Last week, Jessica wrote a very personal and brave piece on the site about her experience as a formula-feeding mama, and judging by the reaction, it left a bad taste in some readers’ mouths. We know not everyone is always going to agree with our points of view, but the comments were disheartening nonetheless. Whether it’s breast vs. bottle, or another hot-button issue, what was most unsettling was that any mother could find the energy to write such hurtful comments to another mother who is just trying to do her best every day (aren’t we all?). And I can tell you, as Jessica’s partner and friend, that her best is f-ing solid — she’s raising one of the smartest 2-year-olds I’ve encountered (and I have no doubt her newborn will prove just as intelligent).
Here at Well Rounded NY, we go to great lengths to make sure we are sensitive to each one of our reader’s potential circumstances. Every piece goes through a formula-feeding mom (Jess) and a breastfeeding mom (me). Every piece goes through a work-from-home mom (me) and a work-out-of-home mom (Jess). Every piece goes through a mom that gave birth naturally (Jess) and one who gave birth by c-section (me). It wasn’t a coincidence that we chose the name Well Rounded. One of the most important things we have learned as new moms is that every parenting situation — from conception — is different, and we wanted to create a community to celebrate that.
With that said, before becoming a mother, I admit I judged parents left and right. I did. So to that mother who let her kid throw a tantrum on the dirty sidewalk of Driggs and N. 6th: I totally judged you, and now as we approach our terrible twos, I too, have been there. To the mother who I judged for nursing her 2 1/2 year old: surprise! We’re hitting year two of nursing — why was I so naive? To the many parents I judged for “letting” their kids cry in a restaurant: I am so very sorry, because now I know you just wanted to, you know, eat. Now mind you, all this judgement happened before my baby left my womb, because once he arrived, I realized I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I loved him, and that I needed to keep him alive. Every day was an opportunity to do something wrong. Or right. For us.
This gift of motherhood is incredible, but it can be difficult. There are days I’m so filled with joy and love I want explode, and others that, as a friend recently texted me, “I just want to stay in the shower all day.” It is emotional, physical and incredibly gratifying. But we all need one another. When expectant and new mothers are reading stories on WRNY, we want you to know we respect your choices. And know that when you read a personal piece, it is just that: personal. We hope it helps someone going through a similar experience, or at the very least, reaffirms that there are so many different kinds of mothers.
We hope everyone feels welcome to express their opinions and comment on every story, but we also don’t want to scare anyone from sharing their experience on WRNY in fear of getting judged. So before you question another parent’s decisions — whether online or in real life — remember that tomorrow is a new day, and you just may find yourself walking in those same shoes that mom you judged yesterday was wearing.
We know we’re not the only ones — have you experienced judgement from other moms?