The Life of Bon: I'm not scared to be a mom. I'm scared of other moms.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

I'm not scared to be a mom. I'm scared of other moms.


I've been a bit scared lately.

Let's see, what in the world could I be scared of?  I'm having my first child so to name a few...
+ Gaining anywhere from 25-50 pounds.
+ Pushing a child out of my body.  Pain.  Lots and lots of pain.
+ The possibility of needing a C Section
+ Never getting sleep again.
+ Paying for a child.
+ Baby poop.
+ Dealing with a sick baby.
+ BREASTFEEDING.  (This is terrifying to me.  I had a nightmare last night about 1. trying to breastfeed and 2. about dogs.  I'll let your imagination take over from there.  Too many parenting magazines and too much Grapes of Wrath, I suppose) (And if you get the Grapes of Wrath reference you get five extra credit points.)

The truth is, though, that what I'm most scared of is other moms.  I don't know if I'm cut out for their world.  Especially the young, cute, "hipster" moms that are running around with their kids with creative names and adorable clothes and it's like they just got the whole freaking world figured out.  And if you don't got the world figured out like them, they will judge the crap out of you for it.  I don't have the world figured out at all nd I'm not counting on it anytime soon so I don't know that I'll really be wowing a lot of mommies.  I might name my kid something super regular like John and I probably won't buy him very cool clothes and I might just give him ice cream whenever his chubby little cheeks ask for it.

I guess what I don't like about the "mom community" is that I don't feel that it is very supportive.  Mostly it feels competitve and judgy.  I've been out of the pregnant closet for two weeks and so far I have already felt extremely judged on decisions I'm making.  Little decisions too.  Stupid decisions. This is always from other moms, people who don't have kids yet don't give this vibe at all.  I didn't go to a doctor until 12 weeks and I had a bunch of moms in a forum asking me why I wouldn't "want to go to a doctor as soon as possible"- like I was doing my baby some harm by sitting on my couch instead.  It just felt so weird to me- like all of a sudden I had to justify my actions to a bunch of ladies I have never met.  If you must know, moms, I didn't go earlier because I don't like doctors and because I felt fine and because I was confused about my insurance benefits.  Satisfied?

And then there's the judgy feeling because I ate a sandwich with deli meat (gasp!), I took a hot bath (Oh my!), or I drank a nice big coke.  (Say it ain't so!)  Who are these people that have time to get onto forums and send mean messages to someone they've never met because they ate a sandwich?  And why do they care?

Not to mention, that I haven't even had the baby yet!  I have read so much stuff online from moms about why you absolutely should or should not vaccinate your child.  Should or should not have a natural childbirth.  Should or should not breastfeed.  Should or should not co sleep.  It's enough to make me go insane with all of these women judging each other and deciding how everyone else should parent.  Who the heck cares?

 I've heard women say some pretty mean things about other women who are just trying their hardest to raise their children.  Things like "she didn't try hard enough to breastfeed," and "she's always on her phone in front of her kids," and "her kids eat too much fast food."  And I just have to wonder if by having a kid I am merely setting myself up for a lifetime of being judged?  I already know that I'm going to mess up a lot, and I don't need no hoitey toitey moms watching my every move and taking notes of all the ways in which I'm not perfect.  I'm already very aware, thanks.

Is this just me?  Obviously I'm not part of the "mom community" yet so I am an onlooker noting on what I think I observe from the outside.  I'm just hoping and praying that by the time July rolls around I can admit to being lost and confused without worrying about receiving the condemnation of hundreds of women in the exact same boat as me.  Is it too much to ask?  Can we just all be on the same side here?

P.S.  A film that Greg is in is needing some extra funding.  It's super easy to donate and the best thing is you get 100% of the money back that you donate through gift cards.  For example, if you shop at Starbucks anyway, just buy $25 worth of Starbucks gift cards and it goes straight to funding this project.  It's a great way to encourage independent filmmakers.  Click here to check it out and to watch the two minute promo video.  Greg is adorable in it, if you are into adorable gingers.

93 comments:

  1. Oh my, I'm so sorry you're already feeling this way! The best thing you can do is do what feels right for you, your husband, and your baby. Yes, research it out. Yes, give it a try. If it doesn't work, bag it. WHO THE FREAK CARES what other people think! Your baby, your life. You will be an amazing mommy for your bundle because you will love the crap out of that baby. You'll be amazed at how naturally everything comes, I promise.

    PS Grapes of Wrath, ewwwwwwww!!!!

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  2. Bonnie, have you heard of the Pregnant Chicken blog? She is absolutely hilarious and gives awesome pregnancy advice (REAL ADVICE) and I feel like you would love her. I love reading some of her posts and I'm not pregnant, not have I ever been!

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    1. Thank you for the resource! I am with Bon (and due when she is well...) I need some comedic relief. You are great :)

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  3. I don't have any sage advice or wisdom, as I'm only a dog mom...but, at the end of the day, all you can do is your best.

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  4. Why are people such jerks?! I mean, seriously! You are wonderful and adorable and perfect! You're going to be a great Mom because you are kind and loving and hardworking. Your child won't be messed up from having a coke or ice cream or a name like John! A child becomes messed up by being around crazy neurotic judgey people (it's NOT healthy).

