Yesterday a lovely mum I know found herself being abused by people she’d never met, online. The reason? She’d dared to explain how she breastfed her baby and topped up with formula milk. Some of the women in the facebook group where she’d shared her experience didn’t approve, to put it mildly.
I’ve never understood why some women think it’s alright to have a go at others for the choices they make in raising their children – health, nutrition, childbirth, childcare, education.
So, for example, I don’t agree, particularly, with home education. But I’m not going to have a go at you if that’s the way you’ve chosen to educate your child; IT’S NONE OF MY BUSINESS and IT'S YOUR CHOICE.
I also don’t agree in taking a holistic approach to children’s health – but that’s probably because I’m the mother of an asthmatic and I’ve seen what happens when they lose consciousness after an attack (that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in complementary medicine. I’m a great believer in the power of manuka honey, for example. But in my opinion it should never be an either or.)
I don’t agree with not having any pain relief during childbirth – if you can get through it without then good for you, but please don’t make anyone else feel as though they’ve somehow failed because they did it a different way. And I certainly don’t agree with having a go at women who don’t breastfeed. And that's not because I'm poorly educated, or no one has ever 'explained' it to me; it's because I understand that mums need to be able to make their own choices.
Criticising – and I mean really criticising – other mums for the choices they make – unless you really think they’re putting their children in danger – isn’t helpful or useful. Something happens to some women when they’re behind a computer screen which means they think they can say what they like to others and sod the consequences. Would they say it in real life? Somehow I doubt it.
written by Liz Jarvis