Wouldn’t it be lovely to live in a world where we all supported each other’s choices? Ah, that would be blissful. Instead, however, we live in a world where it’s perfectly acceptable to criticize other people’s decisions. Even the decisions of new mothers who are arguably at a very vulnerable time in their lives.
You may hear unsupportive comments from friends, family members, colleagues, and even strangers. It’s not easy to hear that people disagree with you. When those comments are unsolicited or unexpected, it can be especially hurtful. The important thing to remember is that every single mother in the world knows what you’re going through. No matter how you choose to parent, there will always be people who disagree with your methods. Remember, you can’t please everyone all of the time. Here are five tips to help you ignore unsupportive comments:
- Remember, you are not alone
There are plenty of other parents out there who are choosing to do things exactly the same way you are. You’re not the first mother to face criticism and, sadly, you won’t be the last. Reach out to the other moms who share your parenting philosophy. Listen to their stories of criticism and know that you are not alone.
- Remember, you are the expert
Nobody in the world knows your baby as well as you do. You are the only expert in how to care for your baby. The people criticizing you don’t know your baby the way you do. They aren’t the ones kept awake at night, the ones who feed your baby or the ones who first welcomed him into the world.
- Be Honest
You don’t have to put up with rudeness or criticism from anybody. You are perfectly within your right to politely explain to anyone who questions you exactly why they are wrong. Or, if you’d rather avoid the confrontation, you can simply thank them for sharing and excuse yourself to the bathroom.
- Seek out positivity
Being a new mama isn’t easy. You’re surviving on very little sleep, have very little opportunity to think about your own needs and spend most of your waking moments caring for a very demanding, but adorable, little baby. You probably don’t have much energy left to battle off negative comments, explain yourself for the hundredth time or defend your parenting choices. It’s much easier to surround yourself with positivity. Surround yourself with friends and family members who support your decisions, who tell you what a great job you’re doing and who help you to believe that you’re an amazing mama.
- Remember, the comments come from a good(ish) place
It’s not easy being criticized, but it’s important to remember that the people who are criticising you are doing so out of love. Your grandma isn’t calling your sling risky to be mean, she’s just genuinely worried that it might be dangerous. Not everybody has access to the information you do. Respond politely and thank people for their concern, but make sure they know that you don’t need their opinions. You know what you’re doing.
Have you received any unsupportive comments and, if so, how did you handle them?
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.