Lately, I’ve felt inadequate as a mother. I question everything. Am I reading enough to D? Shouldn’t he be saying more words by now? Why won’t he use a sippy cup? Why won’t he sleep? Am I wrong to have stopped breastfeeding? Is a party the right thing for a 1 year old?
I know I’m not alone in feeling the way I do. I have a couple of friends that have talked about similar feelings lately. So, if other parents feel this way, why isn’t there more support? I have noticed that a lot of websites (medical, new parent info sites, blogs, etc) kind of parent shame. They tell you if you aren’t doing ABC then you aren’t succeeding as a parent. Or you should try XYZ if you want to be the awesome parent I am. This isn’t just exclusive to the internet. Conversations with parents day to day seem to be conversations of “my child is better and here’s why”. Everyone is trying to out do one another.
I get excited because D’s top teeth are coming in. The response is usually “my younger baby has had 10 teeth for ages now” (ok I haven’t had this response, but you get my point). Or if I’m asked a question like “what size clothing is D in now?” I answer with 12 months. The response again seems to be some sort of competition. I don’t understand how we have gotten this way. Shouldn’t we support one another? So my almost 1 year old is just in 12 month clothing. I’m not leaving him home alone; I’m not feeding him poison; I’m not beating him. Why should I be shamed because he takes after his father and has a slight build? Shouldn’t the response of clothing size be: “aw that’s great. They have some really cute outfits at the store in that size”?
We should support one another. If we are doing everything in our power to do what is right by our child (or children), shouldn’t that be enough? I’m tired of being treated like I’m a horrible parent because another one feels their way is the way everyone should do it.