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  5. Moms are bitches. It's the truth. I'm a mom to a one year old (today was his first birthday I cannot believe he's already one) and I'm also a bitch about some things. For example, I'm definitely pro breast feeding. I wasn't as hardcore when I first gave birth, but I guess it came from the fact that I'm so damn proud of myself for breast feeding for a year and don't understand why everyone doesn't do it. I also think people are terrible parents if they let their infant sleep on his or her stomach. It just terrifies me. Those are really only the two things I'm a bitch about, but I don't ever try to push my beliefs on others. I just judge from the sidelines.
    I'm going off on a tangent though. Yes, moms are judgmental and think everyone should do things their way. But as long as you feel like you are doing the absolute best for your child, you don't need to give a single one of them a second thought. You know your child better than anyone and no one knows what they need better than you do.

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  6. Wait... did I write this? Is this my blog? Oh wait, no it's just Bonnie yet again writing exactly what is in my head! I just wrote a post on my Facebook page promising to delete social media once I have kids. I feel like it's so easy for people to criticize over the internet (even though I know people IRL criticize as well). Also, no lie... I also had a dream involving those two things last week as well.... I'm not even kidding.

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  7. The people on those forums are nuts. There are some nasty people on there. I'm due in July too, and I've yet to participate in any of those because of the nasty things people say to each other. Instead of being supportive, everyone is competitive and judgmental. It's really sort of sad that we live in a society where it's all about being "best" instead of treating each other well. I think a lot of it is that people are hiding behind their keyboards (sorta like nasty blog comments). It's just sad!

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  8. I have to agree with everything that has already been said. Some moms can be nasty and it seems like the blogging world is filled with lots of super chic mom's with awesome babies, but there are way more average moms out there. As long as you are happy with your decisions don't worry about what other people think, it's not their life or their kid. Your baby will love you no matter what and will thank you are the best mom ever because you're his/her mom. Just do what feels good to you and everyone else can go mind their own business :)

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  9. Dude. Good for you and your perspective.. many people don't make it to the "who the heck cares what you think" point until their kiddo is older or they have another. I am a firm believer that judgy moms aren't really trying to judge others, they are just trying their darndest to justify their own actions and make themselves feel like they are doing the right thing. There are SO many choices, and SO many different kinds of parenting.. what works for me isn't going to work for my neighbor and we're all just trying to get through it with as much sleep and happy memories as possible. Surround yourself with those people (and mommies) who bring you up, and if you find yourself around the judgy ones: slowly back away!

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  10. Bonnie, I so look forward to reading your blog each day! Oh, your fears are my exact fears. I wish I could copy this post and put it on my own blog. Today, I got weighed at the doctor's office and I was 3 pounds heavier than last month. I told Casey that I didn't like getting fat and he said I was hard to please because for the first few months, I was upset that I was losing weight as I threw up so much.

    Oh, you inspired me too--I am going to announce my pregnancy to my students tomorrow! I am going to have them all write down a guess of my due date and the closest will win a prize.

    Anyway, you are so great and inspire so many of us--even those of us who don't always take the time to comment. You are going to be a super cute mom!!

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  11. Get out of the mommy forums!! I have three young children, and I can not get into those because of the judging! I spent a ton of time on the internet, looking up everything I could think of when I was pregnant with my first, but NOT THE FORUMS! Haha! Anyway, I drank coke and ate deli sandwiches, and took hot baths when I was pregnant, and I didn't even know you "weren't supposed" to do those things until after my first pregnancy, and guess what, my children are healthy and intelligent!! :) I know there is so much competition, and I hate it, but do what you want to do. You'll be the best mom for your baby.

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  12. I have started avoiding those forums. I have gotten to the point that I am comfortable with my (and my husbands, informed) decisions that I don't want to hear what others say. You'll get there too. Moms are hard enough on themselves, they don't need other moms adding to it.

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  13. I've now been a mom for just over a year, and here's my take on the mom community:

    Do what you want - what you and your husband want. Take others' advice - or don't. This is your baby and your family. As long as your child is healthy and happy, nothing else really matters.

    And if you need an ear or even just to vent, don't hesitate for reach out. We're not all judgey, I swear!

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  14. I'm scared too and I'm not even close to having a baby or being pregnant at all. It's not fair to have so much anxiety about something so beautiful. All that matters is that you're gonna be a great mom, and that you have lots of people in your corner. I'll be praying for you to find a little peace in the coming months (and who am I kidding, years).

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  15. Forums are not worth it!! Like many people above said, do what works best for you and what you feel comfortable with. Your child is gonna love you regardless of what you dress them in or how you decide to feed them. And as for all the pregnant superstitions.. I ate deli meat my whole pregnancy, lived on caffeine and candy (I was deathly sick and that's all I kept down) and frequented the hot tubs. My doctor was okay with it and so was I. You know yourself, you know your body, just listen to it and do what you feel is best :)

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  16. I read so many pregnancy and parenting books that it made my mind swim by the end of my pregnancy. The very, very best advice I ever received about judgy parents is to trust yourself and the intimate way you know your child. Trust that more than anyone else (doctor included). I decided on some parenting options that were important to me and researched those most; then I let the other things slide. No child is exactly alike, and neither is any mother. And so many mothers are good mothers. Especially now that I'm a year and a half into this parenting gig, I realize more and more that my son came to our family because we are somehow the best place for him. What matters is that your babe will be loved and cared for. In the end, to cosleep or not to cosleep will not be the deciding factor on good parenthood. I'm so sorry you're feeling so overwhelmed. I say take a break from the forums and books and just talk to people you really, truly trust. And not all mom communities are judgmental--my group of mom friends is wonderful and supportive and loving, even though we all parent differently. You'll find those friends too!

