We’ve all done it. We’ve seen a friend (or even a stranger) doing something with her baby and said “I would never do that with my child!” Well I’m here to tell you, you just might!
Now even though I am the co-creator of momfaming I’m not going to lie to you and say that I’ve never mom-shamed. I didn’t consider it mom-shaming at the time, I just thought I was giving my opinion about a topic (that I obviously knew nothing about). Once I became a mom, though, I started to understand where the other moms were coming from.
Here are the 5 things I said I’d never do as a mom, but definitely do:
1. Ride in the backseat with the baby
This one I actually shamed Lisa for (sorry, Lisa!). We both arrived at our friends house at the same time and she got out of the backseat with her newborn. I made fun of her and said that I would never do it. Well, fast forward a few years and I just rode for 2 and a half hours in the backseat wedged between my baby and my dogs. Was it fun? NO! But did I know that my baby was breathing and happy the whole way to Holland? YUP!
2. Constantly worry about the baby getting sick
I used to be the director of a daycare and one of the most common questions during the tour was about our sick policy and how often infectious diseases ran through the school. I always told them that the first year a child is in school they will be sick pretty often, so you might as well get it over with, right? WRONG! I was basically a hermit the first 2 months of my son’s life (to be honest we basically still are since the winter is never going to end!) I understand he is eventually going to get sick (my husband says he can’t live in a bubble, ugh) but I would much rather it be when he is older.
3. Let the baby sleep in our room for more than a few months
While I was pregnant, I read that babies should sleep in their parents room for 6 to 12 months. I thought that was absolutely crazy! Keep my baby in my room until they are 1?! I’ll never sleep again! Well…my baby is 6 months old and he’s still right next to my bed! He has now outgrown the bassinet and I need to figure out what our next step is. I’ve asked my husband if he can stay until he is 4 but I’m pretty sure the grunt and dirty look I got in return meant no.
4. Entertain the baby 24/7
As a kindergarten teacher I observed children playing all the time. During these times I could definitely tell the difference between the students who were constantly entertained at home and the ones who were sometimes left alone to play by themselves. I swore I would never be the mom who constantly entertains because I know that children need to learn to play by themselves. I’m having a tough time with this one, though. I feel so guilty if my son is on the ground or in his activity center and I am not talking to or playing with him. I’m hoping this one comes with time (but I’m really afraid it won’t!)
5. Let the baby’s schedule dictate mine
My husband and I had a conversation before I even got pregnant about how we aren’t going to be those people who completely change once they have a baby. Obviously our lives and priorities were going to change, but we didn’t want a baby to completely dictate our lives. I’m not sure if we were naive or just plain dumb but that is EXACTLY what happened. I live my life in 3-hour increments. I feed the baby, I play with the baby, the baby naps (while I write a blog about everything I said I’d never do!). Then I do it all over again! If I want to take the baby somewhere it is right after I feed him and then we have about 2 hours to do what we want before we have to be home to feed again! If that’s not a baby dictator, I don’t know what is!
The biggest thing I’ve learned through all of this is that every mom is doing her best. It may not be what you would do with your own child, but it is what is working best for her. Don’t judge until you have walked in her shoes. And even then, no judgement here!