Before I begin, I should explain what lead me to write this article. It was a post I saw on a Facebook Mothers’ Group but it wasn’t so much the post that bothered me… it was the comments. And it wasn’t the comments directed at the OP, it was the comments I received in regards to my response. The post was about a lady who had decided to introduce her 3.5 month old baby to solids. I responded by explaining that I started both my girls trying different flavours around 4-6 months old. (The recommended age, as stated on Australian Parenting Website http://www.raisingchildren.net.au, babies will start to show signs of being ready for solids around 6 months of age but every child is different. It is not recommended babies under 4 months are given solid food.)
I didn’t know how terrible I was until I was informed by a handful of parents who thought it was necessary to not only ridicule this woman but condemn me and my parenting because they didn’t agree with the age I started introducing solids. I was told to “know better, do better”, I was told my advice was “dangerous” and I was made to feel like I was, in fact, an imperfect mother.
So, this all got me thinking. Am I a bad mother? I have never claimed to be the perfect mum. I have always stood by that I am quite the opposite. I make mistakes, I learn from my mistakes and I try to be open-minded when it comes to all situations. But, in 2021 and after all we have been through during the past two years, have we not moved past the phase of tearing other women down based on speculation and judgement? Have we not learned that women are stronger when we stand together and support each other?
I am genuinely shocked at the amount of criticism thrown around between ladies, especially on a Mothers’ Support Page! Come on girls, we can do better than that, can’t we? Whether you agree or disagree on a point is irrelevant in the end because the key to creating a better future for our kids is practicing understanding, compassion and perspective. Your opinion is just that – yours.
I am not a bad mother, I am the perfect mum for my children. And so are you!
Thanks for this! I remind myself every day, many times, of how imperfect I am– by bungling one situation after another and trying so, so hard to learn from my mistakes and do better. One time we all had a stomach virus that had my mom and me so weak that we were unable to stand up, so we were literally crawling (or even slithering) around on the floor, just trying to keep up with the necessities (almost exclusively Kitty’s requirements as she was still a baby). In some ways, I feel like that is where I still am in the emotional strength and wisdom part of parenting: crawling about, unable to raise my head, but determined to do my very best for the child that I love so very much. You are indeed right: we mothers need to support each other with compassion and stand together, letting go of the minutiae, and seeing each other’s strength and wisdom.
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