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  17. I agree, I'm pretty scared of other moms, too! If there's one thing I learned in my first trimester, it's to stay off the pregnancy boards online... there's so much negativity out there and very little support and/or helpful information!

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  18. It gets better once you have the baby, in some ways! You'll gain confidence and with a personality like yours, you'll find your groove and drown out those other voices. Honest :)

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  19. I'm so sorry Bonnie. I chose not to have kids because of my illness. But I do know one thing. From all your previous posts your parents raised you right ! You have a loving relationship with your parents, all your nieces and nephews. This alone will make you an awesome Mom. You have all the qualifications and great intuition and instincts. You'll be awesome ! I promise.

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  20. Just the fact that you care enough to even look at forums and research all of these topics proves that you will be a good mom. Forget what other people think, you will do it your way and your way will be great!

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  21. Oh man, I just chuckled through this entire post. Not at you, I promise, but because I remember feeling EXACTLY this way. I have 2 kids (4 & 1) and with my first pregnancy I was entirely annoyed and intimidated by the mom-snobs, especially regarding natural childbirth. The first time I shouted "EPIDURAL" from the rooftops and got a ton of dirty looks from mom-snobs. I had the exact concerns as you, and worried about them constantly. It wasn't until pregnancy/baby #2 that I gained a little confidence in the whole pregnancy thing, that I completely disregarded what people said or thought. SO, just to set your mind at ease-- I gained a ton of weight with my first baby (went from 135 lbs to 190 lbs...whoops!) but with a couple months of work afterwards (when she was about 6 months), it disappeared and never came back. I had a c-section the first time, and went au-naturale with #2. Mom-snobs will never tell you this, but although I'm glad I did it naturally the second time, it was so much easier, less-painful and much quicker recovery with the c-section (and I had a really bad c-section experience too). So if it ends up happening, there are a lot of perks. Babies aren't that expensive...people buy all of the clothes and diapers for the first year, and if you breastfeed, fuhgetaboutit. If you train your kid right, they sleep well when they're 5 or 6 months. Plus now you have an excuse to take a nap whenever you feel like it. Pre-natal appointments are pointless until you're like 9 months pregnant. Let's be honest, you're going to read every pregnancy book and weekly babycenter email a million times over- your doctor isn't going to surprise you with much. And with my first pregnancy I was so worried about my diet, but with #2 I ate deli meat till the cows (and pigs and turkeys) came home, drank a diet pepsi almost daily and my second child is as healthy and happy as my first one. So let's all take a stand against mom-snobs, and they can go push their $600 strollers somewhere else, eh?

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  22. you go mamma. you do you.

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  23. I feel like forums of any sort are filled with a lot of helpful people, but a loooooooot of harpy, uber passionate, intense people as well, ha. That sucks. I'm not anywhere close to having a kid, but I can really see how the mom world can be like that - and crazy things like having to get on daycare waiting lists before you're even pregnant and weird stories like that. It's a crazy world out there! But at the same time, every child was raised differently and whether or not they were breastfed, co-slept with, naturally birthed, yadda yadda - everyone has turned out fine. That is all.

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  24. "I don't know if I'm cut out for their world. Especially the young, cute, "hipster" moms that are running around with their kids with creative names and adorable clothes and it's like they just got the whole freaking world figured out. And if you don't got the world figured out like them, they will judge the crap out of you for it."

    Bon, want to come in on a little secret. All moms are scared, but only for the sake of their own children. I want what is best for my 4 and a half year old in addition to my almost 2 month old. But honestly, I can give a crap less what anyone thinks about how I raise my children. And so should you because you will know what is best for the little tike along with Greg, so just give a middle finger or two if needed. Promise!

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  25. Don't fall into the trap of labels in the parenting world and you'll be fine. I think pregnancy is so weird and there are so many things people don't tell you that reading a preggo book is fine. But when the baby comes DO NOT buy a baby book. Just don't do it. Because every child is different and the people who write those (or write on parenting forums/blogs) aren't raising YOUR child. They're raising theirs. Crazy different.

    When we were pregnant with Louis, we were fully prepared to be smacked in the face with things that we didn't know about child rearing. The thing we weren't ready for were the outside influences. So we decided to ignore everyone and all advice given to us...and the last three and a half years have been parental bliss. :)

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  26. Bonnie you will be a GREAT mom, I have no doubt. It does get better...not because the snob moms stop, but because YOU get wiser and recognize that you have to do what's right for you. I remember feeling all your same insecurities, but now my boys are 8 and 12 and I realize I got over the need to justify myself to anyone long ago. I eagerly look forward to seeing pregnancy and motherhood through your very intelligent perspective.

    And--yay! I feel so proud if myself for getting the five extra bonus points!! :)

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  27. Every single fear you talk about on here is something I fear as well, and I don't have kids! Many of my friends are moms and feel totally judged by other moms and have vented to me about it before. I don't get it! You're all moms, all wanting the best for your kids....that just looks different to everyone.

