So what if I am?

Being a parent comes with so many pressures and I constantly find myself wondering ‘am I doing this right?’ ‘should I be doing this?’ ‘but I just spoke to Michelle and she’s doing that?’ How about we all just chill the hell out and do what’s best for us and our little ones? Yes, me included! Now I’m not saying I’ve never judged anyone, of course in the past I have, and anyone who says they have never judged another person is probably lying or in denial. We’ve all judged and we’re all constantly being judged, but I’ve found since having Jago, parental judgement is a whole new level!

The thing is, we are all on very different journeys and because of this, you shouldn’t judge or be judged. For example, making the decision to not breast feed was very hard for me, I was in absolute agony and whilst I had vast amounts of help, I simply couldn’t do it, so I made the best decision for myself and Jago and decided to formula feed him. In all honesty, it’s been one of the best parenting decisions I have made so far, running Dot Dash Activewear means I must regularly attend meetings, drive to stockists and be away for the day whilst my Mother or Mother-in-Law look after him, so breast feeding would have been extremely tough. Some may say this is a selfish decision, I say it’s the best decision for myself and Jago, he’s very happy and healthy and I can still spend time on the business, in which everything I do is for him.

I absolutely love my days with Jago, I love attending baby groups and going for lovely walks and sitting in different coffee shops, but due to running the business, I will always have to check my emails and often take calls, is this a crime? I have been in a coffee shop before (a few times to be fair), having to feed Jago, balancing his bottle on my chin whilst I feed him and emailing with my other hand because the email warranted an urgent response from my manufacturer. I could see people thinking ‘does she really have to be on her phone right now’ or they’re thinking ‘she’s probably just scrolling through Instagram’ and whilst many of these worries and anxieties of what people are thinking may be my own insecurities, they’ve still been instilled in me because I know how judgmental people can be.

If I see someone on their phone in a coffee shop, I couldn’t care less if they were emailing or scrolling through Instagram because I don’t I know them or their journey. That may be the first time he or she had a chance to look at their phone all day, seeing what their friends and family are up to on Instagram may be their five-minute release from their screaming kids or crying baby, who are we to take that from them?

Social media is also a huge culprit for breeding judgmental people, the ones that like to judge from behind a screen (they’re the worst). I have a good friend with a large social media following who is continuously being judged and it infuriates me. She is a young, single Mother, doing an unbelievable job of raising her Son. I genuinely don’t know how she does it all, but all too often she’s sending me pictures of peoples’ comments and opinions. Due to her following, I once asked her if she’d do a post on another friends Gin brand to help gain some exposure, her response was “I better not as people will only bombard me with comments about the fact I’m having a drink”, I couldn’t believe it, it’s such a shame that she’s made to feel that way. My goodness, have you seen my Instagram stories? Every other night (in fact every night) is a glass of gin, does that make me a bad Mum? No, it absolutely doesn’t!

So, lets stop judging one another, lets support each other on all our very different, yet super hard journeys. I’m not sure of many things in life, but one thing I know for damn sure, is I am a fantastic Mother to Jago and I’m loving our journey together.

 

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Nicole Clewer