When my child was placed in my arms for the first time, I did not cry. Instead, I was filled with this huge sense of responsibility and it scared me. Somehow this made it so real. This tiny being was going to be completely reliant on me at least for some time and look up to me for the rest of my life. I had to keep him alive and help him adjust to this big bad world. Bear in mind that to this day, I had never changed a diaper, didn’t even know how to.
As a new mother, everyone seems to have an opinion on how you are and should raise your child. Why is it that everytime a child cries everyone assumes they are hungry or aren’t getting enough to eat? Then there’s the opinion that you aren’t covering him enough, he’ll get cold and get sick. Oh and the new favorite, your child is heavy, what are you giving him, are you sure he’s just breastfeeding?
My cousin Judy, during a baby shower I attended, had advised the mom-to-be that motherhood is about instinct and trusting your gut. How true her words have rung! Afterall, I have a direct line to my child, no one speaks my child’s language better than me. At first, it was so hard for me to tell people off because I wasn’t as confident in what I am doing, but I am learning with time and my confidence as a mom is building up. For example, I know when my child is hungry and he will not feed when he is not. So, please, please, for the love of God, please don’t tell me my child is hungry when he’s crying unless for a fact he is hungry, even if I don’t literally smack you upside the head, I will do it in my head! Also, I respect your decision to cover your child like an Eskimo, your child, your parenting decisions, but I know how many layers my child is comfortable with at any point, let us prosper, please. Yes, my child is heavy boned and yes he is just breastfeeding. More importantly, I owe you nothing and have no reason to lie to you. If he wasn’t only breastfeeding, that’s my decision; my child, my parenting decisions. Either choose to accept or refuse what I am telling you as true and move on. Plus if you feel he is too heavy you are under no obligation to carry him, none whatsoever. We the parents are tasked with that responsibility and we have never pawned it off on anyone. Don’t carry him and moan the entire time.
Being a seasoned parent does not give you a right to be condescending to us new parents. I am new at this, and I will require guidance from time to time. Let us learn to give advice without making the next person feel inadequate. To all new mom’s I always repeat Judy’s words, everyone will have an opinion, choose what works for you and use your instinct to determine what’s best for you and your child and always trust your gut when it comes to your child.