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  28. It is most definitely a judge-y world! You'll always be worried about whether someone else will judge what you're doing or saying with to or about your baby- sometimes in front of your own mother! But what matters most is what you think and any time you start to feel self conscious of a decision you and your husband are making, just remember that you guys are the parents, and you're (probably) doing a FANTASTIC job!

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  30. I'm not a Mom, but I thought I'd comment with a link my cousin shared the other day because it's so relevant to your post and it made this non-Mom very proud of other women for being kind.

    http://herscoop.com/posts/empowering-photo-series/

    I think you'll like it. :)

    -Danielle
    Little Bit of WoWe

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  31. Don't listen to those people. The most important things to listen to is the advice of you doctor and your own body. Tune them out. You will need that skill from now until your children move out on their own. Everyone has an opinion. Yours is the only one that counts. Also about breastfeeding - I have 2 daughters, the oldest was bottle fed because I was afraid of i breastfeeding and very modest, the youngest was breast fed. They were both super healthy babies and very healthy adults. Breastfeeding was easier and has literature to support its health benefits. If you just can't do it, just work with your doctor to find the best formula. It's your choice. It's your baby.

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  32. This is why I typically lose friends when they get pregnant. They either go into a new mom shell of avoiding the assholes, or they BECOME one of the judgy assholes. And either way they don't want to hang out with me and do things like play video games or eat chips because they have to do the holy task of raising a baby.

    I haven't had kids and I even get the vibe you're talking about...When I say I don't want kids. Then the moms with their claws out, swoop from the sky and talk about how impossibly hard it is but how I will never be happy without it. Why can't people just freakin chill out? I don't know. A lot of us ate paint chips as children and lived lol.

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  33. I know what you mean! I had my first baby 9 months ago and my second is 2 months away. Judgment all the time. "REALLY!? Two kids so close together! GOOD LUCK!' At the beginning I felt awful when people would say that to me but I figure... this is what my husband and I really want and we know we can handle it. Of course it will take time... I will probably want to cry and I won’t get much sleep... but this is our family and this is what we want. You will do great! You find what works for you and what doesn't. Sometimes you'll feel judged and that maybe you aren't doing something right but that's when I step back and remind myself that I'm doing this and I get to decide who makes me feel what I'm feeling. You’ll know what’s right for you and your baby …. Maybe you won’t feel it right away, but it will come :)

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  34. I would just like to say, loud and clear, I GET YOU! My lord, everyone has an opinion about everything. I decided to go with a midwife, so I don't see her until 10 weeks and the comments. Believe me people, I appreciate the concern, but I am doing what I think is best for myself and my little one. I HATE going to the doctors as well, serious needle phobia, which I know I will have to deal with at some point. Anyways, its really no one elses business! Everyone has something to say though. And then I think about all of the women in third world countries manage just fine with nothing at all or the fact that people used to SMOKE AND DRINK, I think a can of coke is just peachy.

    I am looking for honest, supportive mommies, ones that get there is no such thing as perfect and we're all trying to figure this out together! Happy to be pen pals :) Keep doing what you're doing!

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  35. This is a spot on post. I am so sorry you feel that way. I hope it gets better but to tell you the truth, I am not a mom (yet - fingers crossed) and I have people judging me and telling me what to do to get pregnant and how i should raise my children when the time comes! It's just a never ending cycle. People will always judge and try to give their advice but just do whatever works for you. Don't worry about what anyone says. You raise that little wonderful baby just the way you want, after all you are THE MOM! xoxoxo

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  36. That is one of my big fears for when I get pregnant--is other moms telling me what I should and should not do. People already do that to me with our puppy (you should get her a collar, did you get her microchipped? why doesn't she have a microchip?) and it drives me NUTS. I can't imagine being pregnant and having that nonsense thrown at me forever. I think the best part is to avoid forums--they sound awful. It seems like a place for people who are already insecure about their actions to get on there and nag other people to make themselves feel better. Have you tried other mom blogs? Maybe those will be more supportive. I'm not pregnant and I don't have kids (yet), but don't second guess yourself--you're a smart girl and you've got a smart husband (from what I can tell), so I think you'll do just fine.

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  37. Great post and so true. Like you, I'm currently on the outside looking in but to me, it seems like a world of judgement waiting to happen. Now a days raising a child doesn't seem straight forward. You have to have some sort of theory you're following. Some guru that you look to. If you don't wear your baby and use a stroller, you're apparently setting them up to feel abandoned. If you have them sleep in a crib and not in your bed, they won't trust you. If you don't know about baby led weaning, you might as well not even bother. Kids can only eat organically. No plastic toys. No TV. Everything you do must be educational. What happened to having fun? Or letting kids be kids? My husband and I are going to try really hard to be laid back. Will our kid be able to have ice cream with grandma? Sure! Can he/she play in the dirt? Why not! And you know what? We're not going to co-sleep! Will we been seen as failures to some of those other moms? Maybe. But will our kid be happy? Absolutely :) Good luck with everything and stay true to you!

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  38. Girl. You're not alone. I hate people when I'm pregnant. I have gotten just so much unsolicited advice, and I have heard it just gets worse once we give birth. I had sushi, deli meat, and I still drink soda every day. Guess what? Our babies are going to be just how God intends them to be.

