It felt like I got a ton of advice as I became a mom. Advice on everything from nursing and nannies to vaccinations and co-sleeping. In the beginning, I would take as much advice as I could get! I was so excited to become a mother but I had serious butterflies too. The unknown was exciting and scary all at the same time.
I wasn’t prepared for the mommy wars. All of a sudden all the advice started to annoy me. Maybe I was becoming more confident in my parenting decisions and didn’t need as much advice. Plus, it stopped feeling like advice and more like judgment. I began to notice it everywhere! For me, it started before my daughter, Ryan, was even born. The fact that we decided to give her a predominantly male name raised some eyebrows. To this day, I can’t post a photo of her without someone saying something negative about her name. I LOVE her name and it fits her like a glove.
The “know it all” moms might take the cake though. You know them, the ones that know everything about everything. The truth is, I don’t always think that their behavior comes from a bad place. I think every mom takes their job so seriously. That they truly believe that their way is the best.
Recently, I posted a picture of my daughter, playing with our dog Chicken on instagram…Boy, did I regret that. Let’s start by saying that Chickie is the most gentle dog ever. Like, have never even heard her growl. Second, my dogs are my original babies and I would never let our actual baby test their limits. Any new mom will tell you that we are overly cautious…to be the point of being a little cray. I mean, I carried this child in my body for the better part of a year. The last thing I’m going to do is let something happen to her.
Enter, the crazies. People bombarded my feed with comments about how aggressive chicken looked, how “that baby needs to be taught respect”…and one even said “situations like this are why dogs get put down for no reason”…honestly, whoa. I didn’t know how to respond.
I wasn’t going to go in to detail about how I keep our biggest dog at a distance, not because she is aggressive, but she is strong and could hurt her on accident! I wasn’t going to tell them that I waited almost 4 months before I really let our pups get near her, or that Chicken is so in love/obsessed with Ryan that she follows her room to room. I simply said that Chicken’s ears always lay back (thats just Chickie’s ears!) and asked everyone to just lighten up a bit. I was so grateful for the comments from people saying that their dogs wrestle and play with their babies too!!
Our world has really become so overly sensitive and so ugly. The way we beat each other down through social media and the internet. The way we talk about other moms and their parenting decisions behind each others back. The way we compare our children. It is the best job in the world but it is hard to be a parent. Everyone is doing the best that they can. I am making a conscious effort to be kinder to people and to cut them a little slack. Specifically, the women in my life. That includes being kinder to myself too. Let’s do it together.