From the moment a woman announces she is pregnant, she receives an abundance of advice. Most of the time, it’s helpful. However, sometimes it’s intrusive.
The advice becomes intrusive at the point when instead of it seeming like kind words of support, it is more about judgment, scrutiny and criticism. I have quite a few examples that I’ve gathered from friends and family who have been “judged” by other moms. I’m not quite sure what got into these moms that felt the need to be so offensive…
A friend of mine faced strong criticism for following her doctor’s orders on what foods to avoid eating while pregnant, e.g certain cheeses, deli meats, etc. While at a party, other moms ridiculed her for following the guidelines. She heard, “I ate bologna sandwiches all throughout my pregnancy and my kids came out just fine!” and “The doctors these days worry too much. Pretty soon, it won’t be safe to eat anything.”
And then comes the delivery. When I told others that I planned on having a natural childbirth without pain medications, almost everyone tried to convince me that I was crazy. They would tell me, “You have no idea how painful it is! You’ll never be able to do it. You’ll change your mind!”
Choosing to have pain medication isn’t always supported either. I know of one mom who decided to have an epidural with her second child. She was shocked when the ob nurse tried to delay notifying the anesthesiologist long enough so that it would be too late to get one.
Another big debate… nursing. After doing some research, I chose to nurse my children for one year. I was amazed by the amount of judgment that was passed on to me for doing something that I felt was good for my child. I even had one mom tell me that my daughter’s allergies were passed on to her through my milk, and that I would have been better off not nursing! Another nursing mother told me she had a colicky child and was told that the baby was crying because it wasn’t getting enough milk since she was too small-chested.
I have also come across those that criticize mothers who bottle feed because they believe everyone should breastfeed. I know of some moms who wanted to breastfeed, but couldn’t, and have been scrutinized. And, others who chose not to, but felt the need to explain themselves to those who judged them.
The baby feeding dilemma extends well into the solid food stages. One mom confided that she took her four month old to a party. Friends who were holding the baby asked the mom if they could give the baby some cake. The mom replied "no." However, she later found her friends feeding the baby some cake! They told her it was rude that everyone was eating cake in front of the baby. Really?
Another touchy subject matter… number of children. Recently, I had my two children at a party. A mother of three passed by and said to me, "So you have just the two?" as she gestured to my children. What’s wrong with "only" having two children? And, isn’t it a bit personal to ask such a question? What if I wanted to have more children but couldn’t? I think the same judgment gets passed when people have only one child, or no children.
Apparently many have opinions and everyone feels they are the expert. It’s unfortunate that some just don’t keep these opinions to themselves.
About the author:
Lisa LaGrou is the founder of OaklandCountyMoms.com. She and her team work to present quality content to their readers. Lisa likes to provide information and options for families about a myriad of topics without preaching or condoning. If she experiences something, she want to share it. If she doesn't know about something, she tries to find information to share. She's delighted when people contact her with suggestions about content and resources. For more information on how to become a member of Oakland County Moms click HERE.