Why I can’t stand mommy police and why mommy shaming needs to stop.

You know what I’m talking about. The mommy police will be the first ones to let you know when you’re raising your child wrong. They are the kind of moms who make you feel like you’re poisoning your baby by using formula instead of breastfeeding.  *GASP!*

Sweet Baby Cole at 11 Days Old

It happened to me occasionally when Cole was an infant. I would have fellow moms ask me, “Don’t you just LOVE breastfeeding?!” When I would respond that we used formula I would get this shocked, wide-eyed look from the mommy shamer and a completely shocked “Oh...” 

Usually they would change the subject but one time I got the STUPIDEST question from said shamer.  “So how do you bond with your child?”

NEWS FLASH: You don’t need a kid to be sucking on your boob in order to establish a bond. 

Now if breastfeeding has worked for you — I applaud you. You are a complete and total rockstar. Seriously. Breast feeding is hard and exhausting. It never worked out for me. My family is always on the go. I never produced enough milk. I found it stressful and exhausting so for everyone’s sanity formula was the route we took.

And guess what? We have the happiest, healthiest, and chunkiest little boy ever. We have an incredible bond and that I am greatful for.  He is witty and bright.  We couldn't ask for anything more.

My most recent encounter with the mommy police was tonight.  I am in a Facebook group for parents who are taking their toddlers to Disney. One mom asked if other moms use a car seat on the airplane for their children, so I responded: 

“We don’t use a seat. It’s more of a hassle than anything. Our son is 15 months. Sits in our lap for takeoff and landing which we feel is perfectly safe. 

As far as we’re concerned if the pilot warns about turbulence then we keep him in our lap. We’ve never had any issues as far as safety goes. He’s also a super easy going kid...will fall asleep anywhere and listens pretty well. We always book an extra seat for ourselves. So we have the whole section and don’t have to sit with a stranger. Helps greatly!”

Not even two minutes later the mommy police showed up full force, claws out and ready to tell me why I was a terrible parent for not using a car seat in an airplane.

She responded with:

I: t’s not “perfectly safe”, no more than it would be in a car. Children are “perfectly safe” on a lap in a car until there is an accident or sudden shift or stop. The same is true on a plane, except the speed is many times faster and the shift during turbulence is far greater than bumps in a road. The only safe place for an infant or toddler on a plane is in a child safety seat properly restrained. "

For those of you know me, I have a very hard time keeping my mouth shut.  I really wanted to respond with facts about how flying in an airplane is extremely different from driving a car.  How you have warning when things are about to happen such as turbulence or "sudden jolts".  How you have a 1 in 140 chance of getting in a car accident compared to 1 in 11 million chance of getting in a plane crash.  But I resisted.

I clicked on the article and the demeaning tone of it was repulsive. The author of this article called parents who choose to not use a car seat on a plane "cheap" and "incompetent". 

I reluctantly took the high road and responded with a quick, “Do what you feel is best as a parent. People will judge you no matter what your decision is!”  Ugh. Being a responsible levelheaded adult is hard sometimes...

If this fellow mom wanted to share her view of car seat safety on planes, WHY not post an educational article that was more fact than opinion? Why use my wording in quotes? I’m sorry, but that’s just plain rude. A quick little “Hey! Here’s an article with great info! Good read!” would have gone a lot further. 

We all have our own opinions. But instead of shaming parents into feeling like theirs are wrong, why not kindly offer advice? 

As many of you know, I use essential oils. I loathe Johnson & Johnson baby products. I’ve even posted articles on my personal Facebook about their products and how toxic they are. But am I going to scold you for continuing to use them on your child and make you feel like a terrible parent? Nope. That’s your choice & I respect it.  

Same thing with organic baby food vs not, weaning you kid from a bottle before 12 months or breast feeding them until they’re 5, co-sleeping vs sleep training your child.  If you have a certain feelings about a particular topic, kindly share them with other moms IF they ask for the advice. Support it with facts, research, or personal experiences. 

Don’t belittle them. Don’t interrogate them. And if they continue to disagree, accept it and move on.