It’s an amazing time that we live it, right? We’re on the verge of self-driving cars, we can carry the Internet in our pockets, and we're up to season 20 of The Bachelor. And don’t even get me started in the gajillions of advancements that have occurred in baby-related industries in recent years. Having so many options available sometimes means that moms have to make tough choices about how we feed our kids. Breastfeeding or formula-feeding? When to start solids? Go organic? Avoid gluten? What about sugar? It’s all so overwhelming, I sometimes want to do something dramatic like, oh, I don't know, massage my temples, dramatically slam my laptop closed, or throw a plate (just not one with chopped steamed carrots and cheese cubes, because those take a minute to prepare). Who knew that this parenting thing would require so many decisions? (I mean, everyone knows that, but it doesn't mean it won't feel jarring and annoying when it inevitably happens to you.)
And what happens when you encounter someone who has made different choices? While my preferred response for dealing with someone with whom I disagree is to round-up all of my supermodel friends and Lena Dunham and to then make a futuristic music video about how I’m a badass, sometimes I have to resort to my second choice response, which is to just let it go. Unless we are talking about your pediatrician, or Queen Bey, in which case you should be listening to them and not to me because they know what they're talking about. Granted, I’m not as awesome at simply ignoring Judgy McJudgersons as I would like to be, but I truly believe it’s the best thing to do in that situation, and here’s why:
Judgey McJudgersons Aren’t Actually Trying To Help You
Remember back in elementary school when your mom used to say that the other kids were picking on you just to make themselves feel better? Welp, it still happens. Seriously, earlier this week I witnessed a Facebook exchange between two moms about why on earth more women don’t breastfeed for as long as they did with their kids. I think we can all agree that it’s great that these two moms had circumstances and bodies that allowed for extended breastfeeding, but that many, many moms don’t. And self-righteously lamenting about the "wrong" choices other people are making doesn’t really help anyone.
No One Else Has Walked In Your Shoes
The sky’s the limit when it comes to why your kiddos are eating the way they do, and no one else knows the full story. Does she have allergies? Have you been on the go all day? Is he super picky? Were you unable to breastfeed for any one of a thousand possible reasons? Did you stop breastfeeding for any one of a thousand reasons? Were you approaching a Level 1A meltdown and the only way to curb it was to throw French fries and chocolate chips at them? You do you, Mom. No one knows your journey, therefore no one can judge your journey. (I mean, they still will, but you shouldn't listen to them.)
Others May Not Share Same Values About Food
Mom friends are tough to find, so the chances of all of yours agreeing with every food choice you make are, well, smaller than your pre-pregnancy jeans (i.e., impossibly small and you're really just putting unnecessary and unhealthy pressure on yourself to try to force your way into them). I just consider it lucky when I find someone I get along with who feels the same way I do about vaccines, so I’m not going to sweat it if she arches an eyebrow over my little eating blueberries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Haters Gonna Hate
That’s right. Perhaps your mom skills are so on point that everyone else is jealous. Have you ever considered that? You are such an awesome mother that you leave everyone else in the dust, so they have to actively look for something to call you out on in order to believe that you’re even real. That’s totally it.
You Can’t Please Everyone
In all seriousness, even if you are trying to accommodate multiple viewpoints and are researching the origin of every last morsel consumed by your kiddos, someone will disagree with your feeding choices at some point in your career as a mom. It’s going to happen. The sooner you accept it and brush it off, the better your stress levels will be.
You Don’t Know Where They Got Their Info
I mean, perhaps it came straight from a doctor or a legitimate study. Or, it could have come from a reality TV star turned "nutrition expert." You never know.
We Are All Doing the Best We Can
I’ve never met a mom who has said “I’m doing to bare minimum for my child.” We’re all trying our hardest and deserve some recognition for that, including you. So, next time you feel like someone else is passing judgment on you and your feeding choices, send them my way. I’ll rally my supermodel squad and film part two of our music video