Welcome to the On Series, a series of opinion posts from this one woman’s unique perspective. A new post every Friday.
I never fully realized how much judgment and criticism women must endure until I became a mother. Suddenly, a growing belly and then a child in my arms made others entitled to gift me with their opinions on many matters.
Your child isn’t dressed appropriately for the weather when, of course, at home there had been a long discussion on the weather when said child chose his clothes.
You’ll smother him in there when I wore him wrapped close to my body as many of my ancestors had done before me.
Are you sure your breastmilk is the best for him? They had in mind my veganism and my child’s inexplicable allergies, which miraculously improved as I ate a cleaner, wheat-free, added sugar-free diet.
You shouldn’t let him do that, he’ll hurt himself, when I allow him to make judgments about his own safety. I trust him. No one else has to, at least not for now.
Since I’ve given birth to him I’ve also had to endure criticism about my body, the way it looks and works. There is no way to satisfy the commenters. You’re always too something or not enough of something. I think my body is pretty amazing considering all it’s done and all that it’ll still do. No one can criticize that away.
Early motherhood was tough on me. I’m sure it’s tough on everyone. I took almost all those judgments and criticisms to heart. Even when I didn’t want to, I let words others directed my way to eat me up from the inside.
It has taken a lot of self-love, compassion and acceptance to get to the point I am now. I still receive gifts of judgment. My home will never be clean enough. My life never perfect enough. My body never good enough. My son too wild and energetic (on a vegan diet that is surely slowly killing him).
How about we put down our arms of judgment and let others live the lives they want to? It may not be how we’d do it, or even how we’re doing it, but it works for them.