Mommies Unite…Or Stab Each Other in the Back
As a whole, I think moms generally tend to stick together, help each other out, give comfort, advice, and form long lasting bonds and friendships with fellow moms. This said, I have been present in situations where moms don’t always have each other’s back and end up making others feel awful.
Why is this? One would think that as moms, we’d be understanding and compassionate and not hurtful, spiteful, or competitive. I haven’t really experienced it first hand, but have been witness to a few dirty, underhanded deeds.
A new mom was having a challenging time nursing her newborn son. Her friends knew this. Many were supportive and tried to give tips and share stories of what worked for them. Still, the new mom couldn’t produce much milk, her baby was screaming, she was frustrated…and she desperately wanted to breastfeed her child. In the end, she had to resort to pumping breast milk (though her milk supply was not high) and had to formula feed as well.
Mom A: Oh, you’re bottle feeding your baby?
New Mom: I have been trying to nurse him, but it’s just not working out. I really want to breastfeed.
Mom A: Oh. Formula? Well, my child has never ever had a bottle or a soother. Breast is best, you know.
New Mom suddenly burst out in tears. Post-baby hormones, lack of sleep, frustration over not being able to breastfeed her child and now having to hear another mom tell her that breastfeeding is best (even if she already knew that and was trying to do that).
I was once at a gathering and gave a new mom some BornFree products for her baby. Another mom piped in, “Why are you giving her bottles?! She should be breastfeeding!!!”
To this I replied, “Actually, those are sippy cups. Not bottles. She wants to transition her child from breast to sippy cup and BornFree has a fabulous training cup. But, thanks for asking.”
Another scenario – New mom to a very colicky baby boy is at a play date with other moms. She tells her peers that she is having trouble sleeping at night because the baby won’t go down and is constantly crying. She can’t function during the day, her housework is suffering, her relationships are suffering, and she is just on the verge of a breakdown.
Sleep Deprived Mom: (in tears) I just can’t handle it. I am so, so, so exhausted all the time. I don’t know what I am going to do. I feel like I’m going to lose it.
Mom B: Hmph. And, you just have ONE child! I’ve got four and I manage.
I just don’t understand statements like that. Au lieu of saying something like “Maybe you can get a family member to help out for a few hours a day so you can rest” or “You can call me if you need any help”, Mom B just dismissed Sleep Deprived Mom’s feelings and needs. Yes, we’re all moms and we all go through rough times (having to juggle everything all the time), but the snippy attitude doesn’t help anyone. It is by no means productive or beneficial for anyone.
For me, being a first time mom, I’ve found that my greatest resources are family members, Little One’s medical team, and the moms I am friends with. They’ve all been instrumental in helping me along in my journey as a mother. They’ve all been with us through many scary moments with our preemie, shared in our joys and milestones, as well as offered sage advice and comfort through some very frustrating and challenging situations.
I am thankful for the mom friends I’ve got. Whether it be hanging out at a play date or going swimming, or chatting via websites like BornFree, MomCentral, Canadian Moms, or Mom Nation, I’ve been very fortunate to have such wonderful and supportive ladies in my life.
What do you think? Have you ever noticed this kind of knock-you-while-you’re-down attitude as a parent or are other moms generally very supportive?
One person who answers will win a BornFree Formula Dispenser!