By BIANCA CARTER
LAST week, fans of David Beckham went nuts when a picture of his four-year-old daughter Harper sucking a pacifier was published. The photo sparked lots of negative comments about the consequences; speech impediments and deformation of the teeth caused by sucking a pacifier for an extended period of time. Beckham fired back telling his critics that no one has the right to judge another parent.
You don’t have to be David Beckham to know what that feels like. In fact, you don’t even have to be a parent to know what it feels like to be judged; we’ve all been there.
It seems though that by being a parent you get so much more judgment or maybe it’s that you take it more personally. Things that don’t matter as much usually roll off our back.
Most of us take parenting very seriously; it’s our number one priority and the most important job, so understandably we are hurt and offended when people make unfair and inappropriate comments.
Even worse, women and mothers tear other women and mothers down. Why? As if being a woman and a mother wasn’t already hard enough. There really is so much pressure. And yes, we do put it on ourselves, maybe because we’re afraid we’ll be judged if we don’t act a certain way, or parent a certain way. For instance, there are many women that believe and affirm they are more of a women and more of a mother because they had natural child birth. As if getting cut from side to side, having organs removed and shifted, running the risk of having your bladder or bowl punctured, just to get the baby out safely while making sure the mother is safe and then getting layers sewn up from the inside, not being able to comfortably pee or poop or walk for three weeks, was easy. Can you see my eyes rolling? Having a baby is hard and a miracle whichever manner you give birth. Let’s stop bashing on this point, shall we?
As parents we even get judged by family members. Constantly being told what is being done wrong, how it should be done, why we should listen to their way of doing things.
And it’s usually simple things like, “Why aren’t you breast-feeding or why are you breast-feeding?”
It comes at us from all angles, doesn’t it? Just like David Beckham mentioned, no one has the right to judge another parent. Unless it is something that is harmful to the child, we really should be more accepting, loving and understanding of each other.
I mean, who cares if your child is still sucking their thumb or a pacifier at four? It’s not endangering their life, and most importantly, it’s the parents’ responsibly to raise their child. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel comfortable in parenting your own way? To think we could live in a world that was free from all judgment would be erroneous. Human beings will always make judgments no matter how incorrect their judgments are, but let’s try to reduce the amount unfair judgments we make on other parents. We’re all doing the best we can.
Love and hugs!
• Bianca Carter is a certified lactation counsellor (CLC), founder of Bun in the Oven, and weekend radio personality on Y98 radio. For more information, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. Follow BITO on Facebook at babybunintheoven, and check out the BITO Blog every Monday and Thursday at http://babybunintheoven.com.