When you become a parent, it's almost like throwing a sign around your neck that says "JUDGE ME, PLEASE!" It begins when you are pregnant but gets so much worse once your child is born. A lot of the judgment comes from more seasoned parents who think they know better (which, they probably do, but we've all been there so hush your mouth). Hearing it from all sides, what people think you should be doing with your child, can be incredibly annoying and can also make you second-guess yourself. I've been through it and now, I am continually stopping myself from sounding like an asshole when I talk to new moms because I remember how much it upset me when I first had my daughter and people judged me for my parenting choices. Here are the most annoying things people judge new parents for:
1. Breast-milk Or Formula
If you want to see a new mother go positively postal, question her feeding choices. My own father-in-law made a crack about feeding my daughter "crap in a can" just days after she was born and I was still working to establish my supply and splitting her pumped bottles with a little formula. It still boils my blood when I think about it now. He is lucky he is older and a former heart case because I was ready to throw down.
2. Co-sleeping Or Crib Sleeping
Our daughter was a big fan of her crib so we did not encounter this until our son was born but its still something new parents are judged for. Our son wanted only to be with us and to save ourselves form being completely sleepless, we let him in our bed. I would try to not even bring it up but if someone asked and I told them, I would then be lectured about how I would roll over and kill him. Yawn.
3. How Baby Is Dressed
Maybe it's because my daughter was born in mid-September and we headed into an upstate NY winter shortly after but I felt like I took a lot of shit for making sure she was warm enough. I had read that baby didn't need much more clothing than an adult so I tried to gauge it on how warm or cold I was but apparently, little old ladies wouldn't be happy unless she was drowning in blankets and hats.
4. Your Baby Name
My kids have very conventional names but I know other mothers who chose more unique monikers for their little ones and they heard about it. You would think this would stop after a baby is born but I know a mother who had a family friend tell her she could "still change the baby's name" after he was born. Ugh, STFU.
5. Stroller Or Sling
I did not realize until becoming tight with a couple of Attachment Parenting moms that anyone would think my stroller was an issue. My daughter was awesome at sleeping as long as you didn't touch her so I let her snooze in her stroller while we were out. I got to hear about how much more secure she would feel snuggled to my chest. Except that in her case, it just made her flail around anxiously. What did I know? I was only a new mom who must be TOLD!
6. Questioning Your Pediatrician's Advice
An estranged (jerk) family member of mine used to tell me all the time not to bother doing things my pediatrician had told me because "other moms know better" and I should listen to them. She got on my case for letting my daughter do a lot of tummy time because the pediatrician said it was important. HER kids never did it and they were just fine! Whatever, crazy.
7. Putting Photos On Facebook
This is a double-edged judgment. You will be judged for taking more pictures of your kid than the paparazzi do of Kim Kardashian and people will also judge what they see in the pictures. "Valerie! I just wanted to tell you- her car-seat straps look loose in that picture and she's not wearing a hat!" Good Lord, I should have blocked my family on Facebook in those days.
8. Working Or Staying At Home
The age-old judgment for all new mothers- are you going back to work or staying at home? People will have an opinion either way and they should basically take those opinions and shove them straight where the sun doesn't shine because it's none of their business.
(All GIF's: Giphy)
(Image: Denys Kurbatov/Shutterstock)