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  39. Mommy wars are in full force and are very hard to get away from. Going to the doctor at 12 weeks is pretty standard so I'm not sure why you would get crap about that. It's hard because you are trying to enjoy the pregnancy and are being terrified by these vigilanti moms who feel that their way is best and that you are wrong for doing it any other way. The reality is that we are all just trying to do what's best for our families. Keep that in mind, flush all of the other crap out and you'll be fine! Welcome to Mommyhood!!! It's the most awesome thing ever!

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  40. Moms can be total bitches. I've decided it's because they are so stressed out about their own decisions that they are projecting that onto others. I have coffee AND pepsi...pretty much every day. And my fetus is fine (due June 6). I had subway last week, still fine. And, I haven't "exercised" since I got pregnant. Gasp. You're doing the best you can and listening to your body. Stay off the "mommy message boards" and ignore people with "advise" that feels wrong to you. Everything in moderation....

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  41. Block it out.

    Granted, as someone who isn't having a baby anytime soon this is easier said than done.

    But seriously, you don't need that noise in your head. Last year I went to a baby shower and one of the women led the best devotional. She talked about how everyone feels like there is a "certain way" you need to raise your baby in the most God-like way. But that's not true. You have to do what's best for YOU. That's what is going to be right for you, God, and your baby. For some people, going organic and only private schools and no vaccinations is great. For others, whatever is at the store, public school, and vaccinations are best. For others- something else entirely or a combo of whatever!

    You need to do what's best for YOU and YOUR baby and YOUR family.

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  42. you just quoted all of my fears of becoming a mom! you are going to be the cutest, hippest mom around--I don't know what you're even worried about! and your child will be adorable. this post was so honest--and I think it can be applied to so many areas in life. I really wish we could all learn (myself included!) how to be less critical and more loving! you're the best, bonnie!

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  43. Do Vaccinate!! But all that other stuff, don't worry about! Each Mom will learn to do things her own way, just like each human being is different, each kid will be different. Raise them with love, good intentions, and lead by example (and that means letting your baby see the triumphs and challenges) in your own life, and it will be hard to go wrong. For any Momma's out there who give or get flack regarding your choices during pregnancy, remember that our parents and grandparents generation grew up eating whatever, exposed to whatever, and doing whatever, and somehow they turned out just fine. Worry less, love yourself and your baby more - and keep writing your butt-kicking blog :)

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  44. Do yourself a favor and GET THE HELL OFF THOSE FORUMS!! Seriously, take it from someone who has been there. I spent months feeling the same way you do, hearing the same judgements, and not ONCE did I get any good advice from those forums. Not one single time. One day in church, we were reading about the pioneers, specifically the mothers who gave birth along the trail. And then it just clicked for me. If those woman can trek across the country, on foot, with poor nourishment, no medical care, horrible weather, and still pop out a healthy baby, then why can't I? Seriously. Heavenly Father gave you this baby because he trusts you to do the right thing. He knows you, and he still gave you one of his children. Find a doctor you like, listen to their advice, and then follow your instincts. Oh, and don't be scared about the actual birth. It's not nearly as bad as you think, trust me. Especially if you get an epidural.. it's really truly not as bad as you are imagining. For me, it was just like really bad menstrual cramps, and then I got the epidural, and not an ounce of pain. I never even cried. Relax, and enjoy this pregnancy!! It will go by soooo fast, and you'll miss it. Get those maternity photos, talk to your baby, rub your tummy, enjoy the movements you feel, and be happy!! And get off those forums. I know you have a tab open while you're reading this.. Close it!!!

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  45. My son is still breastfed and the Grapes of Wrath thing STILL creeps me out. Like I think about it at least once a week.

    I think it is just the general nature of some women to be really judgmental. Personally, I hate it and so I do my best to not judge other women or parents. And I REALLY don't like when people push their negative stories onto other people as advice.

    I went into motherhood with a ton of ideas of how I was going to do it. Kind of judgmental ideas too. I was going to do a natural birth because it was the best. I was going to breastfeed exclusively until 6 months and then feed him all homemade baby food. Only the cutest clothes for him, no sweatpants. I was going to eat super healthy while I was nursing. Blah blah blah. I ended up having to get an epidural. I fed him store bought solids at like 5 months. He wears sweatpants to daycare (because the clothes get trashed so why waste my money). And sometimes it's a choice of McDonald's at night or no food so I pick fast food. And my son is still alive and healthy.

    Who cares what other people think of your choices? There's no right or wrong, just different, way to parent as long as there is lots of love and safety.

    That's what I have to say about that. :) Novella over.

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  46. PREACH. I have to say, the current group of moms my age are reminiscent of high school cruelty and it does not encourage me to get pregnant. Do what works for you. Don't let anyone pressure you into some ridiculous at home water birth. No one will come out to give you a metal afterwards. Not to mention that will really put a damper on further TV watching in there

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  47. Being a mommy is hard. It just plain is. It's even harder when we spend time worrying about people judging us. I had to let that go early on. I was judged for being too young, for going to school, and now for working. I'm judged for what I let her watch or don't, what we eat or don't. Guess what? I don't give a crap anymore. My job is to raise her to be a successful adult woman who contributes to society and loves God. So I pray for help to do the best I can, and to everyone else I basically say 'ok thanks' and carry on about my day. Don't worry about all those 'other' opinions. You'll be fine. Cool hipster mom or not.

