You and your baby are just getting to know each other and it is a joyful but scary time while you get the most extreme kind of hands-on training and fall in love with this small person who has entered your life. The last thing you should have to worry about is the opinion of strangers – but unfortunately mommy shaming (and daddy shaming too) seems to be becoming something of a global pastime. Here’s how to keep the haters from ruining the bond with your baby.
Breastfeeding or not
‘Are you not breastfeeding? I’ve breastfed all of mine…’ There is nothing worse than this question to make a new mum feel uncertain and anxious. Not everyone can breastfeed (because of medical conditions they or the baby suffer or other circumstances) but as long as your baby is happy and healthy, you are doing it right!
‘Johnny only eats organic, raw, ethically sourced products from our local area.’ Weaning toddlers can be a minefield with what they will and will not eat. Having people judge you for allowing your child a fish-finger or hot dog every now and then can be infuriating and make a young mum feel like a failure. One mum, whose two-year-old daughter refused to eat anything but green apples for a solid month (while still taking a bottle, of course!) is reassuring: ‘As long as they eat something, and do it willingly and at the right time, don’t make a fuss. They’ll eventually want to try something different.’ Her daughter soon lost interest in eating only apples and now, aged six, eats widely and unfussily.
Remember, we’ve all been there
No matter what other parents say, they’ve all been there: a first-time mum or dad, doing their best to get it right. Ignore thoughtless comments, and listen out for helpful tips instead: there are even more helpful mums than there are mean ones. Your relationship with your baby is precious – doubly so as they grow so fast and it isn’t long before they have to be shared with schools, grandparents and friends. Don’t let anyone interfere with this bonding time with your child!