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Who judges you most as a mum

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Who Judges You Most As A Mum?

Who judges you most as a mum

When you have a baby, the barrage of opinions from other mums – even the well-intentioned – can be misplaced, unwanted and downright infuriating. Viv Groskop has been there and practised the comebacks

I still remember my first visit to the supermarket when my son, now two, was born. Another mum appeared out of nowhere and peered into my pram. lsquo;Wow. Shes huge. Oh, sorry, is it a boy? You should dress him in blue, so people know, she announced. lsquo;I see youre using a dummy. Rod for your own back in the long run. Her parting shot? lsquo;God, you look knackered.

Thanks for your support, sister. And if thats how it feels for us, just imagine what its like for Kate Middleton. Incredibly, our biggest critics are often other mothers. You might have been friends with someone through thick and thin but, if you both have a baby at the same time, its surprisingly easy to fall out over whether its OK to put your six month old into daycare.

So, its reassuring to know that this judginess usually comes from their own insecurities, rather than the fact youre doing things wrong. lsquo;For those who feel vulnerable about being a mum, it helps to see others caring for their children the same way, as it bolsters their own approach, says Tina Cassidy, author of Birth: The Surprising History Of How We Are Born. lsquo;When we judge others, were judging ourselves. And there are ways of dodging the barbed comments. Not just for Kate, but for new mums everywhere. Finding your confidence starts here.

The Duchess of Cambridges main purchase? A 1200 baby blue Bugaboo. Some say its a ridiculous amount for juniors set of wheels, but others argue that, if you can afford it, its a worthwhile investment. Whatever side youre on, your buggy doesnt reflect your parenting skills ndash; its just a retail choice. Try not to play lsquo;Keeping Up With The Joneses, and dont become obsessed with expensive kit you cant really afford.

They say lsquo;I havent seen one of those before ndash; everyone around here seems to have a luxe city stroller.

Your comeback lsquo;I like to set trends, not follow them.

Such was the pressure on HRH Kate to breastfeed that even US celeb blogger Perez Hilton was monitoring the situation, saying, lsquo;The fate of breastfeeding could lie in Kate Middletons bosom! No one would deny that breastfeeding is the optimal choice, health-wise ndash; boosting your babys immunity and providing key nutrients. But it doesnt always work for everyone, and even mothers who are desperate to breastfeed might find they just cant do it. If its important to you, get help. If you try and its still not happening, dont beat yourself up about it.

Your comeback lsquo;Yep, Im giving her formula. Its milk designed for babies, not liquid crack.

Should you go for baby-led weaning ndash; where babies pick up bits of food with their hands and feed themselves ndash; or stick with pureacute;e-on-a-spoon feeding? Both methods have fans, and there are parents who swear by one or the other. Who is to say which is right? According to baby feeding expert Annabel Karmel, only you are best placed to work it out. lsquo;As a mother, you know what your baby needs and what feels best for you, she says.

They say lsquo;Using a spoon for yoghurt? Youre not properly in the baby-led weaning club then.

Your comeback lsquo;Im experimenting with whatever works. And this does ndash; hooray!

Whatever you do, everyone will have an opinion on it ndash; and no one is right. A sanity-saving controlled crying technique for a nine month old who wont sleep through the night might be one mothers saving grace. Another will be horrified at the thought and plan to co-sleep with the child in the bed until her baby is three years old. lsquo;Whats considered ldquo;perfect parentingrdquo; at any one time often falls out of fashion in a few years, says parenting expert Tina Cassidy. lsquo;Its usually a reflection of the time and place where it happens, not necessarily whats best.

Your comeback lsquo;She doesnt really use a watch, so shes fine with it.

Kate and William say they dont want a nanny, but they will have access to the best should they need one. lsquo;Young children need to be in the presence of a responsive, loving adult at all times, says psychologist and childcare expert Oliver James. lsquo;Its babies whose needs have been met who become secure, calm and satisfied children. But there are lots of ways to meet those needs and only you can know whats most practical (and affordable) for your family. If you have to work, dont waste time feeling needlessly guilty ndash; research the best childcare you can afford and experiment until you find what suits you. And remember that no decision is final. You can always do it differently later.

They say lsquo;Youre leaving your baby with who? Really?

Your comeback lsquo;Yes, isnt it great? He totally adores her!

This is at least one area where Kate wont have to worry quite as much as the everyday working mum. Or will she? Shes already judged in some quarters for not having a job, while others argue that being a duchess is a full-time occupation. Kate is currently on official maternity leave from her royal duties, and her return date isnt fixed. But you might not have that flexibility. This is the time to really know yourself and what you want from life. Expect to be surprised by how you feel at different stages and build in as much scope as possible to change your mind. Enjoy the great career youve been working to get all these years. Or do what I did ndash; go back as soon as you can, burst into tears regularly and run so fast to collect your tot at the end of the day that you shift your baby weight. Genius.

They say lsquo;Youre so brave ndash; I could never leave my baby for a whole day.

Your comeback lsquo;I love working. And happy mum, happy baby, eh?

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