With motherhood comes judgment. From the second you tell someone you are pregnant the interrogation begins. Will you breast feed or formula feed? Epidural or au natural? Will you co-sleep or have your baby in a crib/bassinet? If your answer does not fall in line with that particular person’s perspective of what they think is right, they give you the evil stare down and promptly give you their opinion on how you should be doing things.
We all judge. I catch myself doing it sometimes and have to quickly remind myself we are all doing what we feel is best for our child and our family. I sometimes look a photo a friend has posted on social media and I gasp in disbelief when they are using baby products that have known cancer causing chemicals in them, or so one article claims. I tell myself to get off my high horse and mind my own business.
The crazy thing is I get judgment from my very own family. They judge us that we don’t let Harlow have sweets of any kind, or any juice or any processed food. Yes, we are certainly aware she will get her hands on sweets & junk food one day, but we are trying to encourage her to eat healthy and fuel her body with good and nutritious food. When she goes to a birthday party in a few years and wants a piece of pizza or slice of cake we will most certainly let her eat it, but will she get it on a daily or monthly basis at home, not a chance. I am constantly justifying why we won’t give our daughter “baked” potato chips. Because I don’t want to give it to her. Can’t that be a good enough reason?
Just yesterday I had such a frustrating conversation with none other than my nail lady. Yep, my nail lady was judging me. Here I thought I was going in for a much needed manicure and I would have 30 minutes of relaxation all to myself. Not so much. It was 30 minutes of interrogation and tisk tisking me, finger pointing and all. The conversation went as follows.
Nail Lady: (As she begins to file my nails) I see a ring, are you married?
Nail Lady: How long?
Me: 2 years.
Nail Lady: Well you better have a baby.
Me: Yes I do, she is 15 months.
Nail Lady: 15 months? So why don’t you have baby number 2 yet?
Me: I’m not ready.
Nail Lady: You need another baby. Speaking of your baby, where is she?
Me: She’s at daycare.
Nail Lady: (With the evil stare) Daycare?! You put your baby in daycare? Why would you do that to your baby? I can’t believe you aren’t home with her.
Me: Yes, she is in daycare and she loves it. I work full time, commute 2 hours a day, 3 days a week and therefore she is in daycare.
Nail Lady: You need to work at home with your baby. Daycare is not a good place for your baby.
Me: I tried that for 8 weeks and that led me to drinking at 3pm every day. Didn’t work.
Nail Lady: Where do you live anyways?
Me: Half a mile from here.
Nail Lady: Do you own it or are you renting?
Nail Lady: How much do you pay?
Me: <Enter exorbitant monthly rent>. (me asking myself why this is any of her business)
Nail Lady: That’s too much; you should have bought a house. Why do you pay so much?
Me: I agree but that’s what it costs to rent around here. (For the record, I live in the Bay Area just outside of San Francisco, one of the most expensive places in the country to live.)
Nail Lady: Who lives with you?
Me: Myself, my husband and daughter.
Nail Lady: In a 3 bedroom house? That’s not enough people. You need to have more people live with you. You need to tell your family to move here and live with you.
Nail Lady: I don’t see why you aren’t pregnant with baby #2 yet. Get pregnant and quit your job so you can stay home with both babies.
Me: While I would love to stay home with my daughter and hypothetical baby #2, I have to work because it cost so much to live here. (PS, I’m surprised she is shocked by these prices as it seems she has lived in the area for years. We get a piece of crap house for that price, by the way.)
Nail Lady: She proceeds to tell her co-workers about our conversation and one actually looks over at my and tisk tisks me with her fingers while shaking her head.
Yep. I was shamed for putting my child in daycare and working full time. Oh, and for not pumping kids out like horny rabbits. What the hell. The story does go on, but you get the point. Judgment is everywhere. From strangers, to our family and even the local nail salon lady.
From my perspective (and not that I should have to justify my life choices), I work and my husband works to provide a good life for our daughter. We earn money that we can put away in a college savings account that we wouldn’t be able to do without two incomes. She has grown leaps and bounds since starting daycare. I tried for 6 months to get the girl to sign “more” and it didn’t stick. One month at daycare and she can sign 4 words. I cherish and value our time together now more than ever. I’m not trying to answer work emails and clean the house and do a million other things when I am with her. I am able to devote all of my attention just to her.
So let’s stop being so quick to judge and praise moms (and dad’s too) for doing what they feel is the very best for their little bubs.
What Harlow is wearing:
Pink polka dot pants (Carter’s, sold out), similar here
Socks, Gap Kids
Grey knit sweater (Carter’s, sold out), similar here & here
Dripping in Candy top (no she doesn’t eat candy), (Pomp Kids, sold out) but other cute items can be found here
Pink Moccs – Jane.com
Blanket, Pottery Barn Kids
Sophie the Giraffe
Swaddle blanket, Aden & Anais