This whole “mommy judging” is really becoming too much! The latest involves Christy Teigen and her decision to go out to dinner 2 weeks after the birth of her daughter. Why is she being judged about going out with her husband? Even a new mother needs to eat!
When I am seeing a newborn for their first visit to the pediatrician I spend a great deal of time talking with the baby’s parents about the stress of having a newborn. While there are so many “highs” after bringing a new baby home, there are also the “lows” of feeling overwhelmed, sleep deprived, and feeling as if you aren’t prepared to be a parent (even after taking every class and reading every book). For many parents just hearing that they are experiencing “normal” emotions is reassuring.
During these discussions (while I am usually rocking that sweet newborn) I also inquire as to whether there are family or friends nearby, or any other help in the home…knowing that “all hands on deck” can be a wonderful feeling when you just need a break, and yes, every parent, especially new parents need to have “a break”. Whether that is a nap, or a long shower, or a quick trip to the store to pick up that special “sleep sack” you know will help your baby sleep…a break is healthy.
A new mother also needs to eat and sleep to ensure that she is making milk in order to successfully breastfeed her newborn. I remember being a new mother, even 30 years ago, and skipping meals because I was either “too tired” to eat or “too busy” and my husband being wonderful and saying, “your Mom is going to keep the baby for an hour or two while we go out for a quick dinner!”. While I am sure that I had a bit of trepidation about leaving our son, and also figuring out how to nurse him just before we darted out the door, I went! The good news was that there were no cell phones or social media to interfere with our “new parent” quiet dinner out. i did not have to call home or text every 30 seconds to check on the baby, and my mother was quite capable of babysitting for an hour or two. No one was posting a picture of us leaving our baby, or commenting that I was “ a bad mother” for leaving my home….in fact, the whole event went unnoticed. What I also remember is the feeling of re-connecting with my husband (who was also a new father), and having a quiet, nutritious dinner which re-energized us for another long day or night….
But now fast forward to 2016 and the CONSTANT connection with the world!! Add in a celebrity who is being photographed day and night and whose every move is discussed and dissected. In this case being judged as a new mother for going out to dinner. Christy did not take her new baby out to a crowded restaurant (you know how I feel about that), nor did she leave her baby home unattended. She did not put her baby at risk at all. What she did do, was go out for dinner with her husband, albeit with lots of paparazzi following her. Going to dinner does not mean she “is an unfit mother”, it has nothing to do “with bonding with her baby” or “neglecting a newborn”. So, she didn’t get to make a choice on her own, she didn’t put the issue out there for public comment either….she simply went out to dinner. Enough…leave her and other new mothers alone.