was all that mattered.
Have you ever felt judged about parenting choices that you’ve made like the parents in the video above? Go to the Similac Facebook page and share the one thing you will do to help end the mommy wars. For me, it’s remembering that other parents are doing the best they can.
(Edited to add: Looking at pictures to find ones to add to this post I found a picture of me bringing Jacob home from the hospital. What I found? Someone commented and was judging me for carrying him in his carrier. Just goes to prove my point even more! Judgment is everywhere as a parent.)