Henry is almost 17 months now and I think I’m doing a damn good job! He’s still alive isn’t he? 😉 but even now, so long after his birth, I still see criticism and people judging other people’s parenting decisions. I’ll use women/mothers as an example here but I’ve heard/seen men do it too. It’s just not as often.
Last week, I took Henry into town on the bus. I never drive into the city, it’s too scary plus the bus is free for me. It was 11am, past Henry’s morning nap time so he was getting drowsy and in went his thumb. I didn’t think anything of it because that’s just him. Until I heard these 2 old women.
Woman 1: Look at that little boy sucking his thumb. If that was my baby, I’d have ripped it out of his mouth by now.
Woman 2: Oh I know, it makes their teeth stick out. I remember my next door neighbour’s baby, her teeth were wonky because of thumb sucking.
Woman 1: It’s a disgrace.
And so on…
It took me by surprise. How dare they judge my parenting skills, they don’t know me or my son. He sucks his thumb as a comfort thing. If he had a dummy, they’d also have something to say and if he was crying, they’d think I was neglecting him.
I still see breast/bottle debates. I stopped feeling guilty about my decision to bottle feed a long time ago and truth be told, I’m not sure I’d exclusively breastfeed if/when we have another one, as much as I would want to. Combination feeding worked well for us. So did weaning early (although I would wait longer with additional babies). And I even get looks or comments when I’m out in McDonald’s or KFC and Henry has some of the food.
We all have our ways of parenting and if it works for you, great. But don’t try and push your views on other parents. And definitely don’t judge!
I’m going to be honest with you. Henry watches too much TV. He also has had takeaways and food that isn’t good for him. I give in to him way too much and I’m wrapped around his little finger. But I don’t care. He has a healthy varied diet (everything in moderation), I take him out every day so he’s not stuck in front of the TV every day and I love him ruling the roost. He’s too young for structure and discipline.
We’re all doing a great job. Please start supporting your fellow mothers and don’t judge or badmouth. I don’t want the next generation to grow up being judgmental of people. I want them to be accepting of everyone. The world would be a much better place.