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  48. I have been following your blog for awhile now, and I am SO excited for you to have a baby!! I felt like you felt before having my daughter but honestly? Just be yourself. Who cares what other moms say, YOU and only you know what is best for your child. Will you constantly second guess yourself? yes. Will it be crazy hard/fun/rewarding? YES. You can never know how to raise a child until you actually do. It is honestly a daily thing, you literally learn with your child. You are going to do great! Don't worry about what other people say :)

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  49. My doctor wouldn't have LET me come until 12 weeks.

    But that's not your point here. Eh, I guess I don't feel too much of that. Never have. I've known exactly how I want to raise my kids thanks to teaching child development, and sometimes it goes that way and sometimes it doesn't. I think that the most important thing is that YOU feel good. If sleep training your baby makes you less crazy (this is me) then SLEEP TRAIN THAT BABY! If nursing is all you think about and you're pumping so much that you never get to ENJOY your baby, stop nursing. Bottle feed and snuggle that kid. Do what you need to do to enjoy being a mom and not stress yourself out to the point that you miss it.

    Also, this article is FREAKING hilarious and puts everything into a good perspective I think http://www.babble.com/baby/formula-fed-baby-enters-medical-school-satire/

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    1. ALSO! I once felt very attacked by several non-moms about breastfeeding and you were the only one who stood up for me. I don't know if you remember, but I think about it a lot. So thanks!!!

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    2. Kimberly I don't remember that AT ALL. Where and when was this? People are so weird.

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  50. Ahh I get this so much. We don't have kids yet and frankly I feel judged for that all the time. Its the nature of humans, meddling in other peoples business. Stay strong.. Don't give in to the pressure around you! You know whats best for you and your family!

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  51. Oh gosh... yeah... I haven't had a baby yet but I can only imagine the kind of pressure a mother would feel in today's society. Already judgmental people + social media with only "high points" in people's lives + Pinterest creates a lot of difficult and conflicting ideals to feel like you need to live up to. I hope that you will continue to trust your heart and trust God that what you are doing for your baby is right for your family. Congratulations, Bonnie! I'm sure you will be a great mother for your baby because God has intentionally gifted that child to YOU and no one else (well... besides your husband). :)

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  52. As a mom of four who has lived in three different states and whose children have attended multiple schools, both public and private, the best advice I could give you is to know that there are a lot of different ways to be doing the right thing. Plus, just because another another mom says it that does not make it the right choice for you. All four of my children are honor students and had I listened to every piece of advice tossed at me over the years, I would be in rehab for sure. Follow your heart. You do know what is best for your baby.

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    1. I love this "the best advice I could give you is to know that there are a lot of different ways to be doing the right thing."

      Great advice!! so helpful to remember this.

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  53. Oh man. This is the part of motherhood I'm not looking forward to someday. Yikes!

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  54. I, too, am a little nervous to be pulled into that "mommy war." My mom gave me some of the best advice--"follow your gut and do what you feel is right." So, I am.
    If, during the blogging roundtable, I made an off-hand comment about the coke and caffeine, I'm sorry.. I'm just following my mother's wisdom on that. But, my sister-in-law just had her 4th child and drinks a Diet Coke every day. All 4 of her children are bright and healthy.
    My biggest concern is being judged for my education choices for my kids...which will be tough especially seeing both public and charter school from a teacher's perspective.

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  55. Bonnie I love your blog!!! And I love how you say it like it is. Good for you! I don't have a word of advice for you since I'm working on keeping my house plants alive and don't have to worry about babies yet. You will be a wonderful mom!

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  56. That scene in Grapes of Wrath is absolutely one of the best, worst moments in literature. Thank you, John Steinbeck.

    In other news-- people will think all those things you are worried about and some will try to tell you about it. Just keep movin' on and lovin' that baby and the rest is details. For realzies [as my 4 year old niece says].

    It's actually pretty liberating to learn to tune people out. [Just listen to your own mom, cause well, she kept you alive so she must have SOME ideas].

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  57. Also, have you seen this:

    http://herscoop.com/posts/empowering-photo-series/

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  58. The mom community is terrible. I really really hate how horrible it is. Parenting is so hard in itself but I really believe we judge so harshly because we have no idea what we are doing and it's to justify the choices we make.

    IDK You'll figure it out... I'm 6 years in and still have no idea what I'm doing!

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  59. I;m 6 months pregnant and I feel the same way! Also, most OBs won't see you til 11 or 12 weeks, so you're fine. It doesn't get any better, I just tried to find a few supportive mommy friends and go from there. I got yelled at for drinking coffee yesterday by some lady in my office.

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  61. I love pictures of my favorite Bonnies together. As for the post, I've always been glad I'm a guy. I can't imagine feeling and being judged by my peers over every little thing I do that differs from what they do. In the words of Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley, "Ah, F*#> 'em!"

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  62. I just have to comment - I grew up in the era of no seat belts and bicycle helmets. I was also spanked, with a wooden spoon, no less. I came in every evening dirty from top to bottom from playing outside. It was a glorious childhood!

