Every day there are a million ways women are told they’re failing as moms.
Maybe it’s the article that says your baby should already be sleeping through the night at [insert ridiculously low number of weeks here]. Or the chart at the doctor’s office listing all the developmental milestones your baby should hit at specific times. Or the Insta-famous granola mom who has had a magical breastfeeding journey since day one. All this information leads us moms to feel like if we’re not sharing these experiences or getting the exact same results then we are complete and utter failures.
When I first brought my baby home, I would literally spend every waking hour looking up how to take care of a baby. As a first-time mom I felt totally lost and unqualified, so I looked to the “experts” for answers. Off I went to Google everything from normal baby poop colours to newborn sleep schedules to whether all babies grunt like sumo wrestlers in the middle of the night.
So, naturally, when I turned into the co-sleeping, formula supplementing monster that I am today with a six-week old that still nurses every 2-3 hours overnight, the internet would have me believe that I’m a total idiot and my kid will be screwed up forever.
But we all need to be reminded that everything we read needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Every child and every mom is different and what is true for some might not be for others. And that’s totally okay and perfectly normal. Just like not every child hits puberty at the exact same time, your experience with your baby will be entirely unique. And no one knows your baby better than you do.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t do your research. There’s a lot of great information out there and there are general guidelines that we can try to follow to boost our baby’s development.
However it IS important to reflect on who is writing these articles and why. Do they have something to gain by making you feel inadequate? Are they trying to sell you something to “solve” your problems?
Comparing ourselves to others is a dangerous game. It brings stress into an already very delicate and stressful time in a woman’s life and, often times, it’s completely unnecessary.
At the end of the day, if your child’s health care provider doesn’t have any concerns and your instincts are telling you your baby is fine then you better believe it!
So here’s to you mom. For showing your little ones unconditional love and trying your damn best every day. Whether that means a perfect nap schedule and great feeds one day, or a little too much screen time and an overtired baby the next, I clink my glass to yours.
Because no one is perfect. And that’s an important lesson we need to teach our babies too.