I’m a bad mom and I am fine with it
I am writing this piece while rocking my baby to sleep. On a pillow. On my lap. I know, pretty adventurous and “risque”. Moms around the world, militants against holding your baby for too long, would have me chased down and punished. I was among them actually, but I wasn’t a mom, I just had a set of principles I thought would work for anyone willing to invest some time and effort. Little did I know, everything changes when you actually meet that bundle of joy you’ve nurtured for 9 months inside your womb. Since all babies have a mind of their own, unique traits and needs who can be met differently, rules can’t be applied the same for everyone. We, as adults, function differently, why shouldn’t this thinking be applied for baby as well?
After giving birth I was bombarded by so many bits of advice, more or less relevant, more or less judging. I never knew so many moms are invested in my baby’s well being. I am ironic if you haven’t figured this out by now. Punctually, right after posting my first pictures with Emma, I was accused of not holding her right, of giving her the bottle, of not wearing the right sling, and many other ‘flaws’. Now, let’s take them duly for once and for all.
How to hold your baby.
You hold her just the way you want! As long as it is safe and the baby is comfortable, I don’t care if you hold her with her head down, or by one leg. In the picture I was accused of being a reckless mom, Emma was asleep, resting on my shoulder. I had the audacity of not supporting her neck with my hand while taking a picture. Well, dear concerned moms, she was sleeping, I had a back reclined posture, and for 1 second I wanted to show everyone her new Next blue romper, who had some cute frills on the back. After the picture was taken, I behaved like a serious mom, holding my baby just by the “rules”. So don’t worry, no one was hurt, except my belief that people don’t mess with your motherhood skills.
How to feed your baby.
Feed her just the way you want! In that picture, I was on a bench in the park, bottle feeding Emma. I was accused of depriving her of maternal milk. Well, first of all, dear concerned moms, we could’ve had multiple scenarios: first, maybe I was expressing. I could’ve pumped before leaving the house because I might be shy of breastfeeding in public. Second, I might have some issues with breastfeeding for which many tears have been shed. Third, it might’ve been an urgent situation and the bottle was the right solution. Why would you care? C’mon, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. NEVER! It is a mom’s choice or, in my case, a medical condition, that dictates how she feeds her baby, as long as she grows healthy and happy. I believe women who didn’t have issues with breastfeeding believe all women can do it. But it is not that easy, and most women who had troubles didn’t admit to it, thus creating a popular myth that antagonizes them. I will be writing my story soon enough to put to bed all questions. Who shouldn’t be raised in the first place, because it is my business what happens in my bra.
How to wear your baby.
Wear her just the way you want! I was accused of not using the right wearing system, without even posting a picture with what I am actually using at the moment! I mean, if I ever wanted to test people’s free time, rudeness and hating skills, this should be it. For everyone’s ease of mind, I am using Baby Bjorn after 2 months of research. So don’t worry, concerned moms, I actually didn’t go shopping with my eyes closed and picked whatever was in front of me. I know how important these baby wearing systems are. I think wraps, slings, and more structural systems are perfect for your needs and your baby’s comfort. It is up to you whatever you choose, and as a friend told me over a glass of wine (What? I am drinking while breastfeeding??) as long as you don’t keep your baby in that system for hours in a row, everything should be OK.
Lots of moms recommended Ergobaby. I was actually thinking of getting that one until I saw some reviews about the extra insert pad, which for my needs is too much of a hassle. Also, I’ve seen videos of how you put the system on, and it seemed too complicated for me. BUT, it is an amazing system, and I am definitely recommending it to everyone. It just wasn’t for me. Regarding Baby Bjorn, I know there were a few issues with old models, but dear moms, they aren’t among the best in the world for nothing. The latest model I have, more precisely, Baby Carrier One Air is acknowledged as a hip-healthy baby carrier by International Hip Dysplasia Institute. The baby sits comfortably in it, with her little legs shaped in M and the back in a normal position. Plus, the mesh is breathable and it looks stylish too!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a wrap kinda mom, who wants to feel her baby really close to her heart, or you’re more of an ergonomic kinda person, who wants to carry her baby on and off for a longer period. It’s all about researching what is best for you, your needs and your baby’s. There are going to be supporters for every brand or model, it doesn’t matter where you belong, as long as you respect other people choices. What do I want to say with this sensitive post? Well, there has been much virtual ink spilled on this subject, but I had to spend my two cents on it, due to all recent interest in my new status as a mom. I knew people are mean, especially behind a screen, but to start trashing a woman who’s recently gone trough hell while giving birth, who has a hard time adjusting to her new sleepless baby, who might go through depression, who might have issues with breastfeeding, and who might already question all of her choices regarding her baby, is diabolic. You might be having good intentions, but unless you’re a really close friend or a pediatrician, keep your thoughts to yourself.
Also, dear concerned moms, I didn’t ask for your help! I have a great gang of friend-moms who are there for me when I need them, with amazing advice. Also, I didn’t wake up giving birth. I had 9 months to read, research, take antenatal classes, sign up to forums (bad idea) and even now, with my hands full, I still have some time to read, and go online at night searching for different issues that appear all the time. Moreover, I was questioned by people I don’t even know! I am aware that, due to my public life being on display because of my blog and social presence, my choices are analysed and I can become an influence. I assume that. But, this doesn’t give anyone the right to question my abilities to raise my baby. Besides, these concerned moms who have a God complex just because they have kids will always find something to judge. I’ve seen on mom groups, and oh boy, women can be so mean about everything!
I am giving my baby the pacifier, I want to shush her up. I let her scream, I am a bad mom.
We are cosleeping, I am overprotective. I let her sleep in the crib, I am distant.
I breastfeed only and the baby doesn’t gain enough weight, I am starving her. I give her the bottle, I will lose my milk.
I hold my baby, she will become spoiled. I leave her alone, I am abandoning her.
I am wearing my baby, I destroy her back. I am putting the baby in a stroller, I am distant.
Can you see where I’m going with this? Everything you’ll do, in a direction or another, there is always a person judging your choices. Why would you bother? Do what is best for your child, because moms have undeniable instincts and a lot of information a page away. I honestly think all the ‘perfect’ moms who think they’ve discovered fire, want to reassure themselves of their choices in the first place. Kudos to them, but let us be moms too! If I want to know more about your education skills, your abilities to raise the future president, then I will ask you. In the meantime, women have been giving birth since the beginning of time, without all the science, technology, Montessori techniques, epidural, toys, organic shampoos, and ergonomic carriers. We should be let to enjoy motherhood naturally, without double looks and judging opinions. There is no such thing as a perfect mom. But a mom who discovers motherhood her way and the only one who knows what’s best for her baby. Why give explanations about it?