A Public Cry Fest & Judgemental People

judging2When you become a mom dealing with parental guilt in inevitable. Sadly as a parent you will also find yourself in a situation where you are being judged for your parenting skills. Two weeks ago I found myself dealing with both while on vacation.

If you follow me on Instagram (@lilyandbliss) I opened up two weeks ago that my milk supply slowly dried up. With Lily I was ready to switch to formula around 7 months due to her every 1 ½ hour feedings. Even though I was ready to give up breastfeeding I held on to some heavy guilt over the switch to formula. So with only a few days until Chloe was 4 months I found myself crying in the baby isle of Giant Eagle while shopping for formula during our vacation. I had no issues with my milk supply with Lily even with her nursing so often.

I tried everything from drinking more water, eating foods that are suppose to help boost milk production and even used my pump to help as well. This sudden and unexpected situation left me feeling pretty depressed. I wasn’t ready to loose that part of mothering my baby.

A day after the public cry fest at Giant Eagle I found a quiet corner to feed Chloe at the Children’s Museum. As I was shaking the last of the formula into the bottle a woman stopped a few feet away from me. She was carrying a small child in a front carrier and reaching behind for her other kid’s hand. She looked down at what I was doing and looked up at my eyes all while her upper lip curled in disgust. Like she was mad and in pain for my child. I was in such shock that I looked away from her judgmental stare to snap Chloe’s bib together. A wave of pain and guilt swept over me and my eyes filled.

judging1As I took deep breaths in attempt to stop another public cry fest my sister in law came to join and I told her what happened. As she rolled her eyes at this woman’s actions and boosted my confidence Chloe stopped feeding and just smiled at me. It was as if she was saying Hey mom…I’m fine…I’m happy and that’s all that matters.

Now anyone who knows me personally knows that I speak my mind and I’m not afraid to call someone out. But this complete stranger was taking a hit when I was down. Looking back I wish I had asked her if she had a problem. When I looked up to find her gone I wanted to scream, “I didn’t have a choice!!!!”…and even if I did I’m not poisoning my baby by giving her formula.

I wish as mothers we could stand up together and be more supportive. Why must there always be people out there that feel the need to voice if breast is best, and make “formula” moms feel that they are somehow lacking? I obviously believe in breastfeeding. BUT I would NEVER point out to another mom that breast is best or make them feel guilty over formula regardless how I personally felt.

It is so very easy to judge people and their parenting by looking through a window…just like that woman did to me at the museum.

Why must there always be some debate pitching working moms against stay at home moms. Those that decide to home school and those who decide on boarding school. Organic foods, giving a pacifier, crying it out, watching tv…I could go on and on about all the things that parents feel so strongly about and are quick to judge over.

We of course are all free to have our beliefs and feelings regarding parenting. We have the right to raise our own children by those beliefs. I just wish that moms (and dads) wouldn’t voice their beliefs towards others in public and risk the chance of truly kicking a mom (or dad) when she is down or making her second guess herself as a parent.  I’m not innocent. I have judged parents before….but most of my judging was before I even became a mom. Even then I never was vocal or gave the stank eye to a parent with an out of control kid. Now as a mom, I might have an opinion about someone’s parenting, but I won’t confront them or give them some kind of disapproving look. Unless a parent is giving their kid a high five for hurting someone, giving beer to a kid or physically hurting their child (you get my point?) then I won’t be one to step in.

judging

Men all have this universal head nod that they give other dudes. Even motorcyclists give a low two-finger hand gesture as they pass another biker in greeting. Not saying us moms need to throw up some secret mom gang sign or bump chests (because that would actually be quite uncomfortable to the boobs). Maybe next time we pass another mom we can give a simple smile. Maybe while checking out at Target or eating out give the mom who is struggling to tame their screaming kid a smile instead of the disapproving stank eye.

I’ve had a few weeks to come to terms that my milk is gone and that special time with Chloe has passed. Am I still sad and depressed about it…of course! But I feel sorry for the next person who tries to publicly give me any kind of eye while formula feeding my child…this mamma bear has since sharpened her claws and I will not let another person belittle or criticize my parenting….{large exhale}….

 
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  1. Katie commented:
    July 23, 2014 Reply

    I totally agree and may never understand why people (especially other moms) are so judgmental towards one another. We can only love them and be kind to those around us. It makes a difference and truthfully it has to start with us. And mommy, keep doing what you are doing. You have a happy baby who loves you. Life is good.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      July 31, 2014 Reply

      Awe thanks Katie!! And AMEN to your thoughts! Plus why be judgmental in front of our kids and set such a horrible example…right?????

  2. Shauna Anderson commented:
    September 11, 2014 Reply

    Love this post, Ames. You are a fantastic mom and a wonderful friend. So thankful to know you.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      September 23, 2014 Reply

      Thanks babe! I’m lucky to have such a fabulous lady like you in my life! Love you too!

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