• Recently I was at a dinner party and overheard a conversation that caught my attention for many reasons. Mainly because the conversation was riddled with insecurities, insults and defensiveness, which most likely, neither side intended. I imagined what these mommy’s were really thinking as illustrated in parentheses below.

    Experienced Mommy (EM): Oh your daughter is so cute. (I have to say this because every new parent is insecure about the fact that their baby looks like a wet rat. Which they usually do. Mine included.)

    New Mommy (NM): Thanks, I like to think so. (Oh good, that means there isn’t anything wrong with my baby’s forehead and face. I was starting to wonder.)

    EM: Are you breast or bottle-feeding? (I am going to try to ask this in the least judgmental tone possible.)

    NM: Bottle. (Great! Now she is going to lecture me on why breast feeding is best.)

    EM: (I need to make sure she understands that I am not judging her). Oh good. That can make it easier for you during the night. (Lucky for her. That means her husband wakes up with the baby at night just as much as she does. Gosh, why didn’t I think of that? Maybe I can still give my baby some just at night so I can get more rest. I’m sure it has lauric acid and other goodies found in breast milk, maybe not all, but enough.)

    EM: Do you know what’s in the Formula? (I’d like to get some for my kid.)

    NM: Hmm, I don’t remember exactly. It does make the nights much easier. I slept straight through last night. (I know she is thinking I am feeding my baby poison. Am I? What is in Formula anyway? I can’t believe I haven’t read the ingredients yet. Bad parenting mistake number one. She thinks I should be breastfeeding.)

    Another mommy joins the conversation. A working mommy.

    WM: I don’t know how you do it. I would be so bored staying home with my kids. I need the stimulation and adult conversation. (I need to explain why I go to work or they might think I am neglectful of my children.)

    EM: Mmm. (Wow, aren’t her kids interesting to her or was that just a dig at me?)

    NM: Mmm. (Will I feel that way too? Maybe I should return to work sooner than I planned?)

    Oh, mommies and daddies! We have enough on our plates without having to read into every comment or feeling insecure about our parenting choices. Millions of well-adjusted, happy and successful people were raised by working parents, stay-at-home moms or dads, formula-fed, breast-fed, crib-sleeping, co-sleeping, and the list goes on and on type-of-parents. Parenting isn’t the only one aspect of the equation. Peers, environment, education, health, genetics and disposition are all part of the formula. Whatever choices or style of parenting you choose are good. As long as your choices and behaviors are fueled by self love and love for your children, your child (and you), will turn out fine. And them seeing you happy and confident is the best gift you can give them. So, don’t let negative thoughts (perceived or not) derail you. Happy Mother’s Day!