I’m feeling a little ticked off. So forgive me a moment while I vent.
Over the years there has been a LOT of talk about ending the mummy wars. And that’s only ever been a good thing. I think the media and parenting websites (including Mamamia) are publishing fewer divisive stories about motherhood. Added to that is the fact current parents have become (I think) far more accepting of one another’s choices. Which is terrific! Birth choices. Feeding choices. Schooling choices. Lunchbox choices. Bedtime choices. The list goes on. The key is to feel confident in our own decisions and just do what is right and best for our own family. Because really, unless you know or suspect a child is being abused – then there’s no need to be concerned with what’s happening next door. It’s called staying in your own lane. Right? Right.
Lately while going about my day-to-day life I’ve noticed Baby Boomers (women in particular) taking enormous joy in continually pointing out how useless or selfish or pathetic today’s parents are. Here are just a handful of examples of dozens I’ve noticed over the past few weeks.
There was the older parenting expert who I saw mocking new mums suggesting they only wanted their newborns to fall asleep quickly so they could get back to texting on their phones. Really? REALLY? I have yet to know or meet a new mum who is looking for a sleeping quick fix for their newborn so they can get back to texting their mates and trawling the net. Instead I see some new mothers who are mentally unravelled because of sleep deprivation and who are asking for help only to be told to ‘suck it up’.
Well guess what? Unless you know that mother’s family situation and how much support she has or does not have, unless you know her personal ability to last months or years on four hours of broken sleep and unless you know her mental health history and whether she currently has POST NATAL DEPRESSION then perhaps stop being a smart-arse and treating her life she’s selfish and offer her some practical help. Saying to a chronically sleep-deprived mum, “Take it as a chance to bond with your baby. You’ll get sleep eventually” is NOT HELPFUL!
There was the grandmother at my friend’s playgroup who raised her eyebrows in disapproval and actually said, “Tinned custard?” when my friend dared to take a small tin out of her bag to feed her baby. Yes, lady – tinned custard. STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE.