When I look back on my postpartum days, "fondly" isn't really a word I would use. I was depressed, insecure, experiencing breastfeeding woes, and couldn't seem to figure out how best to navigate my new role as someone's mom. So, honestly, I was appalled by just how many people felt it necessary to essentially police me and my parenting decisions during this already difficult time, whether to humiliate, shame, or make themselves feel better. Really, the postpartum police just need to mind their own business, even if they have the best of intentions, because my body and my baby are my business.
After the birth of my first, my daughter, my postpartum days were spent agonizing over every last comment, critique, and compliment. Filled with trepidation to even leave the house, I felt as if everyone's eyes were on my every move, because, at times, they were. People want to see moms fail or succeed, and don't leave room for any in between. Whether it's in regards to how quick we lose the "baby weight," or how we choose to nourish our babies, the constant and endless scrutiny is unfair and needs to stop. I mean, honestly, why are the expectations so high?
For example, one unexpected dig from a grocery store bagger — who congratulated me on my pregnancy after I already had the baby — ruined any confidence I'd been building after delivery. Needless to say, and despite my partner's attempts to pull me from despair, it was a rough day after that encounter. If only that man knew what I'd been through, maybe he'd have thought twice about saying anything and regardless of whether or not his intentions were pure.
Unfortunately, that's not the only time someone felt it their duty to comment on my postpartum life. Here are some other times the postpartum police stepped in when they really shouldn't have.