    As a mother, I mess up daily (just ask my kids), but I am doing the best I can. That's all anyone can ask. I didn't breast feed my oldest. She wasn't getting the nutrition she needed. She is still strong and beautiful and healthy. I have spanked my children although probably more out of frustration than truly fitting the behavior. We eat take out. Oh yeah, and I work full time outside the home! Can you imagine?!

    Point is, every mother and child and family is different. Do what feels right for you and your family. You're going to do great!

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  63. You're the momma, you are the only one who can make the best decisions for yourself and for your kiddo. Just remember that :)

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  64. Girl...preach! I think we have the same due date (no kidding) and I am having my first also. I am so clueless, but honestly, my best resource has been my doctor! He just keeps saying, "that baby is in there good and snug...there is very little you can do now (aside from drinking or smoking to excess) that will harm that kiddo now!" He even made fun of the non-sushi-eating-freak-out-over-deli-meat-every-American-super-mom-is-crazy ladies in my life. That was helpful. I am honestly astonished you COULD wait until 12 weeks - but only because I selfishly was dying to see that little bean floating around in there! That said, there is no "real" need to go until 16 or so weeks anyway! You do you Bon - I hear ginger babies have super powers so we all know that kid is going to be amazing :)
    PS: I eat cookie dough like it's my job. Some days it's all I live for! Judge away...

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  65. Alright. I'm not pregnant. It's not really on the radar any time soon. All of the moms I know in real life seem really awesome though, so I guess that's at least got to count for something?

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  66. I'm the mom of two babies, 21 months and 4 months, so I feel like I have been in the middle of this non stop for the past few years. Like so many other people have said, I think the very most important thing is that mama and baby are happy. That looks very different for each family and there is nothing wrong with that. It often even looks different from kid to kid. I didn't breastfeed and often feel the need to justify myself who know nothing about my situation, but I try to remind myself that their opinion really doesn't matter. I wish there was less judging and more support. Most moms I know are doing the very best they can, and praying that they are not failing miserably. To me it is like the experience of living in other countries - there is no wrong or right way, just various ways to accomplish the same end.
    Best of luck to you. And for whatever it is worth, I drank Diet Coke for both of my pregnancies and loved every last drop.

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  67. I'll be honest, it is incredibly annoying to constantly hear unsolicited advice from strangers AND friends/family. I've just had to learn to ignore it. You will learn to follow your instincts and you'll know better than anyone what is right for your own child. You'll quickly learn just to let it roll off your back. You'll also discover who in your life you DO trust for advice....they will be great resources for you. :)

    Erika

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  68. I have a close friend who simply started responding to other judgments with "are you my doctor?" She said it was hard at first, but it was so nice to finally stop hearing the judgmental comments about her occasional Pepsi and other choices she made with doctor approval!

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  69. I think you will rock it when dealing with "those moms". You are quite witty and I so can see you having a very funny remark to say. Sometimes the pressure isn't bad because it can push you to seek answers. I'm a research person. I want to hear what other parents do but I want to make the decision based on my own research and a call to my mama. Do yourself a favor and read Megan's blog Absolute Mommy @ absolutemommy.blogspot.com she makes me feel better about being a parent all the time.

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  70. Sorry to hear you feel like this but sadly I can relate

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  71. comparison gets to me all the time. it has before pregnancy and still does with a baby. It feels competitive but some of the time I think it's because I think people are judging me when I don't think they are but I'm just self conscious. I do wish there was more support and more of "do what is best for you and your baby" and not what is best for one person.

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  72. My first 2 pregnancies I didn't go to the docotor until 12 weeks. At that point I knew that I would be able to hear the heart beat. The next pregnancy I went in at 6 weeks and no heart beat could be heard and then around 11 weeks I miscarried. After that my next 2 pregnancies I made myself wait until 12 weeks so that I would hear the heart beat on that first appointment.

    I hate that moms are hard on other moms. We have enough problems without treating other moms on their personal choices. All I can say is good luck and let what is said go in one ear and out the other.

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  73. If you ask anyone on the internet, NOTHING you do is right. There are so many theories out there about what is "right," the truth is, you have to do what is right for your family and your child. Hang in there, you'll start to feel more comfortable and sure of your decisions. By the way- my doctor didn't even want to see me until 10 weeks.

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  74. Screw the mom snobs Bon. You do what you feel is best for you and your baby. I have 2 boys, with my 1st pregnancy I ate a bean burrito from taco bell everyday and had to have a diet coke everyday. I only gained 23 pounds with him. I prettt much had him natural and that's a long horrific story that I shared on my blog. I didn't breastfeed him at all either. With my 2nd I gained 50 pounds, I didn't have him all natural and I only breastfed him for a week! They are both happy and healthy at almost 6 years old and 4 years old. I parent them different than my sister parents her kid. The ONLY time I judge another parent is when I hear them talking ridiculous to their child, for example, I heard a grown ass man say to a 5 year old, "oh that's going to get your mother f***ing aas beat." And yes I judged the hell out of him. But I pretty much refuse to judge other moms unless they are total beotches to their kids becausw EVERYONE parents different and there truly is no right way no matter what the mom snobs say. The right way is what you feel is right! They will judge you, but just ignore them! Just know you are doing the right thing for you and your baby! Sending you hugs!

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  75. I feel more judged by the older moms than the younger ones. Im one of the youngest moms in my son's grade and its hard to connect with them due to that. It doesn't get easier as you progress in your pregnancy but its best to not let those comments bother you. It does more harm to you and to your child indirectly if you're stressing out about it. You do what's best for you and your child the rest will be fine. Have a great one Bonnie! -Iva

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  76. for what it's worth (and i am NOT a mom so it's prob worth NOTHING), but my friend didn't read a single book to prepare for her child. She just talked to the doctor and her husband and enjoyed being pregnant and I gotta tell you - she is the best mom I know. And she will tell you she felt very judged when she didn't know the answers to things and when she told people they were just gonna wing it. i like to think i will be like that when it's my turn to have a baby. so you go on with your bad self bonnie!

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  77. Amen! Other moms can be horrible! Try not to listen to them and just do what's best for you! And if you are nervous about breastfeeding, I have a weekly series about in on my blog....would LOVE for you to check it out!

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  78. Sometimes that is the case, but I have also found that more often they are the most supportive. You just have to find a good group! Those ladies encourage me, offer other ways of doing things, etc.

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  79. I remember feeling this same way at the beginning reading online chat boards and things, so I stopped. I found some blogs that I love and admire, follow them here and there mostly, and then just researched on my own. You make the choices, and the best thing you can be is confident in whatever you choose. As long it's something that just affects you and your family, then go for it! They can live their lives and you can live yours.

    And that being said, now I'm going to judge. ;) NOT JUDGE, just reason. The only reason I have any feelings on vaccines as a mom is because I know parents of children who can't have them for medical reasons. These are the immune-compromised kids that if they get the disease they will have serious consequences, including death. So by choosing not to get your healthy child vaccinated, one who probably will bounce back fine from a sickness, you are potentially doing a disservice to the community at large.

    And with that I'm sorry, sorry, sorry. I just wanted to say that there are reasons beyond judging (or at least in my mind?! eek) why some people have their opinions. Now that I've been that mom, I'm going to go back to my own little house and world and not care about all that you are doing with yours.

    And you'll do great. And you'll find your circle. :) There's so much support out there as well!!!

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  80. Yea I would avoid those forums. People say things on the internet they would be way too chicken to say in real life. Do your best when you're raising children, being pregnant, freaking out, crying into a bowl of cheerios, wondering why your child wants dinner AGAIN, being overwhelmed with joy you never thought you could have, washing your mascara off your two year old, laughing, weeping, living. That's all that is expected of you, make the best informed decisions you can make, and don't worry what others think. It is a little sad how the internet mom community can be so bossy, rude, and self conceited, but I have often found the real mom community around you is much less so. Congrats on your new little one!

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  81. Holy cow, you already have a million comments saying probably the very same thing I will.... but seriously Bonnie. NO Mom is perfect and those that are telling you what to do are just insecure (or insane.) Honestly, I did nearly everything "wrong" with my first, and she is WONDERFUL even if I did let her cry to fall asleep, gave her a binkie, only nursed for a few months (which by the way IS SUPER hard so don't take it personal if it is) and I also fed her sugar, vaccinated her, AND gasp, ate all just like normal during my whole pregnancy.
    As long as you give your child love, support, and ya know, feed them, and change them and stuff.... they survive and THRIVE just fine!
    Sorry you have had so much grief from jerky women who need to pay more attention to their own kids and less to your unborn child.

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  82. So this is like one of my biggest pet peeves. I will just tell you now that if you look long enough on the internet you will find that anything you do will some how be harmful to you or your unborn child. Trust me I have had four and I have done everything you are not supposed to do. And I would have to say my children are pretty normal!! When you have your kid you will be the best mom for them and they will love you for it. The best thing about babies is they don't judge and they are really the only ones you should be worried about!! Just remember people have been doing this for thousands of years without all this advice and our parents all turned out probably better then most now days!!

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  83. Sorry Bonnie! The ”mommy wars” are no fun, and being a mom to a special needs child has made me no stranger to them. I just love it when random strangers feel the need to tell me I just need to discipline more or give their hypotheses as to why he its the way he is...vaccines, Tylenol, red 40, fluorinated city water.... People just need to realize most moms are really doing the best they can and that being a mom is the epitome of ”learn on the job.” You'll do great!
    http://momsunitingmoms.com/no-more-mommy-wars-a-photo-project/

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  84. My word of advice, STAY OFF THE BABY CENTER DISCUSSION BOARDS! It's a dark and scary place and only a few survive, thankfully I have learned how to navigate my way through but there are many fallen moms.

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  85. I gave birth on the 3rd, it didn't go like I wanted and I had to have an emergency c-section at 41 weeks and 3 days. In the end, My son is the best thing the ever happened to me and is healthy!

    Like some commenters posted above, stay away from baby discussion boards/forums...this is even what my doctor suggested to me! A lot of the stuff posted is nonsense. Don't let anyone judge you, my doctor told me I could have a cup of coffee if I wanted to and my co-workers went nuts even though I was drinking decaff. As a pre-k teacher, child care worker...I had so much unsolicited "advice" about babies and children, I just had to learn to zone it out. Trust your instincts and friends, that's the best "advice" I could give. I could never attack another mother for her pregnancy choices.

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