Parenting is personal. There are a million different opinions on everything parenting, but the only one that matters is yours. Repeat after me: “It is only a problem if it is a problem for you”. You are in control, and you know your baby the best. Trust yourself. You know exactly what your baby needs. Feel confident in the decisions you make, and your parenting style and ignore anyone who decides to shame you for doing what is best for your child.
Unfortunately, every parent at some point falls victim of parent shaming, so here are some of my tips on ways to overcome parent shaming and overall, create a healthier and more supportive environment for parents across the country.
- First off, ask yourself; did you ask this person for suggestions? If it is coming at you unsolicited, it is more than okay to kindly thank for the suggestion and carry on. You are the parent, and you know your baby best.
- In moments where you are looking for support, choose avenues that make you feel the best. A friend that you trust, your mom or an aunt. Don’t turn to an online group that can make you feel less than, or someone who makes you question your abilities. You are doing great, and asking a question should be helpful, not cause insecurities.
- When looking for support, consider a face-to-face interaction. So much can get lost in translation online. A friend’s text can sound abrupt or rude when it wasn’t intended to be, or a comment online can sound hurtful. Tone is lost in text, and face to face allows you to read the person’s gestures, comments and true intentions. This will save you from reading too far into anything that was not intended to be hurtful.
- Finally, as a parent it’s important to acknowledge your own participation in judging other parents. Take a step back and reflect on your own habits of judgment daily and train yourself to be more compassionate and supportive to other parents. To overcome parent shaming we must all work together and understand that it is much healthier to support other parents and that we all are bringing up our babies slightly differently – there is more than one way to parent.