parents

A definitive ranking of the times mums feel the most judged.

Since when did we start mistaking cafés for libraries?

I get that it’s nice to have a bit of shhh with your skim latte, or to read the paper without an eardrum-piercing kiddie whine, but let’s stop making mothers feel guilty about something that’s completely out of their control.

I’m referring to the incident in Sydney where a mother was shamed and tut-tutted out of a café when her eight-month-old baby was unsettled and crying ahead of his usual naptime.

As most new mothers know, the cafe is one of your only salvations as a new mother. It has the promise of sweet, sweet caffeine and – bonus – it’s not your own house. So if cafes aren’t even safe places to go, where is? The park gets awfully cold in winter, and when kids can’t walk yet there’s really not a lot for you to do there except sit on a park bench and wonder what has become of your life.

But back to crying baby-shaming for a moment – it isn’t just limited to cafes. It can strike at any time in any place. There are so many times when mums, particularly new mums feel judged.

So. Many. Times.

I mean, for first six months you mostly just go from place to place apologising. Apologising for your behaviour, for your baby’s behaviour, for taking up valuable airspace.

We did a snap poll around the office, and came up with a list of the 16 times mums feel the most judged.

Since parenting is an individual experience you may nod your head in agreement or vehemently disagree so add your own experiences in the comments below. Alright, deep breath, here we go.

16. At the playground when they push another child.

15. Taking them to an M-rated movie when they’re still in nappies EVEN THOUGH THEY’LL SLEEP THE WHOLE TIME.

14. Taking a fresh newborn to a shopping centre.

13. When they accidentally say a swear word or something inappropriate in front of people.

12. Two words: Supermarkets. Tantrum.

11. Dropping them off at daycare.

10. Dropping them off at daycare and they take that exact moment to sneeze.

9. Using a dummy.

8. Not using a dummy.

7. On a plane.

6. When you can’t stop them from crying on a plane.

5. When you can’t stop them from crying on a bus.

4. When you try to plug the crying with a rusk/dummy/bottle/snack and it doesn’t work.

3. Whipping out the formula container and mixing up a bottle.

2. Not breastfeeding at a cafe.

1. Breastfeeding at a cafe.

What would you add to the list?