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Motherhood doesn’t come with a guide (some might suffix it with unfortunately). All it comes with is an instinct (the mother’s instinct as we call it) and experience follows on-the-job. A mother is born on the day her child is.
Just like every child’s different, every mom is too. After all, she’s also human; understandably, she ought to be different. Then why compare one mom with another (we advise against comparing kids, remember?)
“Why do you feed this to your child?"
“Why aren’t you more careful with them?"
“You bathe her in this hot water?"
“Why have you covered her up in so much warm clothing? She must be feeling suffocated."
“I wouldn’t do this with my kids."
Enough, guys! Seriously. And what’s most hurtful (or should I say amusing) is that these comments/taunts sometimes come from people who’ve never been parents themselves, yet claim to know all about it! Okay, you need to stop, because you’ve no idea how much it hurts at the other end.
The mom whom you just said this to feels hurt, discouraged, disappointed, even failed, at not having done the “right” job with her child(ren).
What’s right and wrong? And who gets the authority to decide that? In my opinion, the mom herself, because she ends up spending the maximum time with the child. She knows them inside out. She knows exactly what’s in the best/worst interest of her kids.
Makes sense? If it does, let’s try and avoid making moms feel bad about their parenting methods. Let’s remember not to say things that may not go down well.
You may find tons of such examples from your everyday life (if you’re a mom; yes, we keep hearing them all the time). But here are the top 5 ones I could think of at the time of writing this post. So here goes.
What’s right and wrong about the way you raise your kids? And who gets the authority to decide that? Well, I think only the mom should and nobody else.
5 Things You Should Never Say To Another Mom (Let’s Show Some Love To Each Other)
1. “You’re so much into your kids all the time”
I’d like to ask: how much is “so much?” Can you actually measure a mom’s love and concern for her child through any tangible measurement method available on earth? If you can, please bring it to me; I’d like to see for sure.
And yes, if you can’t, I’d proudly say that it can never be “enough” to care for your kids; to try and give them the best of everything they truly deserve - attention, love, care, listening, playing, laughing, cuddling - you name it.
2. “Why do you carry your child in the lap all the time? Isn’t he grown up now?”
Well, do you think I’d be doing it by choice? Just because I don’t keep complaining about the back pain to every person I meet, does not mean I’m enjoying it. I do it because I understand that my child needs something at that time but isn’t able to express it in words.
He could be hungry, sleepy, anxious, or scared (in a public setting) but can’t say so just as yet. I know that. I understand that. Moreover, I respect that because it’s his feelings, after all.
3. “Why aren’t you breastfeeding / why are you still breastfeeding?”
This one’s my favorite (always amuses me). Just shows that there’s never pleasing anyone, ha! Brows raise when you aren’t following nature’s rules (breastfeeding) and also when you choose to continue abiding by those norms for a little longer!
Ladies, here I’d say let’s just pass making a comment because this is definitely a personal choice for every mom. If you really want to encourage the practice, perhaps share its benefits and avoid taunting in a condescending tone.
Again, whether or not the mom wishes to continue feeding her baby and for how long is entirely based on her baby’s needs, her comfort, and how useful she perceives the practice to be for both her baby and herself. If she seeks support in weaning, help her out if you have some tips to share, but other than that, just let her decide.
Photo by Cleyder Duque from Pexels
4. “Oh! He’s still in diapers? Haven’t you potty trained him yet?”
Another amusing question! Lady, would he still be wearing diapers if he were potty trained? Isn’t that plainly evident? And who gets to decide the “yet” time factor here? Surely not you because you ain’t washing and cleaning him up each time he goes, are you?
I know he needs to be potty trained and I am on it, just cut me some slack here. I’m working hard to get him to pee and poop in his potty seat/toilet seat but I keep failing each time. Yet, I don’t give up - I make a new attempt every single day, so don’t push it.
A common emotion we all can share here (we’ve all been through this). A simple thing often not understood here is that every child takes its own time to achieve various milestones in their life. You can’t hurry them through these, then why bother moms and hurry them through making their kids achieve these milestones? We’ve got to remember that there’s only as much that even a mom can do.
5. “He still sleeps with you in your bed? He’s…years old already!”
Another common taunt by the so-called well-wisher moms in your network (or perhaps even non-moms sometimes). It seems like a huge achievement to them if their child’s moved out of the room and they’d find absolute pleasure in making you feel bad if yours still sleeps in.
“Oh! You guys need space. Why do you still allow your kid to sleep in with you?” My friend, my child will move out when I or he/she feels the time’s right. Maybe they still feel a bit scared or perhaps it’s just the usual separation anxiety. Whatever the reason may be, there really is no defining age bar to decide this.
Let’s show each other some love. Let’s support one another. It’s not a race. It’s a journey we call motherhood.
Final Words From Stay At Home Mummy
I’m reminded of a marvelous quote here that I happened to come across on social media a while ago. I share it here as a perfect wrap-up to this post -
“You blink and they are 8. Then 28. And then they are parents, resembling you. So take it in, mama. Let them climb into bed with you. Sing that song they requested for the tenth time. Hold them a little tighter when all they want is to hug you. Maybe by raising children, you lose your mind a little bit. But you find your soul."
And, to all the others who think that their mom friends aren’t doing it right, well, I understand that everyone has a right to opine. And that your opinion makes complete sense to you. And that maybe your ways have worked absolutely well for you as well.
But, guys, she’s trying it equally hard, her way, to make and keep her children safe, happy, and healthy; to raise decent, well-mannered and responsible kids. Let’s show her some love. Let’s support each other. Let’s give it to her for all that she does rather than pointing out to what she misses. Not too much to ask for, I guess?
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