The Club

by Katie on June 17, 2010

I love being a momma, I mean I really love it. I love watching my son fall asleep as he sucks on his pacifier and  his little body relaxes after a long day on the move. I love watching him trying to clap his hands together and coming so close to making his hands meet but missing it by a mere fingertip. I love how his face light up with that million watt smile and his baby blues shine when I walk in the room. I love being a momma.

But as much as I love being a momma there is something about motherhood I hate. You don’t know it at the time, but the second you become a momma you join a club, a club made up of all the mommas in the world. You will find support and great friendship and amazing advice and a wonderful network of women in this club. You will also find judgment and competition you did not know grown women were capable of in this club-and that part, well, that part I really hate. 

You all know the judgment I’m talking about:
Breastfeeding vs. Formula feeding
Vaccinating vs. Not vaccinating
Co-sleeping vs. Not co-sleeping
Stay at home vs Working

It seems all mothers have an opinion on the issues mentioned above. Many women keep their opinions to themselves and don’t pass any judgement on the other side. But many others do pass judgement. As a formula feeding mom I have not been a direct recipient of any judgemental comments, but I have read many articles, blogs, and message board where the message was loud and clear-if you formula feed without trying to breastfeed you are selfish.  I think I have pretty strong skin, but too often the comments come across as attacking the person and not the idea. You know what? Even with tough skin it hurts a little to read such awful things about a choice I made for my baby, even thought I know in my heart I made the right choice and their opinions really don’t matter…it still hurts. This is just one example of many where moms are judging other moms for the choices they make. I’m not saying you have to agree with the choices other mother’s make for their children, but at least be respectful of their choice since it is after all their children.

Unfortunately, the examples I gave above are only a small sample of the different forms of judgement and competition. Subjects from what table food you are feeding your baby to the all important 1st birthday bash are all filled with judgement and competition. I’m slowing learning as I’m wrapping up my first year in the club that the judgment and competition does not stop as your baby turns to a toddler, or from a toddler to a preschooler, or even many years down the road when you have a teenager. It is still there and still as fierce as ever. I also am learning many members of this club feel the same way I do. The only way to make a difference is not join in with judgers and the competitors and respect the choices other mothers make…even if you don’t agree with them. I also know this club is made up of some pretty fantastic women.  Women who are so wonderful and thoughtful and supportive that even with the haters it is still a pretty awesome club to belong to.

And if I have to be a member of this club to experience this awesome journey with my son, I say bring it on…it is so worth it!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ma What's 4 dinner June 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I'm a formula mom too, and have felt the stares and disdain, yadda yadda yadda. I feel ya babe. I always felt like I had to explain I couldn't breastfeed due to medical reasons, etc.

Whatever, the club we should all join is the be good to your kids club. I know a few moms who should join. 🙂

You're doing great!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner?
http://www.mawhats4dinner.com

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2 Shell June 17, 2010 at 12:27 pm

I hate the judgement, too. I always think whatever someone does with their child is their business, as it doesn't affect me or my kids, so why should I care.

(um, except for one of those on your list, which I care about b/c someone's decision for their child CAN affect my child- I bet you can guess which one I'm talking about- it's the one issue where I do take a stand)

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3 jon.nicole June 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I am a breastfeeding mom and I completely feel for you on this topic. I personally think it would be a bad decision to breastfeed if you are not comfortable with it. Those first days/weeks are so important for a mommy to bond with her baby and if you are doing something you are not comfortable doing you are not giving your baby the benefit of bonding. So, to breastfeed or not to breastfeed….completely up to the momma and never for a second would I ever think I was a better mommy than you. 🙂 Further more…a lot of those comment boards say breastfeeding is so much better for the babies health etc….I think you and I could compare Laila and Drake's health and not see a difference. We are both blessed with beautiful, happy, and healthy babies. One
just happened to drink formula and the other breast milk.

You are a rockin' good momma! Can't wait to see you next week!

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4 blueviolet June 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I'll just never understand why some people feel their way is the only way that's right. I was so shocked to see that there's still some high school cattiness in moms. I really thought I had left that all behind.

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5 liz June 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Amen to THAT!! I am a formula-feeding, NOT co-sleeping, vaccinating mama myself. 🙂

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6 Mitzi G. June 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Amen sister; you have perfectly said what I have felt so many times so THANK YOU!

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7 Mama Mandolin June 18, 2010 at 12:56 am

Agreed. I noticed the competition even before I was pregnant. "my baby can do this" and "well, mine can do this!" Out here in Cali it's the worst. Women walking around with thousand dollar strollers and babies in designer clothes. WHO CARES! The babies sure don't. Just goes to show we teach our children these things from day one. I have no problem putting my kids in hand-me-downs and doing my best to not buy anything brand new…almost in rebellion! I refuse to be one of "those moms" and I'm totally over the breastfeeding, co-sleeping, stay at home arguments. I formula feed my twins, they've slept with us lots of nights and are almost 4 mos old and still sleep in a co-sleeper next to our bed. I stay at home because I can and because with two babies financially it doesn't make sense! We all do what's right for us and the judging/competitions/arguments are SO high school LOL!

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8 Andrea Doll June 18, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Katie, I love this post! I feel it almost more now that Corbin is 2. I let him drink juice..yep, I said it!:) He loves it and I don't care if it's not milk or water. We brush his teeth every night and it's not all he drinks. Some moms look at me like I'm feeding him poison when I give it to him. Geesh!;)

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