It seems that wherever you go, parents are being judged one way or the other. In the news and on social media, all you hear is what we should be feeding our children, whether formula milk is okay to use and why it’s bad for your baby to cuddle them.
When my son was just a newborn we were bombarded with other people’s opinions on our parenting style and most of the time, it came from family. Quite frankly, I really couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks and what they prefer. I’m doing my best and no-one can care for our son better than us, because no-one knows a child better than their parent. You think you can look after my son better? You’re kidding yourself.
Before and after Joshua was born, I used to get advice from those who didn’t even have children. Yes, they may have been health visitors or midwives, but they don’t know what it’s like to actually have children. There’s simply nothing they have to offer me other than what they read about in books. I never listened to anyone’s opinions and I still don’t, that’s why it annoys me so much when I hear it; it has no use to me. My son is almost three years old and I’ve never been told something that’s useful.
Why does parenting need to be judged in the first place? Why is what we do anyone else’s concern? Our children are OUR children.
We often go on big family holidays, which I have vowed to never do again because of how others make me feel when it comes to how I care for my son. On occasions, my son has actually been reduced to tears from comments as well. On one particular holiday, we were sitting outside a pub having a drink and some mid-afternoon snacks. Me, my partner and Joshua all had a drink and packet of crisps each. Joshua leaned in and signalled that he wanted to swap crisps with me, I didn’t mind one bit, so I swapped with him and gave him the ones he preferred. Suddenly, a family member who we were there with butted in:
“Don’t you ever get told no?”
HANG ON A MINUTE!! Yes, he does! Joshua will get told no when the situation is right, when he has actually done something naughty or I would rather him not be doing. He definitely doesn’t get told no when he innocently wants to swap food with me. Had he of snatched my food, that would have been different. Also, who the hell are you to direct that kind of comment to my son?
Over the first year, we were bombarded with tons of opinions and comments. Family members would tell us that they didn’t like something we did, that Joshua was too fat or that they didn’t like some of the clothing we got for him. We even got told the bibs we had for him were wrong!
Joshua would get comments about his weight all the time when he was younger, luckily, he was far too young to understand what was being said.
“Don’t worry, he’ll lose that weight”
WHAT WEIGHT?! Stop with the comments about my son’s weight. He’s perfect! I’m not going to apologise that he eats well, is active and he isn’t skinny. He has meat on him and he is thoroughly healthy.
We have also had problems with people trying to parent Joshua and tell him what to do. For example, he’ll be picking his nose and someone will pull his hand away and tell him off. Or they will tell him off for dropping food on OUR carpet.
Seemingly so, us parents cannot do anything right. Of course, there are things that are clear-cut wrong to do. If a parent ever ignores their hungry baby or shuts them in a boiling car… then they deserve to be judged. But parents who are doing their best simply do not deserve it. I try not to judge parents because what gives me that right? I don’t know them and more importantly, I don’t know their baby.
Honestly, parents are the only ones who know what’s best for their baby. Leave us to it!