Today I’m continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge! The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year, since I’ve just become a mum for the first time, my theme is: ‘an A-Z of Newborn Care’. I’ll be talking about all the highs and lows of parenting, sharing things that have been useful for me and posting some cute pictures.
For the letter ‘I’ I have chosen to talk about Judgement. As a new parent, it seems as if you are judged for every choice that you make-whether you use formula, or nurse in public, become a stay-at-home mum or go back to work. Sadly, a lot of the judgement comes from fellow mothers, who should be supporting each other rather than tearing each other down! Here’s my opinion on a few parenting ‘hot topics’.
Breastfeeding vs. formula feeding
Health professionals usually say that breast milk is better for babies, but formula has come a long way since it’s invention and is now a completely safe and nutritionally sound alternative. Despite this, I have encountered the ‘breastfeeding wars‘ all over parenting forums and social media.
Although I chose to breastfeed, I recognise that some mums either don’t want to or are unable to, for various reasons. Babies don’t always know how to latch correctly, it might be painful for the mum to breastfeed or the baby might react to something in mum’s diet. Whatever the reason, each mother should feel free to feed their baby in whatever way works best for their family without judgement from other people. At the end of the day, if the baby is fed and happy, that’s all that matters!
Staying at home vs. working
This is another issue that seems to bring out the worst in people! I think there are pros and cons to both choices. If you stay at home you can give your child more of your attention, but contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t mean you sit around doing nothing all day! Full-time mums still have to keep up with all the household chores and errands, as well as the demands of their children. Working mums might enjoy the social aspect of their work and feel that they are setting a good example for their children, but they might miss spending time with their children during the day. Childcare can also be very expensive.
I will be going back to work in September because I feel that even though it’s going to be difficult leaving her, in the long run I will be happier if I’m able to pursue my career and I think that spending time at nursery will be good for my daughter’s social development. The ‘best option’ is whatever works for your family.
Nursing in public
Unfortunately, there’s still a stigma about breastfeeding in public, despite it being such a natural thing. I know that some mums have had negative comments, like people saying it’s disgusting or telling them to go and feed their baby in a restroom. I bet they wouldn’t like to eat their dinner in the toilet, so why should a baby?
Most mums feed discretely with a nursing cover or by using the ‘two shirt’ method (lifting your top and pulling down your vest to create a small gap). Even if you don’t use those methods, breastfeeding normally displays less flesh than wearing a low cut top on a night out! I find it strange that we live in a society where it’s perfectly acceptable for a woman to display her ‘assets’ on the front of a magazine cover or in a string bikini at the beach, yet it’s taboo for a woman to feed her baby in public with the body parts that were made for that very purpose!
At least the law is on our side. In the UK, the Equality Act 2010 has made it illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place, such as a cafe, shop or public transport. But it’s sad that sometimes we are still shamed for it. Hopefully the more it’s done in public, the more normal it will become.
When all is said and done, we are all just trying to do the best for our children. Let’s support each other instead of getting caught up in the “us vs. them” mentality. I love the video below-it really highlights how in arguing about the small stuff we can forget what really matters.
What are your thoughts about the so-called “mummy wars”?