The other week I took Emily to a baby massage group in Ramsgate. The class was great, the staff helpful and understanding when Emily decided to empty her bladder 10 minutes into the session, but the mum’s taking part, made my decision that I won’t be attending again. Why? Rude, obnoxious mum’s who are too la-de-da for their own good, following the crowd with their Bugaboo’s and their know-it-all competitiveness. I’ve met far too many of them throughout my life, and now adding them to the mix in my daily life, I’d rather not, thanks. Unfortunately, a pattern I’ve noticed far too often, probably since childhood, but more so now as a parent, is how competitive women can be. A case of anything you can do, I can do better. A constant need to outdo the other. As far as I can remember, for me, life isn’t about who can do it better, it’s about living it to the full. These women were so competitive and judgemental towards my actions as a fellow mum. Agreeing to some choices I’ve made, but mostly disagreeing about what I’ve chosen to do in Emily’s development.
So, we all know as parents, the NHS recommends that babies over 6m should start weaning and it should not be any earlier. We know about it because it’s shoved in our faces right from the get-go from doctors, midwives and healthcare professionals. So someone like me who weaned Emily from 3 & 1/2 months, would, in fact, be considered to be breaking the mummy law and should be outed in front of the class. Every parent knows their own child better than anyone else. You know when they want a feed, nap, change and after weeks of paying attention to the way we eat, what we eat and not being fully satisfied with her formula, I tried baby apple porridge on for size with excellent results. She loved it. Couldn’t get it in her tummy fast enough. Fast forward to now and Emily drinks follow-on milk and has 2 meals a day on top of her feeds at 5m.
I’ve learnt throughout my maternity leave, mummy knows best, so do what you feel is right. Whilst Emily is feeding well, rolling over and showing a huge interest in everything, I have friends who’s babies aren’t weaning yet but are pulling themselves up in their cots, at the same age. Each baby is different. The advice we are given are guidelines to follow, nothing is written in stone. If you feel you should wean early, do it, if you don’t till they’re 6m+, then don’t. Parenthood isn’t about who’s child is better, it’s an experience you share and a powerful relationship of love and trust forever. Stop worrying about others and do what